Warwickshire Police’s Abnormal Loads team, National Highways, CMPG and DVSA were forced to close a multi-agency vehicle check site at the M6 Corley Services on Wednesday 25 January 2023, earlier than planned as the lorry park was full of prohibited vehicles.
During the operation, officers intercepted drivers travelling on the M6 and brought them into the lorry park at Corley for their vehicle to be checked by officers, National Highways and DVSA colleagues to ensure they are as safe as possible as they travel through the West Midlands.
This included a car transporter on false plates. This had been brought into the check site where it was seized under S.165 for no insurance. The driver also received a TOR for multiple offences.
Due to their size, vehicles carrying Abnormal Loads require a Movement Order to ensure the route they take is suitable. For public safety, Movement Orders also have restrictions on when the vehicle can travel. During the operation police and partners found issues with every single of the large abnormal load vehicles that were brought into the check site including
2 insecure loads
2 drivers travelling outside the times specified in the Movement Order
1 excess speed
3 No Movement Order
2 over width when measured to Movement Order
As a result, 5 abnormal loads were prohibited from moving until Saturday when new Movement Orders could be put in place by the drivers and/or operators.
The officers also brought in HGVs and two of these also had insecure loads, one received a PG9 for a dangerous tyre and was prohibited from moving until this was rectified.
Officers also checked a smaller curtain sided lorry and were shocked to discover that the load it was carrying was not secured at all. The driver received a Traffic Offence Report and the vehicle was prohibited from moving until straps could be put in place to prevent the load from moving.
The driver of a ‘builders truck’ was found to be 1.1t overweight. This is extremely dangerous for the driver of the vehicle and other road users, because the extra weight affects vehicle handling, braking and emergency stopping distances.
Officers also pulled in drivers for other offences including using a handheld mobile phone whilst driving and another driver for a red light offence.
Inspector Dan Hicks said “Whilst it was disappointing to see so many abnormal loads that are breaching the rules, this was another really productive day in terms of the number of vehicles we stopped and checked and drivers we spoke to about road safety.”
“Due to the results, we are planning more abnormal loads operations at locations throughout Warwickshire including the M6 and M40, and I would urge all transport managers and drivers to ensure their loads are secured properly, and that the load has all the correct movement orders in place.
“We would also like to thank the drivers of two HGVs, a small lorry and 3 vans that were checked and were all found to be safe and legal. “
Philip Seccombe, Chair of Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership and PCC said: “These operations really expose the significant number of operators who have no respect for safety or compliance. Clearly for some, profit is more important than driver and road user safety and this is not acceptable.
“I am meeting with the Road Haulage Association and regional policy and operational roads colleagues very soon and we will share our concerns. Road safety is not an option but a basic requirement for all road users and I want to see a real commitment from the haulage industry to make improvements.”
National Highways Assistant Regional Safety Co-ordinator, Marie Biddulph said “Drivers transporting any load, particularly abnormal loads, carry a huge responsibility and it is vital for the safety of all road users that they comply with the appropriate regulations.
“Organisations also have a duty to ensure their drivers and other road users are safe and that means ensuring that both managers and employees are up to date with the latest legislation.
“That’s why we encourage firms to sign up for Driving for Better Business, a free programme that provides the essential information that commercial drivers need to know from driver hours and weight limits to vehicle roadworthiness.”
These results come just two days after a sharp eyed officer from Warwickshire Police OPU spotted an abnormal load travelling on the M42 and stopped the driver at junction 10 due to breaching the embargo time of when it is allowed to travel. On checking, the driver was found to be off route. Once pulled over officers carried out numerous checks including tachograph, marker boards and load security. The driver was also asked to provide a roadside drug swipe and failed so was arrested and taken into custody for further tests. He was also reported to the DVLA and the Traffic Commissioner.
As he was operating outside the movement order the load was prohibited from moving until a new Movement Order was put into place. This added at least two days to his journey from Hull to Devon.
All the DfBB resources are free to access and distribute via the Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership page: www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com/warwickshire
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