Health problems caused by poor air quality
Rogue hauliers that cheat emission rules to minimise operating costs can be caught via new, random, roadside checks throughout Great Britain from September 1st 2018, The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency warned. It added that such lorries produce “up to twenty times” more pollution than typical which has a negative impact on public health. It, for starters, causes problems such as:
- Heart disease
How hauliers cheat
Greedy, selfish, hauliers have various tricks to cut costs at the expense of higher, more harmful, emissions. Imagine a lorry that incorporates AdBlue, for example. This liquid is stored in a tank then sprayed into the exhaust gas to make it less harmful. In time, all such liquid is consumed so the haulier has to pay for a refill.
If the hauler fails to refill the tank the lorry might refuse to start. Alternatively, its power might be restricted to limit emissions. Rather, therefore, than regularly buy the pollution reducing liquid the hauler fits a cheap, electric, emulator that makes the lorry believe its tank is full. It then behaves normally.
There is an alternative scenario. The hauler removes the diesel particulate filter that traps soot. Why? Because it is blocked and impeding the lorry’s performance. Rather than replace the filter – which is expensive – its removal is concealed behind clever welding. Further tricks that cut costs but raise emissions include:
- Buy cheap, fake, diesel exhaust fluid
- Inappropriate engine modifications
- Bypass the exhaust gas recirculation valve
Checks and sanctions
The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency emission checks have been rolled out nationally following the successful, year long, trial that identified hundreds of offenders across five sites. The priority is “to protect the public from unsafe drivers and vehicles”, revealed Chief Executive Gareth Llewellyn. He continued:
“A vehicle does not have to be falling apart to be unsafe. Any driver, or operator, who uses cheat devices to get around emissions rules is putting the health of the entire nation at risk. We will take the strongest possible action against anyone who tries to cheat emissions rules”, Mr Llewellyn warned any offending hauliers.
Once caught, such perpetrators have ten days to bring their vehicles up to the required, environmentally responsible, standard. The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency then confirms the work is complete. If not, hauliers can be fined three-hundred pounds, have their lorries taken off the road and lose their licence to operate.