POLICE have been accused of double standards after shocking footage showed a marked car swerve on to a motorway slip road in front of an HGV.
The SUV crossed white danger markings and there was no sign of blue lights during the manoeuvre.
The footage, filmed on the M61, close to Middlebrook, Greater Manchester on Thursday, has been condemned by road safety campaigners.
They claimed any member of the public driving in the same fashion would have been pulled over and most likely given a tickets and penalty points.
Lee Holdsworth, who was driving the dash cam vehicle, first spotted the police vehicle in the middle lane.
As Lee starts to turn off into Junction 6, near to Middlebrook, the police vehicle can be spotted up ahead continuing in the middle lane.
The SUV then overtakes a HGV in the left lane, swerving in front of it and taking the turn off for the junction without indicating.
A cloud of dust can be seen as the police vehicle crosses the safety markings laid down to warn others against making the manoeuvre.
Lee said: “My wife and I were shocked by the very last second exit of the police driver. At the time, they did not signal to exit and the vehicle was not displaying emergency lights.
“Considering that the police and highways agency are constantly asking people to slow down and take extra care, this manoeuvre fell well short of that expectation.
“I have no doubt that if I exited the motorway in such a manor with a police vehicle behind, I would not be getting off lightly.”
A spokesman for SWD Media, who obtained the footage, said: “If any other motorist was caught doing this reckless and dangerous manoeuvre, you can bet officers would have pulled the driver over, quite rightly so, and issued a ticket.
“However it seems here we see a simple case of do as I say, not as I do.
“The police should set an example, and the fact he did not have his blue lights on indicates he was not responding to an emergency call.”
The incident happened in the area covered by Greater Manchester Police although it is not clear to which force it belongs.
Greater Manchester Police today admitted there had not been an emergency but insisted there was nothing wrong with the officer’s driving
A spokeswoman said: “I’d like to thank the concerned member of the public who submitted the video, as careless or dangerous driving by police drivers are not matters we take lightly.
“Both this footage and footage from the police driver’s in-car set have been assessed by our Driver Standards Board and found that there was no fault with the driving, as it was a safe distance from the HGV, driving at a safe speed.
“The driver footage showed that when the officer moved over onto the slip road in order to attend a non-emergency matter away from the motorway, there was sufficient distance between the two vehicles that the HGV wasn’t caused to change its course or speed in anyway.”