A record number of fines have been handed out to lorry drivers for transporting illegal immigrants into the UK.
Figures have revealed the extent to which people smugglers have been targeting lorries bound for the UK.
Lorry drivers have been hit with 3,552 penalty notices in 2016-17, that is the equivalent to a fine being issued every 2 hours!
This is a 12% increase on the previous year where 3,151 fines were issued and more than five times the amount that were handed out in 2011-12 (648).
Hauliers have had to pay out £7.8m in fines during the last financial year after illegal immigrants were found in their vehicles.
Even though the migrant camp in Calais, known as the ‘Jungle’ had been razed and up to 8,000 migrants relocated across France, the figures suggest there are still an increasing number of migrants laying siege to UK bound lorries in bid to get into the country.
Lorry drivers can be fined up to £2,000 for each migrant found in their vehicle at the UK border. Drivers can appeal against the fines if they can prove all reasonable care was taken to secure their vehicle.
Hauliers seem to be in constant threat from migrants, some wielding guns, knives and iron bars as they try desperately to get aboard a UK bound lorry.
Hauliers are taking every precaution to prevent migrants getting in or on their vehicles but it is still happening.
A number of haulage operators have been very vocal and no longer take the Calais to Dover route due to the high risk to their drivers and potential fines. Some hauliers no refuse to do non UK haulage work
On Tuesday a van driver died in a crash near Calais
caused by tree trunks laying on the road which had been placed by migrants. The vehicle slammed into the back of a lorry that was forced to stop due to the migrant made barricade. Migrants had hoped the barricade would slow lorries down so they could climb onboard.
There are many honest hauliers that are getting fines which are having a negative effect on the industry and the economy as a whole. The more fines that are dished out the higher haulage costs will go as operators have to balance the risk of fines on each delivery job.