Posted on Tuesday 23rd October

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner is commending the work of local officers who took part in a national week of action making sure commercial hauliers were travelling on our roads safely.

Between 15 and 21 October, Cheshire Police officers assigned to the Regional Commercial Vehicle Unit patrolled the local motorway network ensuring drivers were taking sufficient rest breaks and that the vehicles were in a road worthy condition.

They worked in conjunction with HM Revenue and Customs, the Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the Constabulary’s Police bike unit and officers from Greater Manchester Police and Merseyside Police attached to the North West Regional Commercial Vehicle Unit.

In total 53 Commercial vehicles were checked within the week of action. A three week old Volvo articulated goods vehicle was seized having been found to be running on illicit fuel, seven vehicles were prohibited immediately due to serious defects or drivers requiring rest breaks, 33 vehicles were in order and 28 tickets were issued.

David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, said: “Improving road safety for the hundreds of thousands of Cheshire residents who use our roads every day is one of my most important priorities as your police and crime commissioner.

“The vast majority of drivers of commercial vehicles use our roads safely but there are a small number of rogue traders in operation who pose an increased risk to themselves and other road users by not abiding by basic safety regulations.

“I am pleased that this operation by Cheshire officers has taken unsafe vehicles off our roads and highlighted the dangers of driving a commercial vehicle that’s not fit for purpose and of being behind the wheel without sufficient rest breaks.”

PC Martyn Campbell, of the constabulary’s commercial vehicle unit, added: “Vehicle examiners from the DVSA checked the vehicles we stopped to make sure they were roadworthy while we ensured drivers were complying with the drivers’ hours legislation and that they were taking suitable breaks.

“We targeted commercial vehicles which could have the potential to cause havoc on the roads, either because the driver was too tired because they hadn’t taken the correct driving breaks, or because their vehicle had defects that could render the vehicle not fit for purpose and a potential threat to road users. HM Revenue and Customs then ensured that they were running on duty paid fuel.

“Commercial vehicles have the potential to cause devastating consequences and we are determined to target a small number of rogue operators in order to make our roads safe.”