We have all seen the pick-ups in Thailand loaded to the skies, and many photographs have been taken of them while the rest look incredulously at the sight. However, would it surprise you to know that this practice began in the UK? And is still a problem in the UK.
During the fourth quarter of 2014, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) published their annual effectiveness report for 2013/14. The report highlighted that overloading continues to be a serious issue on the UK’s roads. Weighing expert Avery Weigh-Tronix warns both drivers and operators to be aware of the risks.
Colin Smith from Avery Weigh-Tronix commented, “As well as being a criminal offence which can attract fines and prosecution, overloading can have a detrimental impact on the roadworthiness of vehicles – from braking systems to increased instability and wear and tear.
“Looking through the report, it is worrying to note that roadside checks found defects in braking systems of almost 19 percent of HGV trailers, along with various other issues such as steering, suspension and tyres. An overloaded vehicle in good condition is potentially hazardous, but overloading a vehicle which also has other issues relating to its roadworthiness could be extremely dangerous.”
The report, which contains data on vehicle testing and enforcement activity over the last twelve months, shows that overloading of LGVs is still the top offence on UK roads, with both the number of prosecutions and the average fine up on last year. Overloading of HGVs also continues to be an issue, being the fifth most common offence for prosecution during the same period.