Traffic officer Richard Arrowsmith has seen it all.
A couple make a porn film on the hard shoulder of the M5 at Junction 3. A driver freezes in terror on the motorway slip road because a spider has landed on her arm. And swans mistake the middle of the M6 for a dirty river.
Mr Arrowsmith is 'on road' operations manager at the Highways Agency's West Midlands control centre based in Quinton, Birmingham. He spends his days in a 4 x 4, criss-crossing the motorway network from Leicester to Shrewsbury and Stoke-on-Trent and Gloucestershire.
He said: "Nothing will surprise me any more. I've talked to drivers who have thought they were in Yorkshire when they were in Coventry. I've watched motorists reverse down the slip road when they have taken the wrong turning. I've seen kitchen sinks fall from lorries and women pushing prams on the hard shoulder."
The 159 traffic officers employed by the Highways Agency are unique to the West Midlands - but not for much longer.
By April 2006 the Traffic Officer Service will be rolled out across seven regions in England.
Today I am with Mr Arrowsmith patrolling the roads.
The first thing I realise is how alert traffic officers have to be all the time. Within minutes, he has spotted a car without a registration number and a driver who has called for breakdown cover on the hard shoulder of the M5.
There is constant talk on hand-held radios above the din of the heavy goods lorries speeding past.
The West Midlands is on a high state of alert because of the London bombings earlier this month, but this does not appear to have made much of a difference to motorway drivers.
Mr Arrowsmith said: "We have been surprised by how casual the public are about leaving packages and parcels on the roads. I do think there is a malicious aspect to it sometimes. Those that do it know it causes huge amounts of disruption.
"Motorways seem to zap people's concentration. I guess very often people put on their favourite songs in the car, start talking to their wife and don't look carefully enough at the road.
"But the biggest problem is drivers travelling too close to each other. I think driving standards are probably about the same as they always were, but there are more vehicles and people are in more of a hurry than ever."
We get out of the 4 x 4 and onto the hard shoulder as if we were attending an incident. I would not be the first to put out the cones in the middle lane, I think to myself.
When I am safely back in at the control centre, I am told that the area covered by West Midlands traffic officers is one of the most important in England because it bisects the north, east, south and west of the country.
Control room manager John James said: "It is probably the busiest stretch of roads in Europe, but you have to give the same degree of concentration to a cardboard box on the hard shoulder as you do to a multiple pile-up."