A LORRY driver was fined for tailgating after being stopped during an Essex Police operation aimed at improving commercial vehicle road safety.
An articulated HGV was seen only a few feet from a VW Golf car travelling through the Dartford tunnel into Essex.
The Slovakian truck driver admitted inconsiderate driving and was given an on-the-spot £100 fine.
The incident was witnessed by a police motorcyclist from the Essex Police Casualty Reduction Team during Operation Mermaid at Thurrock on Wednesday May 21.
Operation Mermaid is a national initiative and is held weekly in Essex to ensure that commercial vehicles are safely driven and maintained. But on May 21 all police forces in the UK carried out simultaneous operations as part of a day of action.
Thirty-four vehicles were stopped and checked at Thurrock and fines totalling £3,000 were issued for a range of offences mainly involving overweight vehicles or drivers working over their maximum number of hours at the wheel.
The driver of a Spanish-registered van was stopped for failing to pay speeding fines issued by Devon and Cornwall and Thames Valley police forces. He was ordered to pay four fines each of £100.
A BMW 3 series car was seized by the Essex officers after records showed that it had been stolen in Surrey.
Pc Al Cuthbertson, of the Essex Police Commercial Vehicle Unit, said that the tailgating incident happened in a 50mph speed limit area through the tunnel.
"Although the lorry was escorted off the M25 to the check site at Moto Services we could not stop the car at the same time.
"But we had the registration number and found the driver’s name through DVLA records. We phoned his home in Kent and obtained a mobile number.
"When we called him he was surprised that we had already taken action against the truck driver. He said that it was frightening to have such a large truck so close and at one point he though the lorry was going to crash into the back of his car.”