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Crackdown on defective fuel systems

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Maintenance workshop, Safe driving

Fuel spill puddle

From 1 September 2014, we’ll be taking a more robust approach to vehicles with defective fuel systems. It’s not acceptable to contaminate the road surface or to drive a vehicle in such poor condition that a fuel spill is likely.

Following a Highways Agency (HA) report on the effect of diesel fuel spills on the road network, Department for Transport (DfT) asked us to review the sanctions we issue at the roadside for vehicles with defective fuel tanks and systems.

Last year HA reported 255 fuel spills, including on dual carriageways and motorways, resulting in lane closures and significant delays. The risks to road safety are obvious, but what you may not know is that it takes on average 5 hours to clear a fuel spill. You can imagine the disruption this causes to traffic. During roadside checks between 2013 to 2014, DVSA examiners detected 2,390 fuel system defects and issued over 1,500 prohibitions to vehicles with defective fuel systems.

We’ve reviewed our sanctions for defective fuel systems and agreed some changes with DfT. The main difference is that we’ll now only issue immediate prohibitions for defective fuel systems and leaks. We have communicated these to the trade associations and updated the changes into the Categorisation of Defects and Enforcement Sanctions Policy.

An immediate prohibition will be given for:

  • missing or ineffective fuel cap or sealing arrangement
  • fuel leak caused by a defect, contaminating the road surface
  • insecure fuel tank where detachment is imminent

Read the Categorisation of Defects and Enforcement Sanctions Policy to make sure you understand the changes.

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  1. Comment by Same Old Same Old.... posted on

    More money making schemes that will hit hauliers - again! The fuel leaks/spills are more than likely from some fool forgetting to replace there cap like from a Contractor Tarmacadam or Engineering van or Farm Vehicle - Haulier has a spot leak, prohibition and OCRS score climbs without a true reflection of the actual problem. Meanwhile Engineering White Van Man gets nothing and never stopped

    • Replies to Same Old Same Old....>

      Comment by Colin posted on

      Think your missing the issue guy's. Do the checks, if it is leaking have it fixed and avoid the prohibition. Help Save Lives and disruption!!

  2. Comment by keith posted on

    Reallly.... its not the fuel leaks we need to worry about its the oil leaks!! one in 100 cars may have a fuel leak yes but nearly every car is leaking oil..

  3. Comment by John posted on

    Are you serious it's not fuel leaks that are the problem how many cars and a like have a fuel leak these days it's oil leaks that needs to be addressed nearly every car we get into our centre has a oil leak of some sort

  4. Comment by JIM WALKER posted on

    Have we really got our priorities right! does it really matter how long it takes to clean up a fuel spill, Surely it would be more important to consider the two wheeled user of the highway, they hit a fuel spill and inevitably hit the road. this not only ruins lives, sometimes resulting in death, but costs the NHS thousands every year. do we really care more about the environment and how long you are stuck in traffic than we do about people.PEOPLE MATTER PEOPLE COUNT

  5. Comment by g dewberry posted on

    I was stopped with a fuel leak,which was from the leak off from an injecter and was given a prohibition. When I offered to repair it there and then I was told to take it back to the depot to do it and go for a full test,thereby leaking fuel for 25 km.More interested in collecting money than safety.