Cannabis-smoking driver caught on phone says: ‘it wasn’t like it was busy’

Police talking to a suspect by the roadside. Picture : Habibur Rahman PPP-180124-133816006
Police talking to a suspect by the roadside. Picture : Habibur Rahman PPP-180124-133816006
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A driver caught by police smoking a joint of cannabis while on the phone says he has ‘learnt my lesson’.

The man, snared by officers in a motorway sting driving around 60mph, told a reporter at the scene: “I know it’s not right.

Police talking to a suspect by the roadside. Picture : Habibur Rahman PPP-180124-133816006

Police talking to a suspect by the roadside. Picture : Habibur Rahman PPP-180124-133816006

“I can’t justify what I have done. But it wasn’t like it was busy.”

The man from Hayling Island was caught along the M27 near Swanwick on Wednesday, January 24.

His arrest was the latest in a week-long crackdown by Hampshire police.

One of the force’s top officers branded the 43-year-old’s actions some of the most appalling driving he has ever seen.

Inspector Andy Tester spotted the driver. He said: “This is as bad as it gets.

“Here we have someone who had a phone to their ear and was smoking a joint in the other hand which means there was no way he could be concentrating on his driving.

“It’s the most blatant disregard for the safety of others that I’ve seen in a long time.”

The man, who lives on Hayling Island, was driving a blue Ford Focus C-Max when he was pulled over.

Speaking to sister paper The News from the side of the motorway, the driver said he was sorry.

He said: “It was dangerous. It’s hard to explain.

“It’s like this: people who are drinking can still drink something and say, “Oh, I’m all right” – it’s against the law but I know you can still drive after two or three pints, albeit illegally.

“I have driven, not that I’m proud of it, having had much more. It was illegal but I have done it in a safe way.”

He added: “I know that’s not right. I can’t justify what I have done. But it wasn’t like it was busy. Still, there’s no excuse. I’ve learnt my lesson.”

The incident was the latest as part of a nationwide crackdown on motorists using their mobiles at the wheel.