Whether you are a professional driver or a passenger who listens to the news on a regular basis, you might be aware of the increase in the levels of air pollution and emissions in the country. Since the atmosphere suffers due to emissions and air pollution, the government is looking for innovative ways to cut down on these elements and become more eco-friendly in the process. The focus lies on the vehicles on the road since the vast majority of pollution comes from them. The new measures are put in place to detect motorists who try to avoid the new emissions guidelines.
Changes in Roadside Checks
“The roadside checking procedure for lorries, HGVs and coaches are to change with effect from August 2017,” explained a spokesperson for HGV Training Cost. As per the latest guidelines of the DVSA, “checks for emission cheat devices” will be included in all roadside checks for these vehicles from August 2017 onwards. The department plans to target the drivers who try to cheat the system in order to reduce the nitrogen dioxide levels and improve the air quality in the United Kingdom.
While there have been efforts in recent years to improve the air quality level of the country, the United Kingdom is still struggling to reduce the levels of one particular pollutant – nitrogen dioxide. In fact, this particular pollutant is linked to many health problems and air quality related illnesses in the past years. Hence, the reduction of this pollutant is an essential factor to improve the overall air quality of the environment. There are more than 9,400 annual deaths in London alone due to decreased air quality issues. In fact, road traffic is said to contribute more than 50% of this pollutant to the environment. Hence, a reduction in this pollutant is a top priority of the UK government.
Fraudulent Emissions Systems
Research teams from the DVSA and their European counterparts have been able to detect a significant number of HGV drivers who utilise emissions cheat devices on their vehicles. This is done with the aim of cutting operational costs. Some of the devices detected include:
- Devices that are made to prevent inbuilt emission control units from working properly.
- Removal of diesel particulate filter.
- Utilising a fake and cheap exhaust reduction device to lower emissions reports.
- Bypassing the exhaust gas recirculation valve.
- Installing illegal engine modifications. This will result in excessive emissions.
Even though a professional HGV driver should not resolve to such tactics since the vehicle that they drive doesn’t belong to them, in reality, the vast majority of these drivers are involved in such tactics to cheat the system. That is why the DVSA has to put checks in place to prevent these things from happening.
Emissions Spot Checks
The DVSA plans to include the emissions cheat device check to the current vehicle spot check schedule in the United Kingdom from August 2017 onwards. When the DVSA staff pulls over an HGV for a spot check, this check will also be carried out from August onward. This check will ensure that the vehicle is up to code. If any device or other emission issue is detected, the driver will be held responsible. The driver will be given ten days to fix the system if it has been tampered with. If the error is not corrected within the ten days, the driver will have to pay a hefty fine and the HGV will be stopped from being used on the road. If a repeat offender, the DVSA will insist that the vehicle be taken off the road completely.
The important thing to remember is that the driver will be responsible if the vehicle has any emissions cheat devices installed in it. It is not the owner or the company that would be found fault with. In fact, the driver is responsible for the safety of the vehicle and he should ensure that the HGV meets all driving and safety regulations. Hence, make sure you check the vehicle for such devices before setting off on a journey from August 1st, 2017 for your own safety.