A major crackdown on rogue hauliers using emissions cheat devices is to be launched by the DVSA this summer.
DVSA roadside checks will be introduced from August, targeting operators using devices or methods designed to override their trucks’ emissions control systems.
The spot checks follow increasing reports from DVSA enforcement staff that some truck drivers are using emissions cheat devices to cut operating costs.
Known as AdBlue emulators, the devices bypass or stop the vehicle’s AdBlue injection systems, which reduce the engine’s nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions.
The devices, which are available for purchase on the internet from as little as £35, can be used on any make of truck and can be fitted to various systems including Euro-6.
Other common cheats the roadside checks will target include removing the diesel particulate filter or trap; using fake emission reduction devices or diesel exhaust fluid; using illegal engine modifications resulting in excessive emissions; and removing or bypassing the exhaust gas recirculation valve.
Offenders will be ordered to fix the truck’s emissions system within 10 days and will also be reported to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner. Repeat offenders will face a fine and the vehicle will be immobilised.
The DVSA has pledged to ensure foreign hauliers found to be using cheat devices are prosecuted by its counterpart agencies in Europe.
Introducing the roadside checks, DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said: “We are committed to taking dangerous vehicles off UK roads and this initiative to target emissions fraud is a key part
RHA national policy director Jack Semple welcomed the roadside checks. “This is a shocking practice that needs to be eradicated. Any move to stop people cheating the system is welcome and something the RHA has been urging the government to act on for some time.
“We also need to ensure we have strong powers with respect toforeign-registered trucks,” he said. Iveco alternative fuels director Martin Flach said: “The SMMT heavy commercial technical committee has been pushing the DfT to do something about this for some years on the basis of wanting a level playing field.
“Several of us [manufacturers] loaned some Euro-5 vehicles to the DfT/Vehicle Certification Agency for trials a few years ago and having seen the device, it is small enough to hide behind the dash and would be difficult to find.
I have no idea of the extent of the fitment but by the number of adverts on eBay it must be quite a few as sellers wouldn’t bother if nobody ever bought them.”