It has been confirmed that Devon and Cornwall Police have this month issued fines totalling £25,000 to HGV drivers across the county.
Police officers, together with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) jointly conducted a major three week operation targeting a number of goods vehicles on the region’s main roads.
Operation Fatigue stopped more than 400 trucks, 180 of them operated by firms outside of the United Kingdom. Police identified 1,200 driving offences resulting in graduated fixed penalty notices exceeding £25,000.
Sgt Richard Gordon, co-ordinator of the operation from Camborne, said: “There are many operators who obey the laws and maintain their vehicles to a good standard. However, there are those who will flout the law and put other road users in danger. Operations such as these send a clear message to rogue operators that we are out there, checking on the condition and use of goods vehicles and will prosecute and prohibit wherever appropriate.”
He added: “A tired lorry driver could cause untold damage and we did not hesitate during this operation to prohibit a number of vehicles from being driven for up to 45 hours.”
During the operation, Devon and Cornwall Police seized an £80,000 foreign truck and fines were issued following evidence that tachographs were not being operated correctly and drivers were exceeding the ten hour limit by up to 8 hours.
VOSA Area Manager Andrew Sauerzapf said: “I am pleased that VOSA and the police working jointly have impounded an illegally operated vehicle which is the ultimate sanction to deal with persistent offenders who do not operate in accordance with regulations. This has been a very positive and immediate effect on fair competition rules and road safety.”
The operation follows a similar week long campaign conducted by Suffolk Police in September. HGV drivers in Suffolk and Norfolk were fined for using mobile phones while driving and not wearing seatbelts. Again, one truck was seized for having no insurance.
Devon and Cornwall Police have confirmed that similar operations will be carried out over the next few months.