Truck speeding a chronic problem,
ROADPOL operation shows
10 JUN - Truck speeding continues to be a chronic problem, results of ROADPOL Truck&Bus Operation show.
The campaign, carried out from the 10th till the 16th of May, focused on the control of commercial goods and passenger transport. During the operation 187.308 trucks and 43.389 buses were checked in as much as 18 ROADPOL member countries. 36.538 violations were found (trucks: 33.400, buses: 3.138).
Most offences were found in the areas of speed (Trucks 8948, Buses 725), technical offences (2422/132), seat belts (3187/503) and other safety restraints. A serious amount of offences were registered in the field of driving and resting times. 5793 drivers (T 5566 / B 227) offended against Europe-wide valid social regulations, meaning they drove their vehicle for longer than legally allowed without heeding the mandatory breaks. 4.039 times the prescribed tachographs were not properly managed. Manipulations of digital tachographs were detected in 359 cases.
“Fumbling with the settings of the tachograph or even manipulating those takes on larger forms every year. The reason for this type of fraud might be the continual competitive pressure in this still-growing industry. The financial benefits for transporters may be large, but the risks for road safety are greater”, says ROAPDOL Operational Group Secretary Henk Jansen from the Dutch National Police.
146 drivers were also found taking part in road traffic under the influence of alcohol, as well as 22 drivers under the influence of drugs.
In 2.554 cases serious technical defects were found. Also 1.319 trucks and 22 buses were found with overweight. Also was the load securing insufficient on 908 trucks. If the load that is not properly secured falls off the truck while driving, this poses a very serious risk to road safety and often leads to collisions with injuries or deaths.
Although the offences in the dangerous goods sector initially appear small in percentage terms at less than 3%, there have been 186 offences. Driving with hazardous substances through traffic poses an additional risk in the event of a collision. When these substances are released, the consequences for road users and the environment are often disastrous.
At the controlled buses most violations were noted by the use of seat belt (503), excessive speed (725) and technical defects (132). 227 bus drivers also had exceeded the legally permitted driving times.
The overall violation rate was 20,18% for freight transport and 7,55% for buses. For freight traffic, this means that a violation was found in almost 1 in 5 trucks checked. “Fortunately, that number is lower for buses. This shows that freight traffic represents a major risk to road safety and that monitoring is still necessary. European police officers have a very high standard of training in heavy traffic controls, which is reflected in the high complaint rate”, acknowledges Jansen. „Collisions involving goods vehicles usually have particularly serious consequences for the driver, but mostly even more for other road users. The main causes for these serious collisions (speed, insufficient load securing, driver fatigue and technical defects of the vehicles) are to be counteracted by checks on goods traffic”, says the expert.
Due to the offences 1.211 times the onward journey of the inspected vehicle had to be prohibited until the proper condition of the vehicles or load had been restored (1.118 trucks and 93 buses). In Belgium, an amount of 2.824 Euro in fines was collected from the operation Bus and 38.100 Euro from the operation Truck. An amount of 29,000 pounds was also seized on suspicion of money laundering.
“The result of the control week shows that inspections in the area of heavy goods traffic and passenger transport are still an important approach to improve traffic safety. In addition to the punishment of violations, the drivers are informed by clarifying discussions on the dangers such as insufficient securing of load, putting on seat belt or fatigue due to exceeding of driving times. But also the constantly increasing problem of distraction at the wheel by e.g. use of mobile phones or other electronic devices should be countered during these checks”, ROADPOL's Jansen further explains.
The next ROADPOL operation Truck & Bus will take place from 19th to 25th July 2021. Next week, from 16th to 22nd June, the operation Alcohol and Drugs will be conducted.