Derbyshire join national campaign targeting unsafe commercial and heavy goods vehicles
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Between 15-21 March 2021, the Constabulary will be focusing their efforts on the National Police Chief’s Council campaign, ensuring HGVs and commercial vehicles are operating safely on the roads of Derbyshire.
Our Roads Policing Unit will be working alongside partner agencies, to patrol check-sites across the county, targeting offences such as insecure loads, carriage of dangerous goods, lack of documentation and checking tachographs to ensure that drivers and employers are following the rules on drivers' hours. The team will also be undertaking a series of routine vehicle inspections for roadworthiness.
Part of this operation will be also focussed on investigating any evidence of illegal entry or smuggling to Derbyshire. Though trafficking often takes place across UK borders, it can also happen in landlocked cities. Working together with Border Force, we will be carrying out immigration and customs checks to protect the vulnerable from the devastating effects that trafficking can have on individuals and their families.
Sergeant Priddle, RPU operation lead, said: “We need to do all we can in ensuring the roads of Derbyshire are the safest they can be.
“Though commercial vehicle drivers are professionals, mistakes can still be made - which can lead to devastating results in such heavy vehicles.
“This campaign isn’t just about enforcement, it also gives us a chance to advise and educate drivers to ensure loads are safely secured and inspect vehicles to make sure they are not operating in a dangerous condition.
“It’s vital that drivers carry out regular checks on their vehicles, loads shift easily when travelling and if they aren’t secured in the correct way, it can be the difference between life and death to other road users, pedestrians or to themselves.
“Road safety is each and every drivers’ responsibility. Before starting off on a journey, drivers need to be confident that their vehicle is not overloaded and their primary concern should be that the load is secure.
We have the power to carry out spot checks on your vehicle and issue fixed penalty fines and prohibitions if necessary.”
Safer Loads advice
- Make sure your vehicle is fit for purpose.
- Drivers should carry out regular walk-around checks to ensure their loads are secure.
- Stack loads against the headboard, with the centre of gravity as low as possible.
- Make sure loads are stable without lashings to reduce the risk of it falling over during unloading.
- If a load is not against the headboard, or items could slide over it, think about ways you can stop the load from moving forward. You may need extra lashings, sails, chocks or blocking.
- If a load is unstable by itself, think about how you can support it: put it in a box, stillage or transport frame.
- Keep the headboard maintained - fix any damage as soon as possible.
- Ensure the load restraint system is secure to the vehicle chassis and prevent movement.
- Choose a securing system that stops the load moving without creating risks - like unnecessary manual handling and working at height.
- Consider the right securing method. Webbing straps or chains are often used to secure loads, but they are not right for every situation. For example, fragile or live loads need different securing methods to prevent damage.
- The combined strength of the load restraint system must be sufficient to withstand a forward force not less than the total weight of the load to prevent the load moving under severe braking, and half the weight of the load moving backwards and sideways.
- Drivers should also do a quick series of checks before setting off. Almost half of all breakdowns are caused by simple mechanical problems that could be avoided by simply checking fuel levels, tyres, engine oil, water and lights.
For further load securing advice, see the Government’s Vehicle Operator Guidance.