VIDEO of a police car repeatedly drifting out of its lane on a motorway has sparked angry claims of hypocrisy on social media.
The footage – which has been watched 1.4 million times – shows the marked vehicle stray out of the fast lane and partially into the slow lane three times.
The clip, which was filmed on the M11 near Harlow, Essex, also shows the car veering very close to the central reservation.
The officer’s erratic driving was so disturbing it caught the attention of a passenger in a following car who filmed it on her mobile.
The footage has sparked an angry reaction on social media, with many claiming they would have been immediately pulled over by a police partrol had they driven in a similar fashion.
Mattie Dixon, whose wife Stacey filmed the clip from the passenger seat on the northbound carriageway, said the police car had earlier swerved across the road, forcing another driver to brake.
The couple said they were concerned that the officer’s driving – at around 2pm on Saturday, September 23 – could have caused a collision.
Mr Dixon said today (WED): “My missus only started filming because the police car had previously veered across the carriageway causing another car to brake violently and swerve to avoid a collision.
“It was worrying to see a police car acting in this way, and there seemed to be no reason for it at all.
“We were genuinely concerned that he may hit another vehicle, that’s why Stacey started filming.
“When I pulled off at a junction I could see there was a uniformed driver and a rear seat passenger.”
Marc George, one of many who viewed the clip, wrote: “Driving without due care and attention, dangerous driving and lane-hogging.”
Shazad Ratyal added: “Possibly p***** or playing on his phone.”
Rick Davie said: “If you were weaving like that they would pull you for suspected drink driving.”
Sophie Dagger commented: “Probably p***** up, either that or texting. They’re such f****** hypocrites – guaranteed if that was the coppers behind and someone else was driving like this you would be pulled over instantly.”
John Gaynor added: “He is texting! I would put money on it. Send this clip and details with time, date and place, to his Chief Constable .They may check his phones and then take action after seeing this.”
While Michelle Hodson said: “Whether he’s had a long shift or not he shouldn’t be driving like that… if it was the other way round blue lights would be on, pulling the car over for driving without due care as attention.”
While Brian Murphy said simply: “No question in my mind they are either texting or eating.”
However, other social media users defended the policeman and suggested there may have been another explanation.
Brian Whitelegg said: “Here we go. All the police haters coming out to their keyboards. You w** don’t know what’s going on but hey, let’s take a guess and give a plod some grief. I didn’t see any prosecutable moves there.”
Richard H Pearman added: “Only human, probably done a long shift lol.”
Tyler Webster wrote: “The police driver might be tired…”
To which Ray Saunders replied: “In which case don’t drive.”
Essex Police today suggested the officer’s apparent lack of lane discipline was an example of advanced driving.
A spokesman for the force said: “Advanced drivers are taught to move within the lane to get a better view of the road ahead.
“Officers may also need to keep a view on a vehicle ahead, which may explain why they are driving in this way.”
Asked if he accepted the police explanation, Mr Dixon said: “No, there was a prisoner in the rear.
“There were also no vehicles within view for a long time as the police car was doing 60mph and all the cars in front had driven off into the distance.
“This also doesn’t excuse him for almost colliding with other vehicles.”