A lorry driver who worked for 26 hours without taking a proper break was fined £520 and ordered off the roads to rest under a safety operation carried out by Essex Police.
Two other drivers, in a vehicle from a European- based company, were found to have amassed 160 infringements in connection with their working hours and rest breaks. They were fined £600 each .
The three drivers were stopped during checks under Operation Mermaid, a national campaign to rid the roads of dangerous and poorly-driven lorries.
A total of 28 lorries were stopped and checked on October 6 at Moto services off the M25 at Thurrock and 80 driver’s hours infringements were discovered, leading two two prohibitions and fines totalling £2,360.
Pc Dave Gorbutt of Essex Police Commercial Vehicle Unit said: “One of the prohibited drivers was working for a firm based in Thurrock and had worked for 26 hours without taking a proper break. He altered the clock on his tachograph in an attempt to hide this but we discovered that he had spent 26 hours doing a mixture of driving, making deliveries and taking short breaks. What he had not done however, was to take a proper nine-hour rest break.”
In a similar operation at Thurrock on October 8 a total of 54 vehicles were checked. Two vehicles were taken off the road for having mechanical defects and 323 driver’s hours infringements were found, including those by the two European drivers. Fines totalling £1,440 were taken.
Pc Gorbutt said: “The two men had driven a vehicle across Europe but had no regard for regulations controlling the time they spend at the wheel. They had also been recently fined by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, VOSA for similar offences on other dates.”