The Department for Transport has recently announced that the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) officers will be carrying out emissions checks at the roadside on commercial vehicles from August 2017. The police and DVSA have the power to carry out spot checks on commercial vehicles at the roadside. The main reason for this is to check that all necessary licences for their operation are in existence and to ensure that the vehicle is roadworthy. Enforcement officers will soon check that ‘defeat devices’ are not being used to mask the emission of harmful air pollutants. They will also be checking that diesel particulate filters have not been removed from vehicles.
The checks are in the wake of reported incidents of the use of illegal engine modifications, fake emission reduction devices and removal of exhaust gas recirculation valves. It has also been claimed that the DVSA and other agencies had found evidence of the use of defeat devices by lorry drivers to cut costs. It is hoped the checks will improve air quality.
The DVSA will investigate all operators found to be using these methods and can pass the findings on to the Traffic Commissioner. The Traffic Commissioner has the power to remove operator licences. If tampered emissions readings are found, enforcement officers will give the driver and operator 10 days to fix the emissions system. Failure to fix in that timescale will lead to a fine and the vehicle being stopped from being used on the road. Vehicles can be taken off the road where there are repeat offences.
“DVSA’s priority is to protect you from unsafe drivers and vehicles. We are committed to taking dangerous vehicles off Britain’s roads and this new initiative to target emissions fraud is a key part of that. Anyone who flouts the law is putting other road users, and the quality of our air, at risk. We won’t hesitate to take these drivers, operators and vehicles off our roads.” Said Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA chief executive.
For more information on how this could affect you, please contact a member of the regulatory team on 01254 828300.