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Swift action sees council avoid punishment over bin lorry MOT mishap

PUBLISHED: 14:01 10 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:45 11 December 2018

A South Norfolk Council bin lorry. Pic: South Norfolk Council.

A South Norfolk Council bin lorry. Pic: South Norfolk Council.

Archant

A council which mistakenly allowed vans and bin lorries on the road for three months without valid MOTs has to date escaped punishment.

In September it emerged that seven vehicles serving South Norfolk Council’s Ketteringham Depot were being used on the road without MOT certificates - due to a clerical error by officers.

The mistake came as a result of a typing error, which led to the council incorrectly believing two bin lorries and five vans were due for inspection in May 2019, when in reality the certificates had expired at the end of May 2018.

On discovering what had happened, the council immediately removed the vehicles from use until they had been re-inspected, but by this point they had been on the road illegally for three months.

However, it can now be revealed that no action has been taken against the council by either the police or the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

A police spokesman said: “Should the vehicles have been found on the road without a valid MOT, a fixed penalty notice would have been issued immediately.

“We do not routinely investigate retrospective road traffic offences of this nature, in particular when positive action is taken as soon as the error is identified.”

On Thursday, July, 12 one of vans was involved in a collision with a car on the A146, near Loddon, but investigations into this incident are still ongoing. However, the typing error was not discovered until Friday, August 31.

A spokeswoman for South Norfolk Council said: “As soon as we were made aware of the situation, we checked all our fleet immediately and pulled the small number of affected vehicles off the road.

“We regularly safety check all our vehicles and those affected all passed their MOTs without any issues.

“We have looked at all our procedures and have taken steps to ensure this administrative error does not happen again.”

Matthew Barker, DVSA eastern enforcement delivery manager said: “Alongside the police, DVSA will prosecute or fine drivers or operators who use vehicles on the road without an MOT certificate.

“However, DVSA does not comment on any investigations that might be ongoing.”

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