London’s IHTF (industrial HGV taskforce), funded by TfL and DfT, who are responsible for cracking down on unsafe HGV’s has issued 1,013 fixed penalty notices and taken 47 vehicles off the road since operations began in October 2013.
The IHTF has been praised after it was reported that half of all vehicles that were stopped needed improvements to make them roadworthy. 4000 heavy goods vehicles in total have been stopped with 2,000 roadworthiness prohibitions requiring drivers and owners to address defects with their vehicles.
Sir Peter Hendy CBE, London’s transport commissioner, yesterday joined haulage industry leaders and members from the DfT and DVSA to witness the taskforce carrying out their roadside operations at Millbank.
‘‘These results show that our taskforce is going from strength to strength to identify and take action against dangerous and non-compliant operators and drivers of HGVs, particularly construction vehicles, on London’s roads.’’ Said Sir Peter.
"These enforcement results send out a clear message to everyone concerned that we will not tolerate or put other road users, cyclists or pedestrians at risk through the actions of the minority of negligent operators and drivers in the capital" he continued.
A recent example of a prosecution that has been secured by the taskforce was against Recycled Material Supplies in relation to a 32 tonne tipper truck. The truck was not licenced to a specific operator but was still being used by RMS, who were convicted three weeks ago for not specifying the vehicle on their O licence.
The IHTF are working hard to take unsafe HGV's off the road
Established by the Mayor of London, TfL and DfT, the IHTF has carried out over 200 roadside operations since it begun, complementing the working of the TfL and MPS Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC).
The taskforce conduct a range of different checks during their operations, examples such as steering, vehicle tyres, brakes and loads, checking appropriate driver and O licences are in order and also ensuring drivers have not exceeded their driver hour limits.
The performance of the IHTF has been praised by Baroness Jenny Jones, a Green Party member who campaigns for improvements in road safety. Baroness Jones has said: “This is great work by the Met’s traffic police, but it shows how long overdue it is. Of the 4,000 HGVs stopped, half of them need to take action to be roadworthy, 1,000 of them get fixed penalty notices and 47 are taken off the road straight away.’’
The baroness continued “That indicates to me that the Met are good at targeting the bad vehicles, yet they need to be doing an awful lot more of this to really make an impact. Too many people are killed or injured on London’s roads, with lorries being responsible for a lot of those tragic unnecessary deaths.”
It is worth mentioning that there is over 360,000 tonnes of goods that are moved through London by thousands of HGV’s every day and that these examples of non-compliance discovered by the taskforce are not representative of the road haulage industry as a whole as these operations are highly targeted.