From August 2017, roadside checks of lorries carried out by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will include an emissions check.
DVSA will be targetting lorry drivers and operators who try to cheat vehicle emissions. The new checks will target those who break the law and will help to improve air quality.
In May 2017, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs published a draft plan to improve air quality by reducing nitrogen dioxide levels in the UK. This included looking at ways to reduce emissions produced by vehicles, including those used commercially. A final plan will be published by 31 July.
Fraudulent emissions readings
DVSA’s enforcement staff, and their European counterparts, have found evidence that drivers and operators use emissions cheat devices to cut the cost of operating. These 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
Taking action against emission cheats
DVSA enforcement officers will give the driver and operator 10 days to fix the emissions system if they find a vehicle with tampered emissions readings.
If the emissions system isn’t fixed within 10 days, DVSA will issue a fine and stop the vehicle being used on the road.
DVSA enforcement staff can insist that a vehicle be taken off the road immediately if they find a driver or operator is repeatedly offending.
Working with the EU
DVSA will investigate all Great Britain operators cheating emissions and pass the findings to the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain, who have the power to remove operator licences.
DVSA will also continue to work with counterpart agencies across Europe, and further afield, to make sure that all offences committed by non-Great Britain hauliers are dealt with locally.