POLICE have been hunting for dodgy vehicles – on forecourts.
Officers and West Yorkshire Trading Standards officials joined forces to target four car sales companies in the Dewsbury area as part of Operation Maximum Impact.
The month-long operation throughout February involves police in West, South and North Yorkshire and Humberside often working together on a series of co-ordinated operations.
The raids on car sales companies also featured officials from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and the Customs.
They found cars unfit for the road on sale at all four premises.
Eleven vehicles were given prohibition notices for basic faults ranging from unroadworthy tyres to windows tinted too dark. This means they cannot go on the road until the problems are sorted out.
One garage had five unroadworthy cars for sale.
And three cars were found to be running unlawfully on ‘red diesel’, which should only be used in off-road vehicles such as tractors and agricultural machinery.
Trading standards officials are collating all the results and are now investigating the garages.
They also found evidence of vehicles not being described properly and misleading credit advertisements. Further inquires will be made into these possible offences.
Sgt Paul Denton, from Huddersfield traffic police, said: “This should be seen as a dual warning; firstly to car sales companies that we will continue to look for unroadworthy vehicles for sale and also to potential buyers, who must do all they can to make sure the cars they are buying are roadworthy.
“We will not tolerate people who flout the law and place other people's lives in danger in this manner. Hopefully this will send out a message to others who are considering selling unfit vehicles that they will be caught and dealt with.’’
He also warned that if people are having a test drive in a car for sale they will be liable if the police stop them and find defects on the vehicle.
He said: “The onus is on the driver to make sure any car they are in is roadworthy. It is the same if you are borrowing a car from a relative or friend or hiring it.
“If the car is found to be defective the driver, along with the owner, will be in trouble.’’
West Yorkshire Trading Standards Chief Officer Graham Hebblethwaite said: “The success of this operation has demonstrated the many benefits of multi- agency working.
“It should send out the right message to those who put profit before public safety.’’