Discharge for wei
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M•Dorking 0 Magistrates have given employed by VP
McKeffry an absolute discharge for using an overloaded vehicle, but they fined the company £200 with £200 costs.
The company, of Swatragh, Northern Ireland, and driver Peter Denyer, had denied exceeding the permitted train weight of an articulated tanker.
DOT traffic examiner Dennis Cooper said that when the tanker was check weighed on a dynamic axle weigher it was found to exceed its permitted train weight of 38,000kg by 1,780kg, (4.7%). The vehicle was carrying what appeared to be black water.
The vehicle was weighed twice because Denyer had difficulty in believing that it was overloaded.
In reply to Jonathan Lawton, defending, Cooper said that the alleged weight was the heavier of the two weights obtained. He was unable to say which of the two weights was the more accurate—the decision to cite the heavier weight was VI policy in such matters. He conceded that, given the consistency of the load, it was inevitable that it would have been moving as it crossed the weighbeam.
Lawton said that the tanker, which was carrying sludge from a water treatment plant, had been calibrated with the assistance of Thames Water. There was a mark on the sight glass showing the maximum amount of liquid that could be carried and the load had not reached that mark.
The prosecution had been brought under Regulation 77, which had two prerequisites, said Lawton. The prosecution had to establish what braking system the vehicle had, as well as identi
fying the vehicle's wheel spacing.
That was a strict requirement which had not been followed. In addition, there was no evidence that the weighbridge had been tested for accuracy in accordance with the Code of Practice, or even tested at all.
It had been conceded that the load would have been moving as the vehicle crossed the weighbeam so it was impossible to say that the accuracy of the weights arrived at was free from doubt.
The magistrates found the case proved.