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Overweight over hours and over here

UK transport industry welcomes action of failing foreign lorries. The Freight Transport Association has welcomed today's announcement (Thursday 24 July) of new powers for the Vehicle Operator and Services Agency (VOSA) to issue roadside fixed penalty notices against foreign lorry operators for a range of offences such as breaking driving hours, weight or vehicle safety regulations. The new on-the-spot fines apply to anyone without a satisfactory UK address and mean that foreign drivers from outside the UK will no longer be able to escape punishment.

FTA's Director of External Affairs Geoff Dossetter said “Sadly, the safety record of foreign lorries working in the UK is very unsatisfactory and, on a mile for mile basis, a foreign lorry is about three times more likely to be involved in an accident than a UK vehicle. We welcome Government investment to improve enforcement levels together with the new regulations allowing for offending foreign vehicles to be immobilised, made safe, and to pay a fine before they are allowed to continue their journey. This all makes good sense and will hopefully increase road safety and reduce accidents.

“About one in seven of the heaviest vehicles on UK roads comes from overseas and, because of the ultra-high diesel duty imposed in the UK, is working on cheaper continental fuel. At the same time standards of maintenance and legal compliance for foreign vehicles is inferior to the UK fleet – VOSA statistics show that foreign lorries are more often overweight, over hours and less roadworthy. The application of the new regulations, plus increased enforcement, will hopefully reduce these problems and help level the grossly uneven playing field on which the UK transport industry is obliged to operate on its own roads.”

Duty on diesel in the UK is 50p per litre compared with an EU average of 25p per litre.

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