Suffolk Police has been working with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and HM Revenue Customs (HMRC) to improve the legislation that controls the transports of dangerous goods. Some of those goods are susceptible to be used as material to create explosive by terrorists’ groups.
On Monday 5 November the police organized an operation that took place along the A12 and the A14 (and some other roads of strategic value). Around 34 vehicles were stopped by the police officers and escorted to a prepared location to check the cargo, located in the Tesco truck stop, near Copdock, 27. The result of the operation was that 27 out of the 34 vehicles stopped carried hazardous goods.
The operation ended up with two men arrested, accused of drug transport. During the operation, the agents reported eight CDG offenses, 15 advisory notices issued as well as eight prohibitions. Moreover, the agents also reported 17 traffic offenses:
- Four drivers were issued for not wearing the seatbelt
- Three vehicles were stopped for presenting dangerous conditions in the road
- One vehicle was issued for carrying loads insecurely
- One driver was issued for using the phone while driving
- Some were issued for fails in the mechanic maintenance of the vehicle, highly dangerous for the security of the road.
The main aim of this operation carried out by the Suffolk police is to, in the first place, enforce the legislation that controls the transport of hazardous good. As it has been previously stated, police are concerned about the danger it entails that these goods can be used to produce explosive artifacts. Considering the last events taken place not only in the UK but around Europe, its safe to say that their concerns are justified, and only accredited hazardous goods carriers UK options should be trusted for many transports.
In second place, this operation tries to raise awareness about the huge importance of respecting and following the law in that regard. It is very important to follow the safety rules when transporting materials that are either inflammable themselves, or that have the potential to be transformed into explosives. 24 out of the 34 vehicles stopped during the operation committed law offenses, and that is a highly worrying number.
The human, economic and structural consequences of an accident suffered by a vehicle transporting hazardous goods are uncountable. The law should be stricter in the issue, as well as the punishments for not following the law should be harsher. Similar operations are held regularly in different key roads along the country in order to preserve the safety of the roads for all users and make sure the law is being followed.
For example, the operation Truck and Bus takes places on a regular basis and targets both vehicles who transport light goods and passengers. The aim of this operation is to detect and detain offenses related to vehicle criminality. The focus is primarily set on commercial vehicles, but it can occasionally be extended to shipping containers. All these different operations carried out regularly throughout the whole country pursue a shared objective: the safety of the roads for all the users and the prosecution of vehicle-enabled criminals.