DVSA road tests reveal 300 lorries fitted with emissions cheat devices12 January 2018

A table of check results indicates that cheat devices were disproportionately high on Northern Ireland-registered lorries

In August 2017, DVSA started to include checks for emissions cheat devices in roadside checks of lorries at five locations across Great Britain.

By the end of November 2017, DVSA examiners had searched 3,735 lorries at these locations and found 293 lorries with a cheat device fitted, it announced in mid-January.

The drivers and operators were given 10 days to fix the emissions system, or face a £300 fine and having the vehicle taken off the road.

Following the roadside checks, DVSA examiners are inspecting more than 100 operators’ vehicle fleets for emission cheat devices. Some of the companies being inspected operate up to 80 vehicles. DVSA is passing its findings on to the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain, who have the power to take away an operator’s licence.

DVSA explained that cheat devices cut the cost of operating by giving false emissions readings that can result in the release of excessive emissions into the atmosphere.

Some of the way this is done include:

  • using devices designed to stop emissions control systems from working
  • removing the diesel particulate filter or trap
  • using cheap, fake emission reduction devices or diesel exhaust fluid
  • using illegal engine modifications which result in excessive emissions
  • removing or bypassing the exhaust gas recirculation valve

DVSA is also working with its counterpart agencies across Europe to make sure that all offences committed by hauliers from outside Great Britain are dealt with in the country they’re based.

Following the success of this operation, DVSA will start checking for emissions cheat devices at more locations across Great Britain from Spring 2018.

The checks support the government’s plan for reducing roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations, which can cause health problems in vulnerable individuals in society.

Richard Turfitt, senior traffic commissioner, said: “Traffic Commissioners welcome the steps being taken by the enforcement agency to identify emissions cheats. Use of these devices threatens to undercut responsible and compliant operators as well as damaging the environment and public health. Traffic Commissioners will look to take action wherever an operator seeks an unfair and illegal advantage over the rest of industry.”

Will Dalrymple

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