The Senior Traffic Commissioner has warned operators not to be tempted by AdBlue emulators after the number of incidents being considered at public inquiries spiralled. Richard Turfitt said it was the responsibility of hauliers to check what their drivers were doing and not to think ignorance would get them off the hook.
Addressing delegates at the Woodfines road transport conference earlier this month, the STC said there had been “case after case” where operators had insisted they were unaware cheat devices had been fitted to their vehicles.
He said: “Maybe that was true, but there’s been case after case where it’s been clear that if they didn’t know then they certainly weren’t checking – checking their drivers aren’t ignoring AdBlue. If a guy down the road says ‘we can sort that out for you’, don’t go down that route. If you get crystalline deposits around the cap, alarm bells should ring. If you get those type of alarm bells then that’s the time to go to your main dealer and say ‘you need to look at this.’”
Turfitt added: “What I would say to you is keep an eye out for warning signs, so you don’t wander into a situation. The DVSA will crawl all over your operation; of course they will! You should know how far each vehicle can travel, its fuel economy, how many vehicles are in the fleet and how many run on AdBlue.”
Checks last year by the enforcement agency found one in 12 vehicles tested for emission fraud devices were found to be fitted with one.
UK-registered HGVs topped the list of vehicles fitted with them and hauliers discovered using a cheat device were given 10 days to remove it or face a £300 fine. At the time, the DVSA said it would also visit 100 operator sites to check the rest of their fleets were compliant, and that it had already passed multiple cases to the traffic commissioners.
In February Burnley-based Express Freight Solutions had its licence curtailed by 10% by the North West area TC Simon Evans after the haulier admitted fitting AdBlue devices to its trucks.
Company director Mark Jones said he was unaware the devices had been fitted.
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