Tuesday, 05 July, 2022

Road haulage lawyers and London low emission zone fine


Transport solicitors and London low emission zone penalty charge? The Traffic Commissioner will take an active role in asking questions and challenging your evidence, before making a decision on whether the vehicle should be returned. Again, Smith Bowyer Clarke has a wide experience of successfully securing the release of seized trucks at Traffic Commissioner hearings. Our record is exceptional. Speak to one of our transport lawyers today for a free initial consultation. The UK authorities can seize any EU owned truck suspected of unlawful cabotage operations in the UK. Even if the vehicle was inside the “3 in 7” rule the truck can still be seized if its paperwork is not in order.

Every year, many thousands of illegal migrants break into and hide inside vehicles entering the UK. In most of these cases you, as the haulier operating the vehicle, will have no idea that the migrants are on board. Despite this, if one your vehicles is stopped by the UK Border Force with migrants on board, you can expect to receive a heavy fine (Civil Penalty) unless you can demonstrate that you had proper systems in place to prevent the migrants accessing the vehicle and that the system was working effectively at the time your vehicle was stopped. Once illegal migrants have contaminated one of your loads, in many cases that load will be condemned in its entirety. This is expensive, damaging to your reputation, and can jeopardise future work. At Smith Bowyer Clarke, we have links with a specialist cargo restoration service with average load recovery rates of 85-90%. Contact us to find out more.

Welcome to Smith Bowyer Clarke. We provide, simple, straightforward, and practical legal solutions to all your transport problems. In the eyes of the law, the company is using the vehicle when being driven by an employee. The company can also be deemed to have permitted offences to occur by requesting an employee to use a vehicle which has a defect. The consequences could be the driver attaining penalty points and potentially losing their licence. This may in turn impact your business. For a sole trader, they themselves may end up with penalty points on their licence. For a limited company, there would still be costly fines. If the company also holds an Operator’s Licence, such convictions would need to be reported to the Traffic Commissioner and could then impact on the Repute of the Operator. Read more info at dvsa investigations.

The DVSA don’t waste much of their time visiting compliant operators so it is almost certainly to do with something that you, or your employees/agents, have done or have failed to do. The triggers are legion, but common ones are where your vehicles are stopped and mechanical defects are found; or the vehicle is overloaded; or there are drivers’ hours infringements discovered…. and so on. Alternatively it could be that the visit has been requested by the Traffic Commissioner as a result of a requested variation you have submitted. It might even be that your MOT failure rate is higher than the national average, which always sets alarm bells ringing.

During an operating centre inspection, the DVSA / VOSA will want to analyse your tachograph records and may want to download data from your vehicles and from the driver cards. If tachograph offences are found, the operator can expect to be interviewed under caution about them. Following the interview, the inspection officer will compile a report of their findings. Depending on the seriousness of any tacho infringements found, the operator may be prosecuted, or called to Public Inquiry with the Traffic Commissioner. For more information, speak to one of our specialist transport defence lawyers today. See extra details on https://www.smithbowyerclarke.co.uk/.

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