An operation by Lancashire police targeting commercial vehicle crime found a 44-tonne lorry being driven by someone on cocaine and an HGV pulling an illegally wide load of solid concrete.

Officers also stopped a flatbed truck carrying a pile of metal poles with nothing holding them down (pictured), a lorry carrying 11 tonnes more than it was legally allowed and a tipper truck carrying a pile of cement too heavy for the vehicle.

One day was spent focussing on traffic entering and leaving the port at Heysham, while four days were spent at a checksite at Cuerden, where the M65, M61 and M6 meet.

Lancashire police were supported in its operation by partner agencies including HMRC, Border Force, the Home Office immigration team, the Environment Agency, the Stolen Vehicle Identification Unit and the Joint Unit for Waste Crime.

In total, 354 vehicles were brought into the check sites and of those, 204 were issued with fixed penalty notices or prohibition orders.
A further 12 HGVs and 31 light CVs were handed a prohibition order by the DVSA.

Police said two HGV drivers also tested positive for drugs and of the abnormal loads brought in, every single one was found to be non-compliant.

Fines totalling £16,000 were issued, which will go to the courts and tribunals service.

Chief Insp Matt Willmot, of Lancashire Police, said: “Commercial vehicles make up a large percentage of traffic on our roads and it is important they comply with all laws and regulations – not least because large, heavy vehicles which aren’t following legal requirements can pose a very real danger to others.

“For example, an overloaded vehicle has a drastically increased braking distance, putting the driver and other motorists in danger.”