Police car in London

The Hub has got hold of enforcement figures for 2013 from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), which clearly show that there’s a rotten core of operators within road transport that are giving the rest of the industry a bad name.

The MPS Commercial Vehicle Unit does its bit day-in day-out to catch the cowboys out there that have serious compliance issues (and by extension are likely to be undercutting professional firms).

For 2013 via pre-planned local, national and joint enforcement operations, as well as intelligence lead operations, patrols and in response to specific incidents, the unit stopped 6,374 commercial vehicles (CVs).

Some 5,709 of these were HGVs, and unsurprisingly there was a high level of non-compliance with 21,821 offences identified.

These included breaches of drivers’ hours rules, mechanical defects, excessive weight and dangerous goods breaches.

It resulted in 1,110 fixed penalty notices being issued. Of these 888 were graduated fixed penalty notices, with non UK-registered CVs receiving 49 of these.

On top of this 3,414 offences were reported for summons. 1,901 of the stops deemed satisfactory with no action required.

Using current laws

All in all, it gives further credence to the notion advanced again last week by the RHA that what is needed is an increase in enforcement activity to weed out rouge operators, rather than more regulation.

As Jack Semple, director of policy at the RHA, told sister title Commercial Motor: “The RHA welcomed the establishment of the HGV Task Force in London last year, as enforcement in the capital has historically been light.”

Taking the bad operators with no regard for human life off the roads is something the authorities already have the power to do. It's an action that would save lives and improve the lot of the majority of haulage operators that comply with the law, preventing further regulation creep.