POLICE officers stopped more than 150 vehicles during a week-long clampdown targeting vans and HGVs.

Between July 18 and 22, officers stopped commercial vehicles on the A34 between Winchester and Bicester.

Of the 151 vehicles stopped during the week, 30 were deemed safe however officers found at least one fault with the rest.

In total, 358 offences were identified.

READ ALSO: Police officers use lorry cabs to catch out drivers breaking the law

Twenty-three vehicles were found to be unsafe due to poor load securing, and 48 mechanical faults were identified, such as issues with tyres, brakes and lights.

Seventeen vehicles were deemed unsafe due to insufficient views in their mirrors, while other offences included HGVs travelling where prohibited and the use of red diesel as fuel.

Four HGV drivers and one coach driver were found to have manipulated their tachograph records in order to drive beyond the prescribed limits.

They were reported for summons and referred to the DVSA for follow up action with their employers.

Sergeant Paul Diamond said: “Examining commercial vehicles is business as usual for roads policing but weeks of co-ordinated action give us an opportunity to target specific offenders, obtain data on wider patterns of risk and to police whole roads instead of just the junctions on our area.

“During this operation, we were able to target vehicles which we believed were likely to be driven unlawfully.

“Once stopped, we examined the vehicles and counted all the infringements, which are reflected in the statistics.

“We then spoke with each of the drivers about the risks they were posing to themselves and other road users by not maintaining, or driving, their vehicles in a lawful way.

“We issued a number of tickets and the vehicles were prohibited until the issues were corrected.

“These types of vehicles are driven regularly and often for long periods and across long distances, it is important they are maintained and driven safely to protect all those using the roads.

“On the whole, those using commercial vehicles are compliant and aware of their responsibilities but operations like this allow us to target those who do not meet the standards required.

“Effective roads policing is about having the skills and tactics to manage all risks brought by all the different types of vehicles on the road.

“We have a strong capability in specialist roads policing and, by working with partners, we are able to proactively remove dangers that would otherwise be unseen.”

The week of action was co-ordinated by the National Police Chiefs Council.

Read more from this author

This story was written by Liam Rice, he joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Liam covers politics, travel and transport. He occasionally covers Oxford United.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Liam.rice@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailLiamRice