Operation Mermaid: A Fine Success

ESSEX road policing officers stopped and checked 56 vehicles on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 as they continued an operation to rid the county’s roads of dangerous and poorly-driven lorries.

The checks, carried out under Operation Mermaid, a nationwide campaign to improve road safety, were held at Thurrock services, off the M25. Officers from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, UK Border Agency and Thurrock Council were also involved in the operation.

Twelve vehicles were prevented from travelling any further because of mechanical defects; one was stopped because the driver had exceeded the legal time for being behind the wheel; one vehicle was halted under a hazardous materials prohibition and another was found to be overweight. Four vehicles were seized for having no insurance and a total of £1,100 was taken in fixed penalty charges and deposits.

A total of 170 hours infringements were also discovered.

Officers from UK Border Agency also stopped seven continental lorries whose operators had not paid fines for previous offences of carrying illegal immigrants. A total of £15,200 was collected in unpaid fines.

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