A ROAD sweeper was among a number of vehicles seized during a police operation.

The 13.5tonne hired sweeper, which was not operating on behalf of the council, was stopped during a sweep of Southend.

The driver was found behind the wheel with a standard car driving licence, despite requiring a special Category C licence.

The driver received a ticket and faces a £100 fine and three points on his licence, while the sweeper itself was seized and the owner will have to pay for it to be released.

The operation involved officers doing roadside checks and mobile patrols. Throughout the day, 198 vehicles were stopped, 30 did not have an up-to-date MOT, 29 motorists were not wearing a seatbelt and 26 were using mobile phones whilst driving. Eight vehicles were seized because motorists were driving without insurance or a licence.

Adam Pipe, Essex Police’s casualty reduction manager, said: “If you take that as a snapshot of only seven hours in one day, it’s worrying, particularly the number of vehicles without MOTs. If there’s a problem with the mechanical condition of your car, it could cause a collision, particularly in winter time.”