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 policing for commercial vehicles.
Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester Police and the Port of Liverpool Police have joined forces, with support from the DVSA and the Highways England, to create a new, cross-border Commercial Vehicle Unit (CVU) to find vehicles on our roads which are dangerous to drive in the North West.
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% 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 Neil Anson, of Cheshire Constabulary, said: “Crashes involving large commercial vehicles are more likely to cause serious consequences. We want to make the roads in the North West safer and by creating a dedicated unit to tackle this issue we hope to reduce the number of deaths on the road caused by drivers who are not maintaining their vehicles properly, or by driving beyond the number of hours they are supposed to.”
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.