‘A Tragedy Waiting to Happen’ – Checks Reveal One-in-Eight Foreign Lorries Have Dangerous Defects

Checks by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have revealed that one-in-eight foreign lorries on Britain’s roads have safety issues – a situation described as “a tragedy waiting happen”.

DVSA agents randomly stopped more than 6,000 vehicles as part of their annual compliance checks, and found that some 12.5 per cent of foreign lorries were ‘mechanically defective’, The Times reports.

Brake defects, one of the most dangerous faults with heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), accounted for 33 per cent of defects in foreign lorries, compared with 28 per cent for British lorries.

“As in most previous years non-GB vehicles and drivers have higher rates of prohibition and serious offence rates than GB drivers and vehicles,” noted the DVSA, highlighting the fact that lorries checked in Hampshire and its environs — where many foreign vehicles enter the country — had “significantly higher rates of mechanical defect” than elsewhere.

“If you have a 44-tonne truck with faulty brakes or steering that really is a tragedy waiting to happen,” warned AA president Edmund King.

“This provides more evidence that foreign lorries are not up to same standards as GB lorries. This poses an extra danger — particularly on motorways around the ports.”

Earlier in 2017, it was revealed that hundreds of foreign drivers were tampering with onboard Tachograph machines, designed to prevent hauliers from violating safety regulations on the number of continuous or total weekly driving hours.

The DVSA said the number of detected tamperings had increased by some 21 per cent in a year, leaving pedestrians, cyclists, and other road users at risk from exhausted drivers whose concentration has broken down.

Between January 2008 and June 2015, more than half of all cyclists killed in collisions in London involved HGVs, and answers to parliamentary questions indicate that the number of pedestrians being killed is even higher.

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