Hauliers cut costs by flouting environmental protection rules
Rogue hauliers that wreck the environment by cheating emission standards get their comeuppance thanks to a revised, tougher, roadside check from August 2017, The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency confirmed. A perpetrator can use various tools to bypass emission rules in a bid to slash running costs. Techniques include:
- Remove the diesel particulate filter (or trap)
- Fit device that prevents the emission control system working
- Fit fake emission reduction system
- Install diesel exhaust fluid
- Illegal engine modifications
- Remove or bypass the exhaust gas recirculation valve
Consider a particulate filter that removes soot from the exhaust stream, for example. It is an expensive component to replace if it malfunctions and – on occasions – expensive to have cleaned manually if it becomes blocked. Rather than be socially responsible, a self-centered rogue haulier, therefore, has it removed.
Penalties of falling foul
If a vehicle fails its emission check the haulier has ten days to bring it to standard. If the opportunity is missed, there is a fine and the vehicle is banned from the road. It can, in contrast, be removed immediately if the haulier is a repeat offender that consistently shows contempt for critical environmental legislation.
A Great Britain registered haulier is reported to The Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain, too. This institution has the power to withdraw operator licences. The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency also works with its counterparts – both in Europe and further afield – so that a foreign haulier is “dealt with locally”.
Public well-being is key priority
Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, explained the importance of its roadside check. “The 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 part of that”, he said.
“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”, Mr Llewellyn added.
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”, the Tory Transport Minister concluded.