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Lorries targeted in joint operation with VOSA and police

By This is Devon  |  Posted: October 26, 2012

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A multi-agency operation targeting lorry drivers who break the law has resulted in prosecutions totaling £25,000.

Operation Fatigue ran until the middle of October and saw over 400 goods vehicles stopped as they travelled the main roads of the Westcounty.

Officers from Devon and Cornwall Police and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) worked together to impound a heavy goods vehicle valued at around £80,000 during a three week operation aimed at reducing road casualties and collisions in the force area.

Almost 180 of these vehicles were employed by companies outside Great Britain.

The lorry was detained by the police who then alerted VOSA who have the powers to impound illegally operated vehicles.

The lorry may not be returned to its owner as it did not adhere to the strict rules for foreign drivers on British roads.

Almost 1,200 offences were detected, ranging from drivers failing to record their details correctly on tachograph charts to drivers driving for up to 18 hours in one period, well above the permitted 10 hours.

Total fines imposed by way of graduated fixed penalty notices exceeded £25,000.

Coordinator of the operation, Sergeant Richard Gordon 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.

“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."

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.”

Similar operations will be run by the force during the coming months, say police.

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