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• Hauliers have an absolute duty to prevent their drivers committing overloading offences—but will escape overloading charges if a mistake is made by the customer, rather than the driver—a judge has decided At Bradford Crown Court, Judge Robert Taylor reduced to £350 a £1,000 fine on Kidds Transport of Lancaster for a front-axle overload imposed by Huddersfield magistrates.
For the company, John Backhouse produced what he called the "local formula" used by Huddersfield magistrates to determine overloading penalties.
He said the penalties rose with increased gross vehicle weight, and dramatically increased with the number of vehicles operated. Surely the more vehicles that were operated, the less reprehensible it was if one was overloaded due to a mistake by the driver, said Bacldiouse.
In cutting the fine, Judge Taylor said that he preferred the Magistrates Associ-ation Guidelines to those used by Huddersfield magistrates.