The FTA has welcomed government plans to improve the civil penalties scheme, which last year raised fines of £6.6m from truck drivers carrying illegal immigrants.
In its consultation report, the Home Office said that it will use the civil penalty to improve the behaviours of the careless or reckless. It proposed the improvement of the penalty regime by ‘strengthening the codes of practice so that they underline the need for all hauliers to show they have effective security measures’ with potential penalties without.
“FTA is pleased to see the Government working with our industry in an effort to try and combat illegal immigration,” said Chris Yarsley, FTA manager of road freight enforcement. “Following the mass migration in to the EU over the past year we welcome the opportunity to revise the charging regime so that it incentivises operators to better secure their vehicles and could offer possible benefits for those who go further than the required minimum.
“The levels of penalties have not been amended for over 10 years and vehicle security technologies have improved immensely so it is now time to look at the entirety of the scheme.”
HGV drivers caught carrying illegal immigrants on their trucks are currently fined up to £2,000 per person discovered.