Dorset Double Decker Is Police Spy

Thu 24th Feb 2022

Police cameras come in all shapes and sizes, and most motorists will know how to recognise one, but a police force on the south coast have revealed a unique new weapon in the battle against dangerous drivers - a double decker bus.

Dorset Police have been putting the bus to work as part of a trial scheme with the rather unimaginative title of ‘Operation Decker’. The covert operation has been set-up in Bournemouth recently, with the aim of catching drivers who use their mobile phone while driving, but they have managed to stop ten drivers for a range of offences.

The sting saw two officers sat on top deck of the yellow double decker and two on the bottom deck, while the bus ran a circular route around the Dorset town. The police force’s ‘No Excuse’ team did manage to catch three drivers using their mobile phone, but they also penalised motorists who were driving without a licence, not having tax or not having a valid MOT. Another unlucky driver will have got the shock of his life when he was spotted for not having his hands on the steering wheel while driving.

“The buses provide a great vantage point for officers to spot road traffic offences with particular attention paid today to mobile phones,” said Lee Savage from Dorset Police.

“One driver had both hands off the wheel and his phone in front of him, using both thumbs on the touchscreen while the vehicle was in motion.

“It also opened the door for us to tackle other offences.

“Two vehicles were seized — one because they had no insurance and another because they were driving without a licence.

“There was a stolen Mini located. It activated the automatic number plate recognition system in one of our vehicles.”

The aim of catching motorists using their mobile phones comes ahead of new legislation which will come into force later this year which will make it illegal to touch your phone for any reason at all, including playing music while driving. The new laws are expected to see a huge jump in the number of drivers issued with penalty points and a £200 fine.