Police and DVSA at Memorial Stadium find four in five van drivers breaking law

Police and driving authorities who set up a roadblock to stop vans and commercial vehicles driving past the Memorial Stadium in Bristol said they were ‘disappointed’ to find 80 per cent of them were driving with illegal defects.

More than half the 39 vans pulled over at random were in such bad condition they were taken off the road immediately, and in total there were only six that passed the police test with a clean bill of health. The day of action took place in Horfield on Thursday, with vans, commercial and light goods vehicles driving in the area were pulled over and checked out in the car park of the home of Bristol Rovers.

The police action was called Operation Trader, and was a partnership between traffic cops, the council’s licensing team, Trading Standards and the DVSA. All four authorities were there checking out the vehicles, and in total 39 were pulled over in one day.

Read more: Drivers warned to book MOTs now due to backlog and surge in demand

Of those, 33 were found to have one of more defects or faults that contravened regulations. A total of 22 of those were classed as having ‘an immediate or dangerous issue’ and taken off the road there and then. One of the vehicles that was stopped was carried an overweight load, and inspectors discovered it was packed with too much un-refrigerated dairy and food items, which were then seized by Environmental Health.

It wasn’t just the vehicles that had issues – the drivers did too. Among the issues the authorities found, one driver was found in possession of cannabis, four had no insurance, two were driving with no licence, three were on their phones, one vehicle was in a dangerous condition, two vehicles weren’t taxed, four didn’t have an MOT, eight had bald tyres, one was carrying an insecure load, two were leaking fuel, one was overweight and one was driving around north Bristol fuelled by agricultural red diesel.

It was all a bit depressing for the DVSA’s head of enforcement, David Collings. “DVSA’s priority is protecting everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles,” he said. “We were extremely disappointed to find so many dangerous and unroadworthy commercial vehicles as part of this vital partnership work with Avon and Somerset Police.

“We will continue to crackdown on this dangerous non-compliance of light goods vehicles to protect the public and improve road safety in Bristol,” he added.

(Image: Western Daily Press)

PC Wayne Carhart of Avon and Somerset’s Roads Policing Unit said the day was a success.

“This was another hugely successful day of partnership action, in which more than 80 per cent of vehicles stopped were found to be breaching the law,” he said. “Road safety is something every motorist needs to be conscious of before they get behind the wheel. It only takes one issue or one lapse of concentration to cause a tragedy on our roads.

“The Roads Policing Unit will continue to carry out checks and take action where necessary to help protect other road users,” he added.

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