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Mr Sanders had been talking on a hands-free kit and was chuckling at what his friend had said.
But the officer who ordered him to stop at the exit to the Mersey Tunnel told him: ‘Laughing while driving a car can be an offence.’
If that had been the end of the matter then Mr Sanders, 47, would probably have laughed the whole thing off.
But he subjected him to a 35-minute grilling, with questions about everything from his ethnic group to details of distinguishing scars on his body.
And despite not being charged with an offence, he still had to waste a further 90 minutes of his time producing his driving licence and other documents at a police station.
Brian Gregory from the Association of British Drivers said: 'This is a shocking example of the police harassing innocent motorists simply because they are an easy target. To suggest that a driver could be prosecuted for laughing is ludicrous beyond belief.
'What next? Can we expect to hear of people being stopped for sneezing or coughing while they are at the wheel? What about the risk of listening to the radio... they might broadcast something that makes a driver laugh. Drivers have to be credited with some common sense.
'It is a fact that drivers who are happy and smiling are far safer on the roads than anyone uptight and stressed.