Vehicle overloaded with frozen curries lands driver and firm in court
Companies and drivers which overloaded their vehicles - including one full of frozen curries - are counting the cost after being ordered to pay hundreds of pounds in fines each.
The first case, in September, involved a vehicle being used by Punjab Kitchen Limited, of South Shields, and being driven by Kevin Hansson, 48, of Holbein Road, South Shields.
The vehicle, which was carrying frozen curry meals, was found to be overloaded by 790kg (22.5 per cent), carrying a load weighing 4,290kg where the maximum permitted was 3,500kg.
The second case, from August, involved a vehicle being driven by Jamal Abas Sirwan, 37, of Bywell Road, Dewsbury.
The vehicle, which was transporting a car from Peterlee to Dewsbury, in West Yorkshire, was overloaded on its rear axle by 480kgs (21 per cent) and by 300kgs (8.5 per cent) on the gross weight of the vehicle.
The third case, from June, involved a vehicle being driven by George William Miller, 24, of Ashwood Grange, Thornley on behalf of his business Miller Roadways.
The vehicle, which was carrying resin aggregates, was overloaded by 980kgs (28 per cent), carrying a load weighing 4,480kgs where the maximum permitted for the vehicle was 3,500kg.
All three cases were heard at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court on Wednesday. Punjab Kitchen Limited and Hansson were absent but had pleaded guilty by letter to three charges each.
The company was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £399.95 and victim surcharges of £100. Hansson was fined £200 and a victim surcharge of £30.
Sirwan had no contact with the court, which proceeded in his absence. He was found guilty on two charges and was fined £460, costs of £399.95 and a victim surcharge of £46.
Miller did not attend court but had pleaded guilty by post to two charges. He was fined £420 and ordered to pay costs of £545 and a victim surcharge of £42.
Owen Cleugh, our consumer protection manager, said: "Weight restrictions for goods vehicles exist for the safety of all road users.
"By overloading a vehicle you are increasing the chances of it being involved in an accident with potentially fatal consequence due to the massive strain it puts on tyres and making it more difficult to steer and longer to stop.
"I hope these cases serve as a reminder to companies and their drivers to not only be aware of weight restrictions but to operate within these limits."