£500 fine for lorry driver who flouted bridge weight restriction

Graham Hosier, 48, was spotted by a county council bridge technician crossing Shabbington East Bridge near Thame on 19 June last year.

Weak bridge

Subsequent follow-up work by Trading Standards tracked Hosier down and he was charged.

The 3-tonne weight limited was installed after surveys found the bridge to be weak.

Hosier, of Waverley Avenue, Kidlington admitted breaching the weight restriction and was sentenced at Oxford Magistrates' Court yesterday (Monday 17 February). He was fined £500 and was also ordered to pay £130 costs and a £50 victims' surcharge fee.

An irresponsible act

Richard Webb, the county council's Trading Standards team's Manager, said: "Bridge weight restrictions are there for a very good reason as limits are how much a bridge has been assessed as being able to safely take at a time.

"Ignoring restrictions mean drivers of heavy vehicles are putting other bridge users and themselves in danger as they could cause a serious accident through a bridge collapse.

"Driving a vehicle over a bridge that is over the weight limit and that could be two-and-a-half times the maximum permitted weight is utterly irresponsible."

Conviction should be a warning to others

Mr Webb said: "It may be tempting for drivers to flout the rules in order to take a short-cut, but it's always better to take the long and legal way round to ensure other road users' safety and to avoid getting a criminal conviction.

"I hope this case acts as a warning to other drivers who might be thinking of ignoring bridge weight restrictions."

The breach of the weight restriction charge is based on the maximum permitted weight of the lorry - 7.5-tonnes - rather than its actual weight.