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Officers from Cheshire Constabulary this week enlisted the support of an eight-year-old truck enthusiast to help highlight their latest road safety operation.
Alfie Simcox, from Shavington, is well known in the trucking world and can often be found at service stations and on motorway bridges taking photographs of trucks for his Facebook page.
On Wednesday 26 May, Alfie was invited to Sandbach Service Station to find out more about Operation Tramline.
Operation Tramline forms part of Cheshire Constabulary’s ongoing efforts to improve road safety, which sees an unmarked HGV patrolling motorways and main roads across the county to identify any offences being committed by drivers.
At the event Alfie met the officers involved in the operation and was also given a guided tour of one of the three HGV cabs that will be used.
He was also given the opportunity to take some unique pictures of the vehicle to share with his thousands of followers on Facebook.
Sergeant Andy Griffiths from Motorcycle Roads Crime Unit said: “I was great such an enthusiastic young boy and I truly believe that Alfie has got a fantastic future ahead of him.
“I was very impressed by his knowledge of trucks and his passion for trucks and hope he enjoyed his trip out with all the officers.
“I first heard about Alfie following a feature Granada Reports last year and as soon as I heard his story I knew he would be an ideal candidate to be involved in Operation Tramline here in Cheshire.
“While the majority of drivers adhere to the rule of the road, sadly there are some who believe that they can get away with breaking the law, which is why it’s essential that we get the message out there that this is not the case.
“Alfie already has more than 14,500 followers on his Facebook page, so hopefully by Alfie sharing some of the pictures of the Operation Tramline HGV will help act as a warning for any drivers planning to use the Cheshire road network.”
Alfie launched his Facebook page in May 2020 after taking pictures of trucks on his mum’s mobile phone during the initial lockdown. Since then he has posted more than 50,000 images.
The eight-year-old inherited his love for trucks from his dad and grandad – both of whom are professional truck drivers.
Alfie’s mum Stephanie said: “Trucking is in Alfie’s blood and I have no doubt that he will follow in his father‘s and grandfather‘s footsteps.
“While he’s not quite old enough for his own licence yet, he goes out trucking with his dad on a regular basis and he’s often telling me about things he sees while sat in the cab – which often involve drivers doing things that they should be doing.
“I hope that by Alfie supporting this operation and sharing some of the pictures, it will help get the message across to other drivers to make the roads safer for when Alfie is eventually allowed out in a truck of his own.”
As well as his Facebook page, Alfie also has his own charity calendar which his launched after he was targeted by online trolls.
Since launching the calendar he has already raised more than £4,000 for the children’s mental health charity Young Minds.
The Operation Tramline HGVs are this week taking part in Operation Vertebrae, a Week of Action by Highways England running along the length of the M6 until Sunday.
Highways England’s Assistant Regional Safety Co-ordinator Maria Biddulph said “It is wonderful to see Alfie’s enthusiasm for trucks, he’s still a little young to get behind the wheel himself but in the meantime by sharing pictures of our HGV cabs Alfie is helping spread safe driving messages to drivers up and down the country.”