Northumbria Police have revealed several shocking examples of items that had not been tied down by road users following a two-week clampdown across the North East.  

The force, who had been running the operation alongside Highways England, stopped several road users including drivers who were carrying trees, a pallet of fizzy drinks and even a car, that were unsafe and could have caused a serious accident.

The scheme, which had taken place following 968 incidents that had been reported of debris on the road between April 2020 and April last year, saw a number of specialist police officers from the Motor Patrols Department engage with HGV and commercial drivers around the region.

One incident saw a driver stopped after they were spotted carrying a car that was perched on top of scrap metal that hadn’t been tied securely into place.

 “There is a blatant disregard for the safety of others when drivers choose to travel without sufficient measures in place to ensure their vehicles loads are contained,” said Sergeant Jane Munro.

“Many of the van and HGV drivers we stopped during the operation were fully compliant with the rules and regulations and they went off on their way.

“However, it only takes one to have not checked the goods they are transporting are securely fastened which can cause injury or death on the roads.

As well as an unsafe car being carried, police also pulled over an HGV driver who was carrying pallets of drink cans that weren’t safely secured and also a driver who was unsafely carrying trees on their trailer.

“If that car, those trees or even those pallets of pop were to fall out the back of a vehicle as it travelled at speed on a motorway then the consequences could be devastating,” added Sergeant Munro.

“That is why this type of police work will continue 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year so we can continue to ensure the safety of those using roads across the North East.

“Our message is clear, take the time to check you know the rules, regulations and that your vehicle is in road worthy condition. It takes a little extra time before you set off on your journey but could save a life.”

Over the course of the operation 107 cars were stopped and 22 drivers were reported for offences, while 14 fixed penalty and 34 prohibition notices were issued.

Also, two vehicles were seized, while three drivers were arrested for drug driving and nine warning letters were sent to commercial vehicle operators.

Northumbria Police are asking anyone wanting to report a driving offence to do so using dashcam footage via their website.