Vehicle operators and drivers of goods vehicles are being reminded of the importance of transporting dangerous goods safely and load security in a week-long national enforcement campaign which started on 22nd July.
Co-ordinated by the National Police Chiefs' Council, the campaign aims to highlight the risks both to drivers and other road users if goods aren’t transported properly. Cheshire Police will be carrying out proactive enforcement to identify unsafe vehicles and take appropriate action to keep the roads safe.
Dangerous goods are items or material that can pose a risk to people, animals, or the environment if not properly handled in use or during transport. They include goods that can easily catch fire, are corrosive, or are radioactive. It’s very important that dangerous goods are packaged properly, loaded and secured to stop them moving around inside the vehicle, and that the vehicle carries safety equipment, has identifying markings to show that it is carrying dangerous goods, and is driven by a driver trained to deal with dangerous goods.
It is essential that, whatever load is being carried, it is secured properly on the vehicle. If loads are not secured, they can fall from the vehicle on the road, or move so much they make the vehicle unstable. Unstable loads can also fall out of or off the vehicle when it arrives for unloading.
While drivers are responsible for the safety of their vehicle on the road, consignors and vehicle operators are also responsible for ensuring that the load a vehicle carries is safe and secure from the point of loading right through to unloading.
PC Martyn Campbell, of the Constabulary’s commercial vehicle unit, said: “We are targeting commercial vehicles which could be dangerously transporting hazardous materials on our roads. This week of action aims to drive home the message that not complying with legislation is potentially dangerous to other road users and completely unacceptable.
“Drivers of suspect vehicles will be checked to ensure they have the appropriate paperwork and equipment to deal with any issues. We will also ensure drivers are complying with the drivers’ hours legislation and that they are taking suitable breaks.”
Lee Webb, Driver & Vehicles Standards Agency National Enforcement Delivery Manager said:
“DVSA’s priority is to protect everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles.
“Load security is vitally important. An insecure load can affect a vehicle’s stability and in severe cases a shifting load can put lives at risk. Working with the police and other partner agencies like this is an efficient use of public funds which will make Britain’s roads even safer.”
For more information on load security, please go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/load-securing-vehicle-operator-guidance/load-securing-vehicle-operator-guidance