Thousands of pounds in fines were handed out as dozens of recovery vehicles were stopped during a special police operation in a bid to clamp down on the theft of construction equipment.
In a one-day operation, Greater Manchester Police Traffic Officers detected 21 offences in Oldham - some of which resulted in officers issuing immediate prohibitions to drivers as a result of defects found on vehicles, and they were prevented from continuing their journey until the defect was corrected.
On Tuesday (9 February), officers from the GMP Safer Roads Targeting Team teamed up with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) as part of Operation Globemaster, which aims to improve the safety of the road networks by ensuring vehicles are in the correct manner to be driven, as well as target the recent increase in the theft of construction equipment across Greater Manchester.
During the operation, vehicles - particularly those which were carrying construction machinery - were taken to a check site. Many were found to be travelling in an unsafe condition, leading to examination by specialist officers and staff to check their load and tax, insurance, tyres, tachograph and the general condition of the vehicle.
Officers recorded 11 offences relating to vehicles travelling with overweight loads, resulting in nearly £9,000 worth of fines and another two offences for vehicles carrying unsecure loads. Both offences can cause serious hazards for other drivers on the road, as well as significantly impact the stopping distance for a vehicle making it more likely for collisions to occur.
Other offences included vehicles travelling with excess width, travelling outside of the time permitted and number plate issues.
Officers also gave verbal advice to those who had not committed any offences.
Inspector Steve Bryant, of GMP's Safer Transport Team, said: "It is our priority to keep the roads of Greater Manchester and the people that use them safe.
"When drivers travel without taking the time to secure their loads properly or take the risk by packing their vehicle with excessive weight it puts them and other road uses at risk – unnecessary risk.
"Loads shifting can fall into the road and injure others, overweight vehicles can affect stopping distance causing collisions or making the impact more serious.
"This operation will be repeated over the coming months to target those who drive in this dangerous manner as well as educating those on these strategic roads.
"We hope to see a reduction in the theft of construction equipment and machinery, as well as a reduction in the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on Greater Manchester roads."