Police use unmarked HGV lorries to secretly film drivers using their phones or not wearing seat belts.

Highway England caught more than 4,000 motorists last year with just three unmarked HGVs.

Northamptonshire Police’s Safer Roads Team is the latest force to use the method, catching 43 vehicles committing over 56 offences this week, by using their elevated position peering down into their cars.

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The force’s PC David Lee said: ‘Being high up gives us a good vantage point for observing the actions of drivers of large vehicles, and also allows us to look down into cars and smaller vans and clearly see if people have their seatbelts on or are using phones or adjusting sat navs.

‘When you’re driving, your attention should be on the road and nothing else.

‘Missing a call or text won’t kill you, but making one could.’

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He added: ‘Most drivers do the responsible thing and obey the law, and we work hard to catch up with those who don’t.’

The team carried out three patrols on major A roads on the M1 from Monday to Wednesday.

They caught 25 people not wearing seatbelts, 17 using mobile phones and three not being in proper control of their vehicle.

The technique was introduced three years ago and has been picked up by forces all over England and Wales.

This comes as the government doubled the penalty for drivers caught using their phones at the wheel, last year.

Motorists now receive six point on their licence and a £200 fine.

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