Wigan vehicle operators and truckers are being reminded of the importance of transporting dangerous goods safely and load security as a national enforcement campaign gets under way.
Co-ordinated by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the crackdown aims to highlight the risks both to drivers and other road users if rules are flouted.
Greater Manchester Police is carrying out proactive enforcement to identify unsafe vehicles and take appropriate action.
Dangerous goods are items or material that can pose a risk to people, animals, or the environment if not properly handled in use or during transport. They include substances that can easily catch fire, are corrosive, or are radioactive. It is crucial that such goods are packaged properly, loaded and secured to stop them moving around inside the vehicle, and that the vehicle carries safety equipment, has identifying markings to show that it is carrying dangerous goods, and is driven by someone trained to deal with them.
It is essential that, whatever load is being carried, it is secured properly on the vehicle. If not, they can fall from the vehicle on the road, or move so much they make the vehicle unstable.
Unstable loads can also fall out of or off the vehicle when it arrives for unloading.
While drivers are responsible for the safety of their vehicle on the road, consignors and vehicle operators are also responsible for ensuring the load a vehicle carries is safe throughout its journey.
Sgt Paul Lenarcic of GMP’s Safer Roads Targeting Team said: “As traffic officers we are always on the look-out for drivers who don’t properly secure the goods they are carrying, however this campaign is to highlight the consequences of insecure loads and how this can impact other road users.
“If material or goods carried from a vehicle become insecure this could result in an accident causing serious injury or worst case scenario a fatality. This is what we are trying to prevent in order to make the road a safe place for others.
“If you are caught with an insecure load you could face a driving disqualification for dangerous driving, which will result in losing your licence. Our message is clear, don’t risk it, and make sure you travel safely and securely.”
Lee Webb, from the Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency, said: “DVSA’s priority is to protect everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles. Load security is vitally important. An insecure load can affect a vehicle’s stability and in severe cases a shifting load can put lives at risk.”