We all remember the Volkswagen scandal of 2015, when the company was found to be fitting their cars with devices to cheat on emissions tests. Well, to prevent haulage companies from doing the same, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will now be subjecting hauliers to roadside emissions checks.
What Is the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency?
Before I explain the ins-and-outs of the new inspection regime, you might need a bit of background information about the DVSA. Essentially, the agency ensures road safety by carrying out roadside checks on drivers and vehicles. They’re also the ones who will have approved your drivers’ training courses and licensed your company to operate trucks.
Their aim is to keep roads safe by ensuring that haulage companiesadhere to the correct rules of the road and provide their drivers with a fully-functioning vehicle. They organise regular roadside checks to make sure that your hauliers, their vehicles and other drivers on the road aren’t taking any unnecessary risks.
Why Have Roadside Checks for Emissions?
Now that the introductions are out of the way, let’s get down to the thick of it. You might be wondering what the emissions checks are for. Well, the DVSA recently found that some haulage companiesare using emissions cheat devices to decrease their operating costs. In case you’re wondering what falls under the category of a ‘cheat device’, it refers to:
Basically, this means that certain companies, and their vehicles, are emitting more toxins than they claim to. They’re avoiding pollution penalties and, more importantly, are severely decreasing the UK’s air quality (an important fact when you consider that pollution reportedly causes more than 40,000 deaths in our country every year!).
So, the DVSA has put these new roadside checks in place to improve air quality and to deter haulage companies fromusing fraudulent emissions devices.
When Will They Come Into Force?
Obviously, roadside inspections already happen across the UK on a regular basis. However, starting in August, checking for emission cheat devices and preventing illegal emissions practices will become a standard procedure for these road checks.
How Will They Be Carried Out?
The roadside checks will be carried out by the DVSA. The agency will make sure that your vehicle conforms to the current Euro emissions standards. They will check your emissions levels and look for cheat devices that you may be using to falsify your readings.
What Happens If My Device Is Faulty?
Now, I trust that you’re all run honest haulage companies, but just in case you ever get caught with a faulty device or unreliable reading, it’s important to know that you are given 10 days to fix the system. If after those 10 days you haven’t repaired the emissions device, you’ll be fined and your vehicle may be denied road access. You don’t want to get caught out, so check your devices now!
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage companies with jobs in road transport and haulage work. Over 4,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.