Don’t cheat on AdBlue, regulator warns02 February 2018

Operators that fit an AdBlue emulator to a vehicle will be dealt with as severely as if they use a magnet to interrupt a tachograph.

That’s the warning from Kevin Rooney, West of England traffic commissioner, following two recent cases.

In one, Patrick McNally was disqualified as transport manager for 12 months, after he admitted researching how to fit a defeat device. The operator, Louis McNally, was also suspended from running vehicles for two weeks from 11 February.

In the second case, Rooney revoked the six-vehicle licence held by Stephen Harris and Karen Phelps, after rejecting Harris’s claim that he didn’t know one of his vehicles was fitted with an emulation device.

The AdBlue tank and the gauge on the dashboard made it “clear nonsense” that Harris could not have noticed the truck needed AdBlue, said the regulator, adding that Harris “wilfully shut his eyes to the absolutely blindingly obvious”.

He added: “With the emulator fitted and operating at Euro III levels, the operator should have paid a pollution charge of £200 per visit to the capital.”

Rooney also criticised the operator’s “persistent use” of vehicles in an immediately dangerous condition. A total of 12 prohibitions for defects had been issued in three years, while the MOT failure rate was 43% – more than twice the national average.

The licence is revoked from 3 March.

Laura Cork

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