Lorries clamped in Thurrock as part of purge on tired drivers

ESSEX road policing officers are to increase night safety checks on commercial vehicles following concern over the number of collisions involving drivers who were tired or had been drinking.

Nearly half of crashes on the Essex stretch of the M25 over the past three years were found to involve drivers who had worked over their hours or had been drinking during ferry crossings or night stops.

The night checks will be carried out under Operation Mermaid, the nationwide campaign to crackdown on dangerous and poorly-driven lorries and vans.

Essex Police Casualty Reduction Manager, Adam Pipe said: “Forty-six per cent of fatal and serious injury collisions on our stretch of the M25 are due to tiredness or alcohol.

“These crashes have involved heavy good vehicles or vans going out of control and running into other vehicles, road signs or crash barriers on either side of the carriageway.

“We will be carrying out night operations on a regular basis to reduce the number of drivers who are breaking the law by drink-driving and tampering with their tachographs to work much longer hours than they should be doing.”

Essex road policing officers stopped and checked 71 commercial vehicles during day and night operations in Thurrock last week.

The checks were held at Moto Services off the M25 during the day on Wednesday March 9 and overnight on Thursday and Friday March 10 and 11.

Examiners from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) also took part in both operations.

A total of 27 vehicles were stopped on Wednesday. Ten mechanical faults were found and 122 driver hours infringements were detected. A total of £1,380 was collected in penalty notices.

The overnight operation resulted in 42 vehicles were checked. A total of 158 driver hours infringements and two lorries were clamped- until drivers had completed suitable rest breaks. Eighteen penalty notices were issued for other offences and a total of £2,840 was taken in fines and deposits.

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