MORE than 100 lorry drivers in Cheshire have been slapped with fines for offences including not wearing a seatbelt and talking on their mobile phones.

Police undertook a two-week operation focusing on HGVs using motorways and main roads across the county to ensure commercial hauliers were travelling safely on the local road network.

Officers used an unmarked lorry to patrol key routes allowing them to identify any offences carried out by lorry drivers.

In total 115 fines were issued during the operation, which ran from April 13 to 27.

Of those, 87 went to motorists who were not wearing seatbelts, 14 to drivers who were not in proper control of the vehicles and 12 to those who were using their mobile phones whilst driving.

Two drivers were also arrested - one who was wanted in connection with a theft and a second who was unfit to drive through drugs.

Chief Inspector Steve Griffiths said: “Sadly, there are some drivers who think it’s acceptable to break the law and believe that they can get away with driving without wearing their seatbelts or whist using their mobile phone.

“The unmarked HGV is a valuable tool as it allows officers to have an elevated view enabling them to see exactly what is going on inside the cab of a lorry and to identify any offences which wouldn’t normally be seen from a patrol car.

“Throughout the operation the team identified more than 100 offending drivers and all of them are facing fines as a result of their actions behind the wheel.”

Some drivers were stopped at the roadside and dealt with and others will be receiving a letter in the post advising them of the fine and the reason why.

“I hope that the operation acts as a warning to lorry drivers and reiterates the fact that nobody is above the law.

“The operation may have concluded butt officers will be continuing to use the unmarked HGV to patrol the road network across the county.”

The results break down as follows:

• Failure to wear a seat belt - 87 offences.

• Driver using a mobile phone - 12 offences.

• Not in proper control of the vehicle – 14 offences.

• Other miscellaneous offences included no MOT, Using a trailer in lane 3 of the motorway, excess weight and no breakaway cable.

• One driver arrested as he was wanted in connection with a theft.

• One driver arrested for being unfit to drive through drugs/possession of cannabis.