A DRIVER caught going the wrong way down a Southend one-way system in a 3.5-tonne lorry has been arrested on suspicion of drug-driving.

Essex Police stopped the vehicle, which also had a trailer attached, when they spotted it going the wrong way round the Lucy Road one-way system. Officers also say they detected the smell of cannabis.

The driver was tested for drugs at the roadside before being arrested on suspicion of drug-driving.

The arrest came during a day of action which saw 28 seatbelt tickets and seven mobile phone tickets issued.

A second driver was also arrested on suspicion of drug-driving.

Martin Terry, Southend councillor responsible for community safety, said: “I think all of us as a society – that includes road users and the police – should have a zero tolerance to this sort of behaviour.

“There have been so many bad incidents as a result of drug or drink-driving, it is not acceptable. It ruins people’s lives.

“I am really pleased police are taking a zero-tolerance approach to this, as getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, you have to be responsible. It is dangerous.”

The day of action came as part of Essex Police’s “Vision Zero” operation to crackdown on drivers breaking the law.

Vision Zero action days focus on offences known as the “Fatal Four”, which are known to contribute to serious and fatal crashes.

The Fatal Four are speeding, not wearing seatbelts, mobile phone use whilst driving and drink or drug-driving.

On the day, police also reported one driver for not being in proper control, gave out two speed offences, issued one insurance offence, two prohibitions for tinted windows, and one driving licence offence.

Throughout the day, 14 eye-sight tests were conducted. All drivers passed tests, so no further enforcement was required.

A spokesman for Essex Police added: “Vision Zero enforcement in Southend saw 67 vehicles stopped, resulting in two arrests.

“Last year, 41 people died on Essex’s roads.

“Vision Zero is our ambition to have no road deaths by 2040 or sooner.”