A new London Freight Enforcement Partnership was officially launched last month to tackle unsafe HGVs, and take any non-compliant and unsafe commercial vehicles, drivers and operators off London’s streets.
The partnership brings together Transport for London, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, the Metropolitan Police and the City of London Police. The aim is to enhance enforcement work through better co-ordination of intelligence.
It will include more than 90 DVSA and police officers and a team of analysts, sharing intelligence and carrying out joint enforcement operations.
“Working in a partnership, with shared expertise and intelligence, will help deliver even greater enforcement against rogue and unsafe freight operators who continue to not comply with the law and with the regulations,” said Sir Peter Hendy, who chairs the partnership.
It goes without saying that dealing effectively with dangerous vehicles has benefits for the whole industry. The partnership builds on the work of the Industrial HGV Task Force, which since it was formed two years ago has acted as a deterrent against non-compliant companies that attempt to undercut those operating legitimately.
Since October 2013, more than 6,030 vehicles have been targeted and stopped, 87 vehicles seized, 4,500 prosecutions progressed through the criminal justice system and 2,134 fixed penalty notices issued.
Not surprisingly, there has been a strong welcome for this initiative from both the Freight Transport Association and the Road Haulage Association. In fact, RHA policy director Jack Semple argued that there had been an enforcement deficit in the capital which the RHA had long urged be addressed.
He welcomed the emphasis on targeting the worst offenders. The industry as a whole resented its image being tarred by their activities; and also the unfair competition.
The FTA’s Christopher Snelling argued that: “To have maximum effect this work needs to be part of a wide-ranging safety programme which encourages safe and legal behaviour by all road users.”
A great deal of logistics activity is carried out in public places and safety has to be a primary concern. Not only that, badly maintained equipment and poor operating practices damage the public perception of the whole industry. Better enforcement will benefit the whole industry.
Malory Davies FCILT,