Four police forces in the North West and the Driver Vehicle and Standards Agency (DVSA) have teamed up to run a six month pilot to improve the policing of commercial vehicles.
Greater Manchester Police has joined forces with Cheshire, Merseyside, and the Port of Liverpool Police, with support from the DVSA and Highways England, to create a new, cross-border Commercial Vehicle Unit (CVU).
The North West has seen a 20% increase in commercial vehicle casualties between 2013 and 2015 with heavy goods vehicles being involved in more than 50 per cent of incidents which require a road closure for more than five hours.
Despite this most enforcement action against commercial vehicles happens during daylight hours. The North West CVU will work at all times of the day and will be able to target vehicles which are driven at night and avoid the usual checks.
Inspector Harrison White from GMP’s Road Policing Unit said: “Heavy goods vehicles can pose a number of risks on our roads, especially when operators and drivers do not comply with regulations around safe loads, vehicle defects and driving in excess of recommended hours.
“Our ultimate aim is to make the networks across the North West a safer place for all road users. This collaborative approach ensures there is an intelligence led approach to control our region, targeting those who do not comply with safety regulations and removing illegal vehicles from our roads.”
DVSA enforcement delivery manager, Steve Brougham, said: “DVSA is committed to protecting you from unsafe drivers and vehicles. There’s no excuse for driving tired, with mechanical defects or with an overweight or unstable load. Those on the roads in the North West who break the rules are putting themselves and others at risk. Working alongside our colleagues in the police we’ll crack down on rogue drivers and operators, making our roads safer for all.”
The team will be made up of four specialist officers in the area – two from Cheshire – and a dedicated DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) vehicle examiner.