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Vehicles taken off road as agencies work together in safety operation

Van issued with untaxed penalty notice

More than three-quarters of vehicles stopped during a multi-agency road safety operation last week were found to have defects.

Operation Trader – a partnership between the Avon and Somerset Police’s Roads Policing Unit along with local authority licencing teams, Trading Standards and the DVSA – involves regular days of action where commercial and light goods vehicles are stopped to ensure they are safe and fit for purpose.

On Thursday 17 March, the teams set up at the Memorial Stadium in Bristol and stopped 39 vehicles. Of those, 33 were found to have one or more defects or contravening regulations, including 22 that were classed as having an immediate or dangerous issue and taken off the road.

One vehicle that was stopped was found to be carrying a load significantly over its legally allowed limit. Upon inspection it was found to be carrying un-refrigerated dairy and food items, which were seized by Environmental Health officers.

The following issues and offences were detected:

  •      One person in possession of a quantity of class B drugs
  •      Four drivers reported for no insurance
  •      Two drivers without a valid licence
  •      Three drivers caught using a mobile phone at the wheel / not in proper control of their vehicle
  •      One vehicle in a dangerous condition
  •      Two untaxed vehicles
  •      Four vehicles without a valid MOT
  •      Eight tyre defects
  •      One insecure load
  •      Two fuel leaks
  •      One overweight vehicle
  •      One Environmental Health seizure
  •      One HMRC red diesel vehicle seizure
  •      Plus a number of other offences

More than 600 vehicles have been checked across 24 Operation Trader events, with more than half of them taken off the road as they had dangerous faults.

PC Wayne Carhart of the Roads Policing Unit said: “This was another hugely successful day of partnership action, in which more than 80 per cent of vehicles stopped were found to be breaching the law.

“Road safety is something every motorist needs to be conscious of before they get behind the wheel. It only takes one issue or one lapse of concentration to cause a tragedy on our roads.

“The Roads Policing Unit will continue to carry out checks and take action where necessary to help protect other road users.”

DVSA’s Head of Enforcement Delivery David Collings, said: “DVSA’s priority is protecting everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles.

“We were extremely disappointed to find so many dangerous and unroadworthy commercial vehicles as part of this vital partnership work with Avon and Somerset Police.

“We will continue to crackdown on this dangerous non-compliance of light goods vehicles to protect the public and improve road safety in Bristol.”