POLICE officers posing as undercover truckers have found nearly ten per cent of the lorry drivers they observed on the region's roads were committing road offences.

North Yorkshire Police said 86 offences were recorded as officers in an un-liveried truck drove alongside almost 1,000 HGVs on the A1, A19 and A168 during March.

Operation Marathon, which aimed to identifying road offences amongst HGV drivers, saw officers use a camcorder to record driver behaviour in neighbouring cabs.

Most of the offences involved drivers not paying due care and attention to the road because they were making mobile phone calls.

Officers said poor lane behaviour, dangerous parking and failure to use seat belts were also recorded.

Sergeant Yvonne Taylor said officers were surprised at the scale of anti-social driving recorded, given that truck drivers livelihoods depends on them retaining their licences.

She said: “As a rule, the difference in height between a normal police car and an HGV cab makes it harder to observe what is actually going on in the cab.

"But for Op Marathon we were in a truck ourselves, so we were able to see right into the cabs, and a relatively high proportion of drivers were not fully concentrating on their driving.

"It is easy to be blasé when you are used to driving long distances, but if you’re distracted and something unexpected does happen, reaction times are slower and it can lead to an accident."

Last year, more than 2,800 people were injured in road accidents in North Yorkshire, many of which were caused by drivers being distracted.