POLICE officers in an unmarked bus and truck-cab led a crackdown on dangerous drivers.

They issued 180 road traffic offence reports, 17-fixed penalty notices and seized four vehicles in a campaign to cut the number of cyclists killed or injured on Merseyside's roads.

The operation was aimed at drivers of commercial vehicles, particularly lorries.

Specially-trained officers used the bus and truck-cab throughout two weeks in February to patrol Liverpool city centre and the Merseyside motorway network.

One was driving the vehicles while the other used a handheld video camera to catch suspected law-breakers on film.

Drivers have been targeted who were using handheld mobile phones, multi-media equipment and reading, eating or drinking while behind the wheel.

Routine breath tests have also been carried out as part of the on going drink- and drug-driving campaign.

Chief Inspector John Hogan, from Matrix serious organised crime roads policing unit, said: "Through their sheer weight and size, heavy goods vehicles can pose a huge risk to cyclists and other road users if they are being driven carelessly.

"98 cyclists were killed or injured on Merseyside's Roads in 2013 and we are determined to significantly reduce that number.

"This latest fortnight of action has resulted in well over 200 offences being detected, ranging from drivers not wearing seatbelts or having defective tyres through to people still using mobile phones while they're behind the wheel.”

Traffic commissioner for the North West and senior traffic commissioner for Great Britain, Beverley Bell, said: "Some of the behaviour that has been captured by this excellent initiative is simply unacceptable.

“Drivers reported for these offences are warned they will be referred to the traffic commissioners, as we are responsible for their professional driving licences.

"We have the power to take action and driver can lose their licenses for two weeks in cases of mobile phone abuse."