Drivers stopped and checked in police operation in Huddersfield on Wednesday

Police and agencies day of action at Leeds Road Playing Fields as part of Operation Viper

Pick-up truck found to be overladen
Pick-up truck found to be overladen

Overloaded trucks and uninsured drivers were just some of the motoring offences detected in Huddersfield in a big policing operation.

Police officers flagged down dozens cars, trucks and vans near Leeds Road Playing Fields over several hours yesterday to carry out random spot checks and seek out vehicles linked to crime.

And the operation proved a success with a number of cars seized and others found to have defects.

One vehicle recovery truck was found to be over-weight transporting a white Vauxhall Astra.

Another pick-up truck heavily laden with timber was stopped and was found to be a quarter of a tonne overweight.

Police organised the day of action under Operation Viper - a specialist project to deter and detect crime.

They were assisted in the checks by Vehicle and Operation Services Agency officials and HMRC Customs officers who also carried out their own checks.

Kirklees Taxi Licensing officers were also in attendance.

Sgt Des Sawdon, who led the operation, said: “We are primarily looking at commercial vehicles and 4x4s but will stop any vehicle if we consider it necessary.

“Once we have stopped vehicles we inform drivers about the operation and begin making initial checks to see whether the vehicle is roadworthy.

Sgt Des Sawdon
Sgt Des Sawdon
 

“Does it have bald tyres, are the wheel nuts loose, is it over loaded?: The majority of motorists have nothing to hide and are fully cooperating.

“We’ve also looked at general motoring offences while it was on the road such as seat belts and mobile phone usage.”

Sgt Sawdon added: “We know that criminals operate in vehicles and we are bringing the fight to them.

“Vehicles which are over loaded pose a serious danger to the public.

“This initiative is about working in partnership with other agencies to educate and deter motoring offences.

“Hundreds of motorists will see our patrols on Leeds Road and it creates a wider awareness that those involved in criminal activity know we are operating random checks.”

David Pilling, 67, was stopped and found to have nothing wrong with his Kango Van.

Mr Pilling, of Elland, said: “I fully support what the police are doing here.

“A few minutes check isn’t really a big inconvenience and it’s important vehicles are roadworthy.”

But Justin Mason, 40, of Fartown, whose van was stopped and also found to be fully compliant, said: “I think there are more important things the police could be doing rather than having all of this. If they are doing all vehicles it’s not so bad, but if they are just doing commercial goods its punishing the workers.”

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