Hauliers have been caught red-handed cheating emissions laws in a nationwide sting by the DVSA.
Almost 300 lorries out of 3,700 stopped by the organisation at five roadside locations were found to have a cheat device fitted. The drivers and operators were given 10 days to fix the emissions system, or face a £300 fine and having the vehicle taken off the road.
Where a driver or operator repeatedly offends, DVSA can take the vehicle off the road immediately.
Cheat devices cut the cost of lorry operating, but give false emissions readings which can result in the release of excessive emissions into the atmosphere.
Some of the way this is done include:
- using devices designed to stop emissions control systems from working
- removing the diesel particulate filter or trap
- using cheap, fake emission reduction devices or diesel exhaust fluid
- using illegal engine modifications which result in excessive emissions
- removing or bypassing the exhaust gas recirculation valve
Following the roadside checks, DVSA examiners are inspecting more than 100 operators’ vehicle fleets for emission cheat devices. Some of the companies being inspected operate up to 80 vehicles.
DVSA is passing its findings on to the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain, who have the power to take away an operator’s licence.
DVSA is also working with its counterpart agencies across Europe to make sure that all offences committed by hauliers from outside Great Britain are dealt with in the country they’re based.
Following the success of this operation, DVSA will start checking for emissions cheat devices at more locations across Great Britain from Spring this year.
DVSA Chief Exec Gareth Llewellyn said: “The DVSA’s priority is to protect people from unsafe drivers and vehicles. We are committed to taking dangerous lorries off Britain’s roads. Stopping emissions fraud is a vital part of that.
“Anyone who flouts the law is putting the quality of our air and the health of vulnerable people, at risk. We won’t hesitate to take action against these drivers, operators and vehicles.”
Richard Turfitt, Senior Traffic Commissioner, said: “Traffic Commissioners welcome the steps being taken by the enforcement agency to identify emissions cheats. Use of these devices threatens to undercut responsible and compliant operators as well as damaging the environment and public health.
“Traffic Commissioners will look to take action wherever an operator seeks an unfair and illegal advantage over the rest of industry.”