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Hampshire Police target unsafe lorries on the A34

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Officers from Hampshire Constabulary conducted an inspection on the A34.

On February 13th 2014, Hampshire Constabulary undertook another of their road-side inspections of lorries, vans and HGVs. This time, the inspection was on the A34 south of Whitchurch, Hampshire next to the Sutton Scotney service station. The operation started at 8am and finished at 2pm.

The police handed out £1700 in graduated fixed penalty notices and there were 5 immediate prohibitions issued due to hazardous materials and defects. There were 5 stolen vehicles recovered.

In total, there were 41 vehicles inspected of which 14 were foreign registered.

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Staff from the vehicle & operator services agency (VOSA) conducted inspections.

Fourteen of the vehcicles were “all in order” meaning no offences were found with them; 9 of which were British.

On site were the Department for Transport’s Dangerous Goods Office, VOSA vehicle examiners and Police checkers. Together, checks are made of the driver and their documents, breath tests, drug impairment if necessary, mechanical checks and drivers hours. Also dangerous goods, load security and other relevant investigations are conducted at the road side.

The officer in charge of the operation made clear that they did not use a random sample; instead it was highly targeted: their experience and police intelligence reports helped them to decide which vehicles to pull over and inspect.

This means that there was a higher success rate of finding issues than would have been the case if a wider population of vehicles were sampled randomly.

The officer said,

“We can find offences on almost any vehicle so its only the most serious we act on; Ones that impact immediately on road safety.”

He continued,

“We also know what to target and who to target. Therefore this isn’t a fair indication of road traffic generally. There are a lot of good drivers and companies out there and it’s a very professional industry.”

Here are the results of this inspection…

Hightlights:

  • Total checks: 41
  • Foreign registered vehicles: 14
  • Ministry of Defence vehicles: 3
  • Plant machinery: 2
  • Light trailers: 3
  • Vehicles found carrying dangerous goods: 12
  • Recovered stolen vehicles: 5 (2 cars, 3 light goods vehicles)
  • Targeted vehicles stopped: 3 (highlighted companies or people)
  • £1700 in graduated fixed penalty notices handed out
  • 5 Hazmat prohibitions

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Passed inspections “all in order”:

  • 3 British articulated lorries
  • 3 British 3.5T vans
  • 1 British MOD tanker carrying UN 1202 diesel
  • 1 British articulated lorry carrying packaged goods (targeted company)
  • 1 British tanker (counter terrorism awareness education)
  • 2 Ministry of defense ‘rigids’
  • 1 Latvian articulated lorry
  • 1 French articulated lorry
  • 1 Irish articulated cattle truck

Vehicles seized by police:

  • British 3.5T van and caravan – no insurance and existing prohibition due to a light defect

Prohibition by Health & Safety Executive:

  • British 3.5T lorry – lack of mandatory safety equipment and non-conforming warning plates (immediate prohibition)
  • British 3.5T lorry – oil leak (delayed prohibition)
  • British 7.5T rigid lorry – steering arm defect and reported for no operator’s license (delayed prohibition)
  • British packaged goods articulated lorry of targeted company – load securing and dangerous goods
  • British packaged goods articulated lorry – failures in maintaining fire fighting equipment (2 prohibitions)
  • Spanish articulated lorry – brake defect (immediate prohibition)
  • Turkish articulated lorry – faulty valve on brakes (delayed prohibition)
  • Slovakian articulated lorry – suspension pedestal (delayed prohibition; also see penalty notices and verbal warnings)
  • Irish articulated lorry – brake defect (also see verbal warnings)
  • Romanian articulated lorry – air leak on the trailer (delayed prohibition; also see verbal warnings)
  • Lithuanian articulated lorry – tyre defect (delayed prohibition)

Graduated fixed penalty notices and tickets:

  • T61 ticket to driver of British car for mobile phone offence
  • T60 ticket to driver of British 3.5T lorry and trailer for registration plate offences (also see verbal warnings)
  • £300 to driver of a Portugue articulated lorry for exceeding the weekly driving limit
  • £600 (3 notices) to driver of a Slovakian articulated lorry for hours offences (also see prohibitions and verbal warnings)
  • £900 (3 notices) to driver of Hungarian articulated lorry for insufficient daily rest – vehicle immobilised in situ (also see verbal warnings)

Verbal warnings:

  • 3 to driver of British 26T rigid HGV for driving hours offences (insufficient breaks)
  • 3 to driver of British 7.5T rigid lorry for analogue tachograph offences (a targeted company)
  • 1 to driver of British articulated lorry for load securing
  • 1 to driver of British 3.5T lorry and trailer for tachograph offence (also see penalty notices)
  • 3 to driver of Irish articulated lorry for minor infringement of hours offences
  • 9 to driver of Slovakian articulated lorry for hours offences (also see penalty notices and prohibitions)
  • 2 to driver of Czechoslovakian articulated lorry for hours offences and  load security
  • 2 to driver of Irish articulated lorry for minor hours offences (also see prohibitions)
  • 2 to driver of Hungarian articulated lorry for hours offences (also see penalty notices)
  • 2 to driver of Romanian articulated lorry for hours offences (also see prohibitions)
  • 1 to driver of Lithuanian articulated lorry for hours offences (also see prohibitions)
  • 5 to driver of Bulgarian articulated lorry for insufficient daily rest stops

Advice given:

  • British 3.5T hazardous materials lorry – advice for fire extinguisher inspection dates and safe load storage
  • British tanker carrying UN1202 diesel – advice for dangerous goods notice
  • British articulated lorry carrying intermediate bulk containers of ammonium nitrate – security education delivered
  • British articulated lorry carrying packaged goods – advice for load security
  • British 7.5T recovery vehicle – follow-up investigation for suspected operator’s licence offence

Update 11 March 2014: I misinterpreted “tank” in the officer’s original report – now corrected in this article to say “tanker” as in tanker truck which carries liquids like fuel (or milk!), not as in a military tank.

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