HGV seized after operator breaches waste management rules

The owner of a recycling business has had an HGV seized by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and been fined after breaching waste management rules.

Peter Antony Burke, who trades as BBR Recycling, was found operating without the relevant waste management licence or an exemption to deposit or store tyres at its Largy Road, Crumlin, County Antrim site.

The offence was discovered when officers from the NIEA visited the site in February 2014.

The NIEA seized a 7.5 tonne truck, which was owned by Burke, under The Controlled Waste (Seizure of Property Regulations) (Northern Ireland) 2013. The NEIA can seize a vehicle when an officer believes an offence has been, or is about to be, committed.

Burke, of Burnside Close, Dunmurry, was fined £225 with £148 in costs and £15 offenders’ levy at Antrim Magistrates’ Court on 28 January.

HGV drivers to receive six points on their licence for mobile phone offences

HGV drivers could receive six points on their licence for using a mobile phone at the wheel, under plans outlined in a consultation launched this week.

Feedback is being sought on proposals to increase the penalty points from three to six for lorry drivers and also for fixed penalty notices (FPN) to increase to £150 for the offence.

Non-HGV drivers could receive four penalty points and a £150 FPN.

In the consultation, the Department for Transport (DfT) proposes four choices: do nothing, increasing the FPN, increasing the penalty points or increasing both the amount of the FPN and the points.

The DfT said: “Whilst accidents involving HGVs with mobile phone use as a contributory factor are relatively rare, it is clear that drivers of vehicles the size of HGVs have the ability to cause major accidents when distracted by using a mobile phone.

"For this reason we are proposing a higher penalty point increase for those drivers using in a large goods vehicle given the serious potential impact of a collision involving an HGV.”

The Institute of Advanced Motorists welcomed the consultation and said it did not object to tougher penalties, but its policy director Neil Greig added: “We do believe that the real deterrent is fear of being caught. That fear can only be increased by increasing the numbers of traffic police on our roads.”

The consultation runs until 15 March.

Last year the Office of the Traffic Commissioner called for HGV drivers using mobiles whilst driving to be suspended for 21 days for the offence.