Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Authorities Step Up Action against Freight Truck Emission Cheats

New Checks from August and Seizures of Repeat Offenders
Shipping News Feature
UK – From August 2017, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will target lorry drivers and operators who try to cheat vehicle emissions, with roadside checks of HGV's which will include an emissions check in the hopes of targeting those who break the law and help to improve air quality. The UK government's approach to reducing nitrogen dioxide levels was heavily criticised by freight and logistics industry bodies in May, when the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs published a draft plan which included looking at ways to reduce emissions produced by vehicles, including those used commercially.

The planned inclusion of emissions check in roadside inspections comes after the DVSA’s enforcement staff and its European counterparts apparently found evidence that some drivers and operators use emissions cheat devices to cut the cost of operating. These include:

  • Using devices designed to stop emissions control systems from working
  • Removing the diesel particulate filter or trap
  • Using cheap, fake emission reduction devices or diesel exhaust fluid
  • Using illegal engine modifications which result in excessive emissions
  • Removing or bypassing the exhaust gas recirculation valve

The DVSA enforcement officers says that it will give the driver and operator 10 days to fix the emissions system if they find a vehicle with tampered emissions readings. If the emissions system isn’t fixed within 10 days, the DVSA will issue a fine and stop the vehicle being used on the road. DVSA enforcement staff can insist that a vehicle is taken off the road immediately if they find a driver or operator is repeatedly offending. DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said:

“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.”

The DVSA says that it will investigate all Great Britain operators cheating emissions and pass the findings to the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain, who have the power to remove operator licences. DVSA will also continue to work with our counterpart agencies across Europe, and further afield, to make sure that all offences committed by non-Great Britain hauliers are dealt with locally. 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.