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Lorry checks carried out at accident blackspot

John Freeman
Local police checked 60 lorries to make sure they were road worthy as part of an operation cracking down on vehicle safety at an accident black spot earlier this week.

Officers involved in Operation HGV carried out stop checks on the A683 bypass at Heysham, to make sure vehicles coming to and from the port were safe.

Police dealt with two accidents on the by-pass last month after two 32-tonne articulated lorries overturned due to poorly loaded trailers or insecure loads. A VOSA check also revealed several faults with one of the vehicles.

Each vehicle stopped by officers was taken to a nominated site where a mechanical examination was carried out by VOSA, a fuel examination was carried out by customs and police officers checked any official documents. Vehicles suspected of being overweight were also taken to a weighing station. Eight HGVs were found to have faults and were issued with immediate prohibition orders. 14 drivers were also given words of advice in relation to their vehicles.

One HGV driver was also caught using his mobile phone which, as well as the fixed penalty, will also result in a suspension of his HGV licence by the Traffic Commission. 11 other non-HGV drivers were also prosecuted for a variety of offences.

As part of the operation, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology was also used to check all vehicles travelling along the by-pass between the Mellishaw roundabout and Overton roundabout.

PC Mark Howson, Morecambe Police, said: “It is vitally important that these large vehicles are road worthy and carrying their loads safely before they set off on their journeys, otherwise it is not only the driver whose life is at risk but also those of other road users.

“It’s the operator’s responsibility to maintain a trailer and keep an up to date record of service intervals. If the operator causes or permits an employee to move an unsafe load or passengers then the operator commits offences.

“Equally it’s the driver’s responsibility to check any load and security before the trailer is moved to a destination by road. Should the driver transport an insecure load and or use a defective trailer, then the driver commits offences as well as the operator.”