MORE than 120 vehicles were stopped and checked in Thurrock during an operation on Tuesday November 22 to improve road safety and to crack down on metal theft.
Cars, vans and heavy goods vehicles, especially those carrying scrap metal, were intercepted in the M25 and A13 areas and checked at the roadside or taken to the Moto services area for further investigation.
Essex roads policing officers and specialist officers from the commercial vehicle unit were joined by metal theft investigators from British Telecom and British Transport Police, trading standards officers and community safety officers from Thurrock Council and officers from the Environment Agency. Engineers from VOSA, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, examined vehicles suspected of being faulty.
The checks were also part of Operation Mermaid, the national campaign to rid the roads of poorly maintained or badly driven commercial vehicles.
Four vehicles were seized after it was found their drivers were not insured, two drivers were reported for having no licence and 21 fixed penalty notices were issued for other motoring offences. One motorist was found to be in possession of cannabis and was later given a caution.
Ten scrap metal carriers were checked and two were found to have no waste carrier licences.
VOSA officers assisted in a total of 25 mechanical prohibitions including an immediate escort to a workshop for a Polish articulated truck with defective brakes.
A total of 214 driver hours offences were detected and a total of £3,430 was collected in fixed penalty fines.
Two lorries loaded with beer were stopped on suspicion of duty evasion but were allowed to continue their journeys after checks were carried out by Customs officers.