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Roadside emissions checks to be carried out on trucks in UK

Monty Rakusen | Cultura | Getty Images

The U.K. government has announced that, from August, roadside checks of trucks are to include an emissions check. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will undertake the checks to home in on those breaking the law and help boost air quality.

The government added that DVSA enforcement staff – as well as European counterparts – had found evidence of drivers and operators using "emissions cheat devices" to cut operating costs. These include the use of devices designed to prevent emissions control systems working; illegal engine modifications which cause excessive emissions; and the removal of a vehicle's diesel particulate filter, or "trap."

Those found to be using a vehicle with tampered readings will be given 10 days to sort their emissions system. If they do not, their vehicle will be taken off the road and they will be issued with a fine. Repeat offenders could see their vehicle taken off the road immediately if DVSA enforcement staff believe it necessary.

"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," Gareth Llewellyn, chief executive of the DVSA, said in a statement.

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

Air pollution is a serious problem in the U.K. Last year, a report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Royal College of Physicians said that exposure to outdoor air pollution was linked to roughly 40,000 deaths every year in the U.K.