Warwickshire Police helping commerical drivers return to the roads safely - The Rugby Observer

Warwickshire Police helping commerical drivers return to the roads safely

Rugby Editorial 17th Jun, 2020   0

WARWICKSHIRE Police’s Commercial Vehicle Unit (CVU) is supporting a national campaign to help get drivers ready to return to the roads safely and legally as the lockdown continues to ease.

The force has released a series of short video clips on social media as part of the #ReadyfortheRoad campaign.

Also part of the campaign is the launch by Driving for Better Business of a free driver app and management portal to help employers safely get drivers and vehicles ready for the road again after the COVID-19 lockdown.

The app includes a detailed 20 point back to work safety checklist, training videos and a COVID-19 risk assessment template to help employers operate safely.

Insp Mick Huntley said: “One of the most common problems encountered by the Commercial Vehicle Unit on Warwickshire’s roads is vehicle defects and we cannot stress enough the importance of a daily walk-around check of your vehicle before you drive, to spot any problems.

“It’s also really important to ensure any load you are carrying is properly secured with chains and straps – not only for your safety but for the safety of other road users.

“We also see issues around driver hours. Commercial vehicle drivers need to take regular breaks and get sufficient daily rest to stay safe on our roads.”

Throughout the pandemic, the Commercial Vehicle Unit has been continuing to enforce and educate commercial vehicle owners and drivers in the county.

In May the CVU submitted the highest number of driver’s hours checks in the Midlands to Highways England as part of the Drivers Hours Initiative. Of the drivers hours checked, six led to prosecutions.

One such vehicle was found to have failed to pay the road levy and the driver was failing to use his tachograph. Upon examining the vehicle, officers discovered exposed cord on one tyre and loose wheel nuts and that the load was also completely insecure. The driver was fined, prohibited, and immobilised.

The CVU has also seen a rise in non-UK HGV’s driving through the county having not paid the levy. All HGVs over a certain weight are required to pay an HGV levy for using the UK road network. During May the Commercial Vehicle Unit issued over 12 roadside deposit notices for this offence – the most they have ever issued in one calendar month.

CVU officers have also noticed a worrying trend surrounding the transportation of plant and heavy machinery by road, regularly finding issues including loose chains or straps, unsecured items on the trailer bed, lack of appropriate marker boards, condition and use issues and issues surrounding the paperwork required to move abnormal loads.

Officers have found issues with almost every vehicle they have stopped in recent months, for example two loose wheels with broken wheel studs on a heavy haulage lorry weighing in excess of 120tons.

Insp Huntley added: “We are pleased to support this campaign to help improve the public’s safety on our roads by educating commercial vehicle drivers and hauliers on how to check their vehicles are ready for the road.

“While Warwickshire’s Commercial Vehicle Unit’s first choice is to educate drivers, we will also use enforcement to target those vehicles that could pose serious danger to other road users in Warwickshire.”

Use the hashtag #CVUWarks to follow Warwickshire’s CVU on Twitter, and #ReadyfortheRoad to follow the national campaign.

Use @WarksPolice @OPUWarks on Twitter or @WarwickshirePolice and @OPUWarwickshire on Facebook to see the social media clips.

Visit www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com/ready for more information on the Driving for Better Business free driver app and management portal.

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