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Suffolk lorry drivers fined over tachographs

17:23 09 August 2012

Lorry drivers have been stopped by police

Lorry drivers have been stopped by police

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

HUNDREDS of lorry drivers travelling through Suffolk have been stopped and fined for spy-in-the-cab offences in the past two years, it has been revealed.

New figures show the truckers have been dealt with for 698 tachograph offences between them.

The machines, fitted in the cab of all heavy goods vehicles, monitor and record the number of hours driven each day, the times and lengths of drivers’ breaks from the wheel, and vehicle speeds.

Thousands of lorries use the county’s roads every day – including more than 4,500 travelling to and from the Port of Felixstowe, on the A12 and A14.

Two years ago Suffolk police decided to alter the way they deal with tachograph offences, deciding to issue fixed penalty notices rather than reporting offenders for summons and submitting a prosecution file, culminating in a court appearance.

Figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show that in 2010 officers issued fines to 153 lorry drivers and in 2011 to 227.

In 2010, tickets dealt with 286 offences and in 2011, some 412 offences.

“Tachograph offences are dealt with in a number of ways,” said a police spokesman.

“There are spot-checks carried out by roads policing officers at various locations – these can be pre-planned or spontaneous checks where a patrolling officer will stop an HGV to check over for tacho and other offences.

“We also work with our partners in VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) and facilitate larger checks such as Operation Mermaid, which is a national campaign involving several other agencies.”

Currently, drivers are allowed to drive for nine hours a day, and ten hours twice a week, and must take 45-minute rest breaks between each 4.5-hour period.

19 comments

  • If Archant want to see some poor driving I suggest that they go out and about in the early hours and observe newspaper delivery vans and those white vans that collect and deliver to the banks. Speed limits, keep left signs, traffic lights and double white lines are totally ignored as a matter of course.

    Report this comment

    nicholas dasey

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • although going off the tacho line i agree with nicholas we have a newspaper delivery driver in particular who uses our estate as his own racetrack he ignores parked cars and people walking dogs. please remember if it wasnt for the lorry drivers bending the rules a bit sometimes we may not get our shops stocked ready for us to buy items :-)

    Report this comment

    i am mostly wrong??

    Friday, August 10, 2012

  • this is such a non story!must be a slow news day in lowestoft.how many of these tachograph offences were for something as trivial as having 44 minutes break instead of 45?driving for a couple of minutes over your allowed time to find a safe place to park? why does the headline say 'suffolk lorry drivers'?the article clearly states that 1000s of lorries use suffolk roads every day....so did they not fine the drivers from other counties or even countries? come on archant if you have to write such a mediocre story to scare the average motorist then at least make it accurate! maybe someone from archant should spend a day with a lorry driver and then write a report?it may just open your eyes! MR WOOD.yes we are under pressure from bosses but ultimately it is the drivers responsibility to adhere to drivers hours regulations and the working time directive rules on a daily basis.is that statistic you quoted really fact? i admit im not perfect...i sometimes do 42 mph by mistake on an empty,straight section of a single carriageway at silly o clock in the morning...does this make me criminally dangerous??

    Report this comment

    Richard Roberts

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • this is such a non story!must be a slow news day in lowestoft.how many of these tachograph offences were for something as trivial as having 44 minutes break instead of 45?driving for a couple of minutes over your allowed time to find a safe place to park? why does the headline say 'suffolk lorry drivers'?the article clearly states that 1000s of lorries use suffolk roads every day....so did they not fine the drivers from other counties or even countries? come on archant if you have to write such a mediocre story to scare the average motorist then at least make it accurate! maybe someone from archant should spend a day with a lorry driver and then write a report?it may just open your eyes! MR WOOD.yes we are under pressure from bosses but ultimately it is the drivers responsibility to adhere to drivers hours regulations and the working time directive rules on a daily basis.is that statistic you quoted really fact? i admit im not perfect...i sometimes do 42 mph by mistake on an empty,straight section of a single carriageway at silly o clock in the morning...does this make me criminally dangerous??

    Report this comment

    Richard Roberts

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • the whole thing is B@llocks.... i drive a refuse lorry and a road sweeper and i am allowed to ignore the tacko and use a hand written log book!!!!

    Report this comment

    Colby Army!

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • ***Easy picking for the police. Shame they cannot show the same diligence when chasing other criminals.*** The usual tired old arguments. Firstly , it is the job of the road traffic police to enforce the road traffic laws,,,that's what they do , why should they be doing anything else ? Perhaps like a significant minority of road users you don't want them enforced and think you should be allowed to do what you like ? Easy pickings ? Easily solved....just obey the laws. And by the way , law breaking motorists kill and seriously injure more people in a year than every burglar has in the last 50.

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Friday, August 10, 2012

  • nicholas dasey try going into Norwich on a Friday and Saturday nights if you want to see some bad driving, C.A.B.S and T.A.X.I'S have their own driving laws.

    Report this comment

    Footyboy16

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • Richard Woods, on what evidence do you come to this conclusion?

    Report this comment

    nicholas dasey

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • Suffolk police must be very proud of themselves having nabbed so many lorry drivers. Perhaps they can show the same diligence in dealing with burglaries. A clear up rate of about 10-15 %. Serious sexual assaults , clear up rate of around 30%. Not impressive figures . Could it be the that Suffolk Constabulary prefer the easy pickings.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • nicholas Dasey, what proof do you have of newspaper delivery vehicles driving badly in the early hours ? any at all ? try looking at the vehicles that sit in taxi ranks if you want to see bad driving..

    Report this comment

    Footyboy16

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • Shame on you - these are NOT spy-in-the-cab offences - they are criminally dangerous drivers spending too long at the wheel to be safe. They drive up to 42 ton vehicles that are responsible for more deaths and serious injury accidents than any other group of vehicles on our roads. They have to be controlled and their managers- who push them too hard for safety, need to know it.

    Report this comment

    Richard Woods

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • Re Richard Roberts comment on safe places to stop-when I see a lorry parked up on a layby at night with the doors open to show potential thieves they have nothing on board I do not envy the lorry drivers job. Where have all the transport cafes and lorry parks gone? How can a driver get a decent rest parked up beside a main road?

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Friday, August 10, 2012

  • RW...please read up on the facts before blaming deaths on HGV drivers. Firstly we can drive up to 44 ton on a cat c+e licence more if STGO(look it up) Secondly,as profesonal drivers we have to undertake strict medicals and now also have to undertake a Compulsory Driver CPC training course, Failure to do this will result in us as drivers not being able to drive HGV’s for financial gain,basiclly out of a job. Thirdly,the majority of these offences are minor infringments caused by driving with a 'Digital Tachograph' which i am sure if you ask any driver familier with these will tell you that you cannot get as much driving done in a day as you could with the old anologue system. For example every time the vehical comes to a standstill for longer than 5 seconds it then registers as one minute on the 'digicard' and therefore the 4.5 hour driving period comes quicker than expected. This has now been looked into and at the cost of the driverhaulier you can now buy a new modified system which now legally allows you to drive an average of 45 minutes longer than the old system. And finally if all of us criminally dangerous drivers were not on the road you would have nothing in your home,office or even the communication system in which you posted your comment.

    Report this comment

    greenmanwalking

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • You can legally drive a lorry for 9 hours then go home and jump into your caravanette and drive to Scotland and the Police can't do a thing..

    Report this comment

    Footyboy16

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • Easy picking for the police. Shame they cannot show the same diligence when chasing other criminals. The clear up rate for burglaries is in the very low numbers.

    Report this comment

    norman hall

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • If this certain newspaper delivery driver is using your estate as a race track, why not report him.. they only use white or blue vans. and are clearly marked as to what company own them..

    Report this comment

    Footyboy16

    Friday, August 10, 2012

  • this is such a non story!must be a slow news day in lowestoft.how many of these tachograph offences were for something as trivial as having 44 minutes break instead of 45?driving for a couple of minutes over your allowed time to find a safe place to park? why does the headline say 'suffolk lorry drivers'?the article clearly states that 1000s of lorries use suffolk roads every day....so did they not fine the drivers from other counties or even countries? come on archant if you have to write such a mediocre story to scare the average motorist then at least make it accurate! maybe someone from archant should spend a day with a lorry driver and then write a report?it may just open your eyes! MR WOOD.yes we are under pressure from bosses but ultimately it is the drivers responsibility to adhere to drivers hours regulations and the working time directive rules on a daily basis.is that statistic you quoted really fact? i admit im not perfect...i sometimes do 42 mph by mistake on an empty,straight section of a single carriageway at silly o clock in the morning...does this make me criminally dangerous??

    Report this comment

    Richard Roberts

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • Makes me laugh really all these laws, because you can legally drive an HGV for 9 hours a day, and then you could be, and I say could be fined and have penalty charges brought against you, but you could then go home after completing these 9 hours and jump into your caravanette and drive to Scotland and there is no law stopping you doing this, you can kill someone in a 42 ton lorry or a 3 wheeler so these 9 hour laws are ridicously.. once you hit someone whatever vehicle you are in there is a high chance they will be killed..

    Report this comment

    Footyboy16

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

  • Mr Woods up to 44ton and under STGO (special types general order) up to 150+ tons I drive a 80tonner, I believe we, hgv drivers are the safest driver on the road. Our lorrys are checked every six weeks, medical every 5 years and now every driver has to complete 37 hours of training to keep driving, compare that to the 19 yr old Peugeot boy racer with no brake lights and 1 head lights or the 50 year old BMW driver who will come up a slip road on the 47 and expect 80ton of lorry to move over because he's on the phone, smoking while looking at the map drinking coffee and can't go quicker than me!

    Report this comment

    Cupboard

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

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