More than 75% of trucks stopped during an “alarming” police operation in Northumberland were found to be dangerous or operating unlawfully.
One 44-tonne HGV had a faulty tyre with a large hole in the centre of the tread and another lorry was more than two-and-a-half tonnes over its legal weight limit.
Another driver was arrested after being wanted in connection with a stalking and harassment investigation.
In total, 70 lorries and HGVs were stopped near the Tyne Tunnel, Tyne Dock, Teesport and on the A1 last month.
Of those, 54 were found to be unsafe by way of having mechanical or vehicle defects, being an illegal weight or carrying insecure loads.
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Northumbria police described the findings as “alarming”: “The results speak for themselves and reinforce why it’s absolutely crucial that we support these types of operations,” said Sergeant Glen Robson, who oversaw the operation for the force.
“Sadly we know all too well of the devastating consequences caused by having unsecured loads or poor vehicle conditions. Lorries and HGVs can pose a significant and real danger to all road users if they are driven illegally.
“Whether that’s the driver being uninsured or the vehicles themselves being over the legal weight limit or having serious defects, all these scenarios increase the risk of causing serious or fatal injuries to your family member or your loved one.
“We all have a collective responsibility to make our roads as safe as they possibly can be, by driving or riding with care and consideration to reduce the number of collisions that destroy families.”