If you happen to be a standard or professional car driver that keeps up to date with the latest news, you are probably already aware the air pollution and emissions have become one of the more popular topics of today. As our atmosphere continues to decrease, we are always in search of the latest innovative methods to decrease the pollution that we create and ways to become a lot more eco-friendly. Due to the fact that most of the pollution we create comes from the vehicles on the roads, it comes as no surprise that this happens to be one of the main focuses. Today, there are new measures that have been implemented to catch the motorists who are avoiding the latest emissions guidelines.
About the Roadside Checks Changes
In August 2017, new changes will be implemented in the way the roadside checks are conducted on HGVs, coaches and lorries. The DVSA issued new guidelines that state that “new emissions cheat devices” are now included in all the roadside checks in regards to the HGV vehicles. “The DVSA will target operators that are attempting to cheat on their vehicle-emission regulations, those who abide by the law will not have to worry,” assures a spokesperson for HGV Training Prices. The department has hopes that they will be able to target these individuals. In this way, there can be significant improvements made to the air-quality as well as decrease the nitrogen-dioxide levels in the UK.
While the efforts implemented over the last few years has resulted in improvements in air-quality levels in Britain, there are still struggles present in lowering quantities of nitrogen-dioxide. This specific pollutant is linked to a number of health issues along with air-quality related diseases and illnesses, which is why it is so important to decrease this particular level. With more than 9,400 deaths each year associated with air-quality illnesses in just London alone, along with road traffic which is recognised as contributing a minimum of 50% of these nitrogen-dioxide levels, reduction of this particular chemical is one of the driving factors.
Fraudulent Emissions Systems
Over the last several years, a number of research teams from the DSVA enforcement staff along with their European counterparts found that a large amount of the HGV drivers use emission “cheat” devices in their HGVs, with the main goal of cutting operational costs. A few of these devices that have been found include:
- Devices that have been designed to inhibit the “inbuilt emissions control systems” from operating correctly
- Removal of a diesel particulate trap or filter
- Using fake or cheap exhaust-reduction devices or the use of diesel exhaust-fluid in order to reduce the emissions reports
- The installation of engine modifications that are illegal, these often results in emissions that are excessive opposed to the use of devices that reduce them
- Bypassing or the removal of the exhaust gas “recirculation valve.”
Of course, any professional HGV driver should not consider conducting any of these cheats, especially when the vehicle that they drive is their own. However, sadly this has become a common practice, which has become so bad that DSVA are putting in the checks in order to prevent these.
Emissions Spot Checks
When an HGV has been pulled over by a DVSA representative, the representative will proceed with specific checks. From August 2017, the “emissions cheat device” check will feature on this list. This will ensure whether the vehicles are matching up to the code. If emission issues or devices are found, the driver is the one held responsible.
The DVSA will give the driver of the vehicle ten days to remedy the emissions-system if they find it has been altered or tampered with. If these issues are not fixed within the 10 day period, the DVSA will give the driver a heavy fine as well as prohibit this vehicle from being used. If a driver is discovered to be an offender that repeats these offences, the DSVA has the right to take this vehicle off of the roads completely.
An important consideration about these regulations is to know that it will not be the company or owner of this vehicle who is considered to be at fault for the cheat device. Rather, the operator who happens to be the person who drives the vehicle who will be found at fault. As a driver, you have a responsibility in regards to the safety of this vehicle and you need to be able to meet up to all the requirements in place.