The DVSA is to target lorry drivers and operators who try to get around vehicle emissions standards by carrying out roadside checks and punishing those who are found guilty of breaking the law.

Staff in the DVSA and those working in similar agencies across Europe have discovered evidence that shows drivers and operators use devices and methods in order to cheat vehicle emissions and lower operating costs. These methods vary in complexity, with some operators making use of special devices in order to prevent emissions control systems from working, while others simply remove components from their vehicles, such as the diesel particulate filter.

In order to try and cut down on these types of practices and to help the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to meet their plans to improve air quality in the UK by reducing nitrogen dioxide emissions, the DVSA’s enforcement staff will begin roadside checks. For any vehicles that are found to have had their emissions readings tampered with, the driver and operator will be given 10 days to fix it. If after 10 days the issue hasn’t been addressed then a fine will be issued and the vehicle will not be able to be used on the road.

For repeat offenders, DVSA staff have the power to insist a vehicle is removed from the road immediately.

Speaking about the new crackdown, DVSA  chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said: “DVSA’s priority is to protect you from unsafe drivers and vehicles. 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.”