Lorry emissions checks to start at the roadside

Roadside safety checks of lorries will soon include inspections to ensure they are not cheating vehicle emissions. From August, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will check “defeat devices” […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Roadside safety checks of lorries will soon include inspections to ensure they are not cheating vehicle emissions.

From August, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will check “defeat devices” are not being used to hide emissions, targeting lorry drivers and operators who break the law.

It comes as DVSA’s enforcement staff and their European counterparts found evidence that drivers and operators use emissions cheat devices to cut the cost of operating.

They include:

  • Using devices designed to stop emissions control systems from working
  • Removing the diesel particulate filter or trap
  • Using cheap, fake emission reduction devices or diesel exhaust fluid
  • Using illegal engine modifications which result in excessive emissions
  • Removing or bypassing the exhaust gas recirculation valve

If found guilty of tampering emissions readings, the driver will be given 10 days to fix the emissions systems and if that isn’t met, a fine will be issued and the vehicle will be stopped from being used on the road.

An example of an emissions cheat device found by DVSA examiners. Image: DVSA

DVSA enforcement staff can insist a vehicle be taken off the road immediately if they find a driver or operator is repeatedly offending.

The organisation will investigate all operators cheating emissions and pass the findings to the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain, which has the power to remove operator licences.

Transport Minister Jesse Norman said: “I welcome this crackdown on rogue hauliers who cheat the system by installing bogus devices which lead to increased pollution.

“There has rightly been a huge public outcry against car manufacturers that have been cheating emissions standards and the same rule should apply here too.”

Last month the government’s draft air pollution plan looked at ways to cut emission produced by vehicles, including those used commercially. A final plan is expected to be published by 31st July.