HGV drivers run risk of criminal charges due to poor maintenance checks

Nearly 40% of HGVs failed vehicle enforcement checks between April to June, as an increasing number of hauliers risk criminal charges

Nearly 40% of HGVs failed vehicle enforcement checks between April to June this year, resulting in an increase of prohibitions issued as well as commercial drivers and companies running the risk of potential criminal charges. 

An investigation by TrackDays.co.uk into DVSA vehicle enforcement data, published in October, revealed that 39% of HGVs were issued with immediate prohibitions. 

This prohibition could include immediate brake, steering or tyre defects required by law to keep their vehicles safe.

With many owner-drivers and small businesses operating trucks, TrackDays.co.uk say the cost of living crisis could be forcing companies to take a risk and avoid basic vehicle maintenance checks. In addition, with challenging winter driving conditions arising at this time of year, the risk factor is significantly increased. 

“Inflation and rising costs are hitting everyone at the moment,” said Neil Greig, director of policy and research at independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart. “Putting off simple safety inspections to try and avoid costly expenses can be a short-sighted approach taken by some.

“One in three deaths on our roads involve someone driving during the course of work, so there are many lives at stake when safety checks are cut – is that a price worth paying?” 

TrackDays.co.uk operations manager, Dan Jones, added: “Safety checks are crucial when you’re providing a service to customers. We ensure we don’t take risks with our tyres, brakes and steering and keep a constant eye on the conditions of all three of these areas.

“Ultimately, we must ensure we have done everything we can to provide a safe experience for our drivers and their tutors. It is not worth the risk.” 

Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now writes for The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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