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News Year’s enforcement dishonours list

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Enforcement

This time of year is a period of reflection for us all as we welcome in the New Year and look back at the past 12 months.

Whilst DVSA enforcement officers have seen some horrors on the UK’s roads in 2019, they have all played an active part in removing these dangers from our roads.

In the last 12 months we’ve found 38,712 serious defects and traffic offences on our roads. Many of these led to fines, prosecutions, visits to see the Traffic Commissioners and other enforcement action to protect all road users from unsafe vehicles and drivers.

The majority of goods vehicles, buses and coaches on our roads are safe.

By using all the technology we have at our disposal we are effectively focusing on the non-compliant, helping everyone stay safe on Britain’s roads.

Vehicle examiner Gareth Prismick highlights some of the worst offenders for 2019, which reflect the range of offences that he deals with on a regular basis.

Towering insecure load

Towering overload lorry with cars due for scrappage

During 2019, there were a few insecurely loaded vehicles that stick in my mind, but this lorry we spotted in April is probably the most shocking example.

Its towering load of cars due for scrappage was only secured by a single chain which could have easily toppled over on to passing traffic.

We issued an immediate prohibition notice and a fine.

Wheely nasty

Perished tyres on trailer wheels

Tyre defects are a common find, but this trailer we spotted in July barely had any rubber left on two of its wheels!

Sparks were literally flying as the offender drove around on just the two wheel rims.

We often find that trailer owners forget to check their trailer before each journey, but this oversight is taking the biscuit!

Always carry out a walkaround check of your vehicle and trailer to make sure they are in good order before setting off.

Aladdin’s cave

Cluttered lorry cab showing hanging toys, trinkets and fringed curtains

The inside of this cluttered cab was more like Aladdin’s Cave with its hanging toys, trinkets and fringed curtains all obscuring the driver’s view. Safety always comes first!

To top it all, the lorry also had leaking brakes, a broken seatbelt and no stop lamps on the trailer.

We issued an immediate prohibition and fine as punishment.

Not the caravan of love

Caravan with graffiti and in poor condition

Caravan owners sometimes forget that their caravan needs to be in roadworthy condition, just like the vehicle towing it.

It was not difficult to spot this caravan in the Brecon Beacons with its offensive graffiti emblazoned on all sides.

Unfortunately, its condition was equally as unpleasant as it was overweight, had defective brakes and jagged edges which could have caused serious injury.

We issued a prohibition and the Police gave advice on the public order offence relating to the graffiti.

Bridge strikes again

Bridge strike showing a damaged lorry that has hit a bridge

This lorry was seriously damaged following a bridge strike in Ashford and could have easily been prevented if there was a height marker in its cab.

Lorry drivers should always know the height of the vehicle they are driving to avoid such potential disasters.

And finally…

If you see any lorry, bus or coach issues that could make the 2020 dishonours list report them to us.

Compliant operators can also avoid being targeted by our enforcement teams by joining our Earned Recognition scheme.

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  1. Comment by dmplanthirelanthire posted on

    Great Services!!

  2. Comment by Colin Rowe posted on

    Why not target operators who expect their drivers to take their weekly rest period on a moving vehicle so that they can assist with other duties such as communicating with passengers, making drinks for passengers or loading and unloading luggage. It would seem these drivers don`t realise that as well as being in breach of the European Drivers Hours regulations that "other work" counts towards working time and these regulations are in place to protect the safety of the travelling public.

    • Replies to Colin Rowe>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      Drivers' hours is something we do take very seriously and our enforcement teams check thoroughly.

      • Replies to Peter (DVSA)>

        Comment by Colin Rowe posted on

        I would expect that catching them is the real issue. Overseas coach tour operators are particularly noted for this type of deviation from the rules which is unfair on competitors and of course can affect road safety.

  3. Comment by Alan posted on

    How about targeting van drivers for flaunting the WTD rules and those towing trailers without either a Tacho fitted or using domestic rules logbooks. Add that to HGVs that like to flaunt the 50mph speed limits because they believe it doesn’t apply to them and Van drivers too most 3.5t drivers haven’t a clue the speed limit is 50mph

  4. Comment by Jeremy Heath posted on

    The rules say that height indicators in cabs must be in feet and inches and yet most trailers are marked up in metric, and we commonly refer to a trailer as (for example) a 4.2m curtainsider. Requiring the in cab height indicator to use the same measuring scale as that marked on the trailer would be a positive move.

    • Replies to Jeremy Heath>

      Comment by Alan posted on

      It’s not rocket science to work out feet and inches into metres 3m=10’

      • Replies to Alan>

        Comment by Shaun Osborne posted on

        If 1m = 3ft 3" how can 3m = 10ft??

  5. Comment by Nick posted on

    Nick (continued from 6th Jan 2020)
    Would be interesting to have a report/feedback from drivers who have had bridge strikes, as to why/what happened or made them think they can get under low bridges/what was the reason thoughts!!!!

  6. Comment by DAVID posted on

    Can you explain what powers Highways England ‘Traffic Officers’ are operating under, instructing drivers to “follow me” to a DVSA Vehicle Inspectorate sites.

    Do ‘Traffic Officers’ now carry a warrant card, and must they present it upon request.

    • Replies to DAVID>

      Comment by Peter (DVSA) posted on

      Highways England officers act under The Road Vehicles (Powers to Stop) Regulations 2011 and carry a Powers to Stop accreditation card that must be produced on request.

      • Replies to Peter (DVSA)>

        Comment by David posted on

        ‘Accreditation’ is a nothing, just decoration.

        If they don’t carry a warrant card then they have no lawful authority.

        They are committing a statutory offence.

  7. Comment by Biki posted on

    Get hold of the grass cutting gangs in there tractors texting 3persons in a cab ment for one person that will start happening as soon as the grass starts in Lancashire

  8. Comment by John Anderson posted on

    you lot need to get up around north lancs and cumbria and sort these tractor men out,,, bloody joke running around at dark with 18 ton excavators on step frames between sites on red and no O liscense

  9. Comment by Bryan posted on

    I see too many 3.5 t “recovery” trucks on the road that are clearly overloaded .
    These should be targeted

  10. Comment by Brian c posted on

    I realise that truck drivers do some stupid things, but I live in the northeast
    of England.While driving my car during the hours of darkness I often see
    Cars and vans with one headlight on where are the police or vosa when these vehicles are on the road.

  11. Comment by peter chapman posted on

    @ Norman Cable.
    What wild accusations?
    Nick's comment is absolutely right and these incidents cost us all huge sums of money in lost time and delayed deliveries. As the article clearly states the lorry driver even failed to have a travelling height displayed in the cab.
    The driver was clearly running illegally, as stated in the article.

  12. Comment by Jim Clark posted on

    Unfortunately there is insufficient advanced signage warning drivers of low height bridge's ,unless your familiar with the area this can be a problem .I had this problem with a viaduct in Bedford and to top it there was no alternative route signs.fortunately I did not hit the bridge but Local authorities have some responsibility but pass the buck onto Highways.

    • Replies to Jim Clark>

      Comment by Alan Harrison posted on

      I agree Jim, in Taunton we have a T junction with traffic lights. To the right is a low bridge. The sign before this junction is not of the type shown in the Highway Code. It warns of a low bridge but has an arrow pointing right. This is easily mistaken to indicate you should go right to "avoid" the low bridge. The bridge unsurprisingly gets struck quite often.

  13. Comment by Peter Thornton posted on

    You are absolutely correct Nick, there is no excuse for not knowing the height of you vehicle and it’s load. I worked plant hire for a while where the height of my load changed daily. It’s not difficult to measure from the top of a load to the bed. Regarding the costs of bridge strikes, it’s quite simply astronomical. Firstly no trains can use the bridge until it has been examined by a structural engineer, so there’s a huge cost to the train company and to the economy especially if the strike is to a bridge on a main line. Then there’s the obvious damage to the vehicle and load. Police, recovery etc etc.
    Easily into the million pound area.
    Sat nav’s do cause issues, again with proper route planning (a bridge height map for example) it is easy to avoid low bridges and weight limits. Any driver who is professional should be able to read a map and plan an appropriate route. Even if a driver is using a professional satellite navigation device there is no excuse for not looking out of the window and reading the height restriction sign on a bridge.

    • Replies to Peter Thornton>

      Comment by Stuart Walkden posted on

      Google maps low bridge section shows a bridge on the A49 between Whitchurch and Warrington as being 15' high...but when you get to it its actually 14'3"..... is on a sharp bend so a driver who has already checked his/her heights could easily come unstuck at this bridge, although the driver would still be to blame if he/she hit the bridge.

      • Replies to Stuart Walkden>

        Comment by Stuart Walkden posted on

        and a bridge in Walsall on the A4601 is signed up as 14ft, yet its on a bus route for double deck buses that are 14'6" high.....

      • Replies to Stuart Walkden>

        Comment by Truckingscouser posted on

        That bridge has only recently been lowered, but the sign at the lights (Red Fox pub) states the correct height, so you CAN avoid it before you get to it, heading north, there's electronic sign warning you of overheight vehicle, and there's a layby to turn back

  14. Comment by Norman cable posted on

    Hope you start doing your jobs with a little more efficiency Not throughing wild
    Accusations about

  15. Comment by Nick posted on

    I cannot believe how a, so called Professional/experience driver strikes a bridge especially as they should know the height of their vehicle
    You may say blame it on sat navs etc, but NO, they don't drive the vehicle.
    Im interested as a trainer what a rough cost would be for a bridge strike with railway lines running over top, eg trains cancellations, repair to bridge etc

    • Replies to Nick>

      Comment by Colin Hughes posted on

      The latest figures I saw for bridge repairs and its associated costs was £500,000....half a million.
      A lot of these incidents are not even reported by the driver or their company, as they know what the consequences are.

    • Replies to Nick>

      Comment by Stuart Walkden posted on

      I cannot believe that Google Maps can show a bridge at 15 feet yet the actual height is 14'3" on the A49 north of Whitchurch......and a bridge in Walsall is signed up as 14' , yet its on a bus route for double deck buses that are 14'6" that legal?