Posted on Friday 17th February

Cheshire Police is taking part in a national week of action making sure commercial hauliers are travelling on our roads safely.

Officers will be patrolling the Cheshire motorway network ensuring those carrying hazardous goods are fully co-operating with legislation which permits them to do so.

The week of action in Cheshire is supported by the North West Motorway Police Group and will run between Monday 20 February and Sunday 26 February.

Officers will be out and about ensuring that HGVs and lorries are complying with the relevant Construction and Use legislation and also the relevant European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road. This is the legislation that allows dangerous goods to be transported and its requirements.

PC Martyn Campbell, of the Constabulary’s commercial vehicle unit, said: “We’ll be targeting commercial vehicles which could be dangerously transporting hazardous materials on our roads. Our week of action will help to drive home the message that not complying with legislation is potentially dangerous to other road users and completely unacceptable.

“Drivers of suspect vehicles will be checked to ensure they have the appropriate paperwork and equipment to deal with any issues. We’ll also be ensuring drivers are complying with the drivers’ hours legislation and that they are taking suitable breaks.”

Vehicles with serious immediate issues will be stopped from continuing their journey in accordance with the Health and Safety at work Act 1973. The Health and Safety Executive will be notified of any serious breaches.

Assistant Chief Constable Darren Martland said: “It’s vital for all road users that any hazardous goods are being carried safely. If things go wrong it can have a massive impact on the road network and can be a lengthy, potentially dangerous and complicated clear up process.

“By checking that commercial enterprises are transporting any hazardous materials through Cheshire legally, the impact is minimised. The legislation is there for a reason and it’s crucial that it’s adhered to.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, David Keane, said: “During my conversations with Cheshire residents, road safety has been something that has come up time and time again as a priority for policing in the county. When we think of dangers on our roads most of us think of things like drink driving, or using a mobile phone, or maybe speeding, but checking HGVs are adhering to such legislation plays an important part in keeping our roads safe.

“I’m sure our communities will be reassured to see the wide ranging work the Constabulary does alongside its partners to ensure our roads are safer.”