That’s the warning from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, which says overloading of Special Type General Order (STGO) vehicles, or using the wrong type of vehicle and trailer, is reckless and can endanger other road users.
DVSA director of enforcement Marian Kitson says: “Lorries have a maximum load weight for a reason. Operators and drivers are putting the public in serious danger by overloading them.
“Overloaded brakes and tyres don’t work properly, and the results can be catastrophic. That’s why we won’t hesitate in prosecuting those who put people’s lives at risk and undercut responsible operators.”
Where operators are found not to be complying with the regulations, DVSA will refer cases to the traffic commissioners who could revoke their licence.
The warning follows three cases where DVSA has successfully prosecuted firms for overloading vehicles. The most recent of these was WS Transportation, of Runcorn, whose directors are Edward Stobart and William Stobart. The company was fined £27,000 last week at Bristol magistrates’ court for breaching STGO regulations when it transported a heavy crane using a trailer with insufficient load capability (pictured).
The court agreed with DVSA that the operator had been reckless, had no clear systems in place and had not trained the driver properly.
Click the link below for a copy of the STGO enforcement guide.