DVSA has announced it will be targeting truck drivers and operators cheating vehicle emissions with new roadside checks that come into force in August.

In May 2017, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs published a draft plan to improve air quality by reducing nitrogen dioxide levels in the UK. This included looking at ways to reduce emissions produced by commercial vehicles.

DVSA said its enforcement staff and their European counterparts have found evidence drivers and operators use emissions-cheating devices to produce inaccurate results during standard testing. These include:

  • Using devices designed to stop emissions control systems from working
  • Removing the diesel particulate filter or trap
  • Using cheap, fake emission reduction devices or diesel exhaust fluid
  • Using illegal engine modifications which result in excessive emissions
  • Removing or bypassing the EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve

DVSA said its enforcement officers will give drivers and operators 10 days to fix the emissions system if they find it’s been tampered with.

If the emissions system isn’t fixed within 10 days, DVSA will issue a fine and stop the vehicle being used on the road.

DVSA enforcers can insist a vehicle is taken off the road immediately if they find a driver or operator is repeatedly offending.

The Agency said it will investigate all UK operators cheating emissions and pass the findings to the traffic commissioners, who may then remove operator licences.

“DVSA’s priority is to protect you from unsafe drivers and vehicles,” said the Agency’s chief executive, Gareth Llewellyn. “We are committed to taking dangerous vehicles off Britain’s roads and this new initiative to target emissions fraud is a key part of that.

“Anyone who flouts the law is putting other road users – and the quality of our air – at risk. We won’t hesitate to take these drivers, operators and vehicles off our roads.

Transport minister Jesse Norman added: “I welcome this crackdown on rogue hauliers who cheat the system by installing bogus devices which lead to increased pollution.

“There has rightly been a huge public outcry against car manufacturers that have been cheating emissions standards, and the same rule should apply here too.”