Officers working under London’s Freight Enforcement Partnership have issued more than 9,114 fixed penalty notices and traffic offence reports from more than 33,000 vehicle checks at the roadside, two years since its launch.
The joint initiative from TfL, the Metropolitan Police Service, City of London Police, and the DVSA sees officers target dangerously non-compliant drivers, vehicles and operators operating in the capital.
The DVSA and police officers form what TfL said is the UK’s first multi-agency unit that uses shared intelligence to conduct targeted checks in locations frequently used by HGVs.
The operation has led to 106 arrests, 221 vehicle seizures, and 12 O-licences being revoked at public inquiries (PIs) in front of the traffic commissioner. Some 5,600 prohibitions for mechanical issues have also been issued.
TfL said the partnership has four aims: to improve air quality, improve road safety, reduce congestion and promote fairness for operators. It also has a vested interest in keeping London’s roads moving, as one truck broken down because of a mechanical issue could cause severe congestion.
An enforcement operation near the Blackwall Tunnel today (15 November) saw vehicles stopped for various reasons including insecure loads, and checked for mechanical issues and tachograph falsification.
Inspector Alex Burlison from the Metropolitan Police said vehicles are usually stopped if they are visibly dangerous (for example a bulging curtain suggesting a load security issue) or where the driver is committing an offence such as using a mobile phone.
He said checks for devices that manipulate a vehicle’s emission control system are becoming important as such equipment is being discovered more frequently. Operators are likely to be invited to a PI if such devices are found.
Russell Simmons, DVSA’s traffic enforcement manager for the Industrial HGV Taskforce, said: “There’s no excuse for driving while tired, with mechanical defects or with an overweight or unstable load. Those on London’s roads who break the rules are putting themselves and others at risk.
“Working alongside our colleagues in the police and Transport for London, we’ll crack down on rogue drivers and operators, making London’s roads safer for all.”
TfL's MD of surface transport, Leon Daniels, said: “We are determined to rid London of dangerous freight operators who flout the rules and have no regard for safety.
“By sharing information between enforcement agencies the most unsafe operators are identified, targeted, prosecuted and referred to the independent traffic commissioners.”
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