Roadside safety checks of commercial vehicles will include inspections to ensure that lorries have not been fitted with devices giving false emission readings, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.
The DVSA enforcement staff – as well as European counterparts – had found evidence of drivers and operators using “emissions cheat devices” to cut operating costs. These include the use of devices designed to prevent emissions control systems working; illegal engine modifications which cause excessive emission; and the removal of a vehicle’s diesel particulate filter, or “trap”.
Other reported incidents include the use of fake emission reduction devices, illegal engine modifications and removal of exhaust gas recirculation values.
The police and DVSA can carry out spot checks on commercial vehicles at the roadside, predominantly to ensure that the vehicle is roadworthy and that all necessary licences for their operation are in place.
DVSA say it will investigate all operations found to be using these methods and pass the findings to the Traffic Commissioner, which has the power to remove operator licences.
Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA chief executive, said: “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.”
Transport Minister Jesse Norman, said: “I welcome this crackdown on rogue hauliers who cheat the system by installing bogus devices which lead to increased pollution.
“There has rightly been a huge public outcry against car manufacturers that have been cheating emissions standards, and the same rule should apply here too.
“We all need clean air in which to live and work. That’s why the government has committed more than £2 billion since 2011 to support greener transport.”