A 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 yesterday: “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.”
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.”
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