Essex: Drivers banned from roads or fined in commercial vehicle safety checks

ESSEX road policing officers stopped 56 lorries and vans this week as part of an operation to rid the county’s roads of dangerous and poorly-driven commercial vehicles.

The checks, carried out under Operation Mermaid, the nationwide campaign to improve road safety, were held on Tuesday night (June 14/15) at Thurrock services off the M25 and on Wednesday afternoon at Birchanger services off the M11.

Thirty-eight vehicles were checked at Thurrock where the most serious offences were found to be drivers risking tiredness by taking inadequate breaks.

A total of 220 driver’s hours offences were detected which resulted in either fines or vehicles being clamped until drivers had taken breaks.

One driver was ordered to rest for 24 hours and another for 11 hours to compensate for long hours behind the wheel.

One driver was fined for falsifying his driving records, others were fined for speeding, not wearing seat belts or using mobile phones.

One driver was fined and prohibited from the road for carrying a hazardous load without a suitable licence and for having insufficient fire extinguishers.

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A total of �3,140 was collected in fixed penalty notice fines.

At Birchanger a total of 18 vehicles were checked and 81 driver hours infringements were detected. One lorry had a two-man crew who worked for 28 hours with only four hours of rest. They were both fined and prohibited from the roads for nine hours.

Among other offences detected were vehicles being in dangerous condition due to illegally tinted windows with drivers being told to remove film on windows before being allowed to continue their journeys.

A total of �580 was collected from fixed penalty notices.