Total of £1,850 in fines for road or bridge weight limit flouters and overloaded vehicle offenders

Dean Locke, of Albert Drive, Wilenhall and Stanley Horne, of Ireby Road, Ireby, both admitted breaching the 7.5-tonne weight restriction at the B4009 in Watlington after being reported to Trading Standards by local residents.

Locke, 33, committed the offence on 26 March this year and Horne, 59, did so a day later. Both were driving 18-tonne lorries and were each fined £250 and were ordered to pay £130 costs each and £25 victim surcharges.

Driver was spotted by a Trading Standards patrol

A Trading Standards enforcement officer spotted Alan Moss, 55, driving his 18-tonne lorry past the 7.5-tonne weak bridge weight restriction at Forest Road, Charlbury on 8 May 2014. Moss, of Sapphire Close, Tuffley, admitted the offence.

Corbett Joseph, of The Close, Marlborough, pleaded guilty to breaching the 7.5-tonne weight restriction on 3 April 2014 at Haseley Road, Little Milton. The 56-year-old, who was driving a 26-tonne heavy goods vehicle, was reported to Trading Standards by a local resident.

Moss and Joseph were both given £250 fines and were told to pay £130 costs and a £25 victim surcharge each.

Overloaded by nearly a third

Stephen McGarry, 43, of Corte Crescent, Calne, was found guilty of using a vehicle and trailer that combined weighed 1,540kg - 30.8% over that permitted by the manufacturer's plate, on Woodstock Road, Yarnton, on 20 March this year. He received a £500 fine and was ordered to pay £130 costs and a £50 victim surcharge.

Leonard Stevens, of Sambourne Park, Minety, and Jack Messenger, of Bowling Green Road, Cirencester, admitted using a vehicle in Marcham Road, Abingdon on 11 April this year whose gross weight was 290kg over that permitted by the manufacturer and to exceeding the manufacturer's axle weight limit by 220kg.

Stevens, the 56-year-old owner of Admiral Roofing UK, the business responsible, was fined £200 for the first offence and was told to pay £130 costs.

Messenger, 25, who was the driver, was handed a £150 fine for the first offence and was ordered to pay £80 costs. Both were ordered to pay £20 victim surcharges and each received no penalty for the axle overload offence.

The overloaded vehicles were escorted to a weighbridge after being seen by officers who suspected that the vehicles were too heavy for legal road use.

The breach of road weight restriction charges faced by the four drivers were based on the maximum permitted weight of the lorries in question rather than their actual weight.

All of the cases were dealt with at Oxford Magistrates' Court on Monday 17 November.

Putting other road users at risk

Richard Wightman, Environmental Protection Unit Team Leader for Oxfordshire County Council's Trading Standards team, said: "Weight restrictions are there for very good reasons either to protect bridges that have become structurally weakened or because the use of particular roads by heavy goods vehicles is not suitable.

"It may be tempting for drivers to ignore such regulations for a short-cut, but by doing so they are potentially putting other road users or roads and bridges at risk.

"Driving an overloaded vehicle can invalidate insurance cover and also could increase braking distances. It can also create an unfair trading advantage and cause excessive wear and damage to roads and bridges.

"This type of enforcement supports local communities as it targets those who ignore the rules and regulations which the vast majority of road users, including local businesses, adhere to."

Fines to act as a deterrent

Councillor Rodney Rose, the Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, who has Cabinet responsibility for Trading Standards, said: "This is another great result for our Trading Standards team - those who choose to flout road weight limit and vehicle weight limit regulations are committing irresponsible acts and I hope that the fines given on this occasion act as a deterrent to others."

Anybody wanting to report a vehicle they think has flouted a road weight can limit can report their concerns to Oxfordshire County Council's Trading Standards team via this link.