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10,000 drivers caught tailgating

The UK's HGV market accelerates 12.9% in 2021 to defy supply challenge, says SMMT.

To anyone who spends time behind the wheel, it’s no surprise to learn that tailgating is a common occurrence.

New cameras are being trialled in the UK to catch drivers who tailgate. In the first two weeks of the pilot scheme, the cameras caught around 10,000 drivers committing the offence.

A joint effort by the police and Highways England, the scheme is being used to tackle tailgating, which is a factor in around one in eight casualties on England’s motorways and A-roads.

In 2018, more than 130 people were killed or seriously injured as a result of people driving too close to the vehicle ahead.

One video, captured by a camera in the back of a car, captures a truck driver tailgating through motorway roadworks.

Soon, anyone caught driving too close to the vehicle ahead will be sent a letter advising them they were guilty of tailgating and highlighting the dangers of not leaving a large enough braking distance.

Speaking about the scheme, Highways England’s head of road safety, Jeremy Philips, said: “These new cameras have, sadly, highlighted just how many people are driving too close on our roads.”

He continued: “We understand that most tailgating is unintentional by drivers who are simply unaware they are dangerously invading someone else’s space. But not leaving enough space between you and the vehicle in front can be very frightening and intimidating – it could also prove fatal.”

According to a survey carried out for Highways England, more than a quarter of drivers admitted to tailgating, and nearly 90% say they have been tailgated or have seen it happening.

As a police spokesperson explained: “People who carry out this extremely dangerous behaviour are not just putting themselves at risk, but the lives of other road users.”

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