Weight restriction enforcement | Oxfordshire County Council

Weight restriction enforcement

Information about Weight Restriction Orders for drivers and residents who want to report breaches.

A sign warning of enforcement checksWeight restriction orders make it an offence to drive a vehicle through the restricted area where the vehicle exceeds the weight limit imposed unless they are delivering or collecting within the weight restriction.

The Police and the Trading Standards Service can enforce Weight Restriction Orders under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. In Oxfordshire, routine inspections are made across the county to ensure that vehicles are not breaking these orders.

Weight Restriction Orders are intended to

  • protect old or weak bridges and structures
  • bar heavy vehicles from areas unsuitable for their size or if they pose a danger, for example narrow village roads, adjoining schools.

Enforcement work

Round up of enforcement work undertaken in 2017

  • Vehicles identified by Trading Standards enforcement officers: 20
  • Enforcement checks by enforcement officers at weight restriction sites: 14
  • Warning letters to drivers found in breach of weight restrictions: 17
  • Decisions to prosecute so far: 4
  • No further action (typically because the HGV has a destination inside the weight restriction): 22
  • Wrong registration provided so no action possible: 7
  • Investigation still in progress: 26
  • Repeat offenders identified: 0

Public reports investigated

  • New reports of HGVs in weights restriction areas: 76
  • Vehicles identified by members of the public: 56

Officer checks

  • Newbridge
  • Charlbury
  • Church Enstone
  • Northmoor
  • Tadpole Bridge
  • Garsington
  • Whitchurch on Thames
  • West Hagbourne
  • Sutton Courtenay
  • Clifton Hampden

 

Cases in court

In addition to this new investigative work, a number of drivers were prosecuted based upon earlier investigation work, with their cases in the Magistrates Court between January and April 2017.

January

Two drivers were convicted of breaching weight restrictions at Charlbury and Newbridge. One driver received an absolute discharge and the other was fined £300.

February

Five drivers were convicted of breaching weight restrictions in Church Enstone, Newbridge and Watlington. Fines ranged from £500 to £600 per offence.

March

One driver was convicted of breaching the weight restriction at Church Enstone and was fined £400.

April

Five drivers were convicted of breaching weight restrictions at Launston, Church Enstone and Warborough. Fines ranged from £400 to £500 per offence.

The Council was awarded costs against all the convicted drivers to reflect some of the work involved in dealing with each breach. A victim surcharge of 10% of the fine was also imposed upon each driver.

The use of ANPR cameras at Newbridge

Newbridge is a listed ancient monument which is subject to an 18 tonnes maximum gross weight restriction which applies to all vehicles, not just HGVs. Installing cameras will enable Trading Standards to identify every overweight vehicle that crosses the bridge.

New cameras and improved signs, along with active enforcement will protect the bridge from unnecessary and expensive damage.

Advice for drivers of heavy vehicles

  • the driver of the vehicle is liable for the offence. The company could also be responsible as the user of the vehicle.
  • if your vehicle is seen breaching a weight restriction you may be prosecuted. The maximum fine is £1,000. The council will also seek to recover prosecution costs.

How to avoid breaching a Weight Restriction Order

  • know the plated weight and individual axle weights for your vehicle
  • plan your route in advance to avoid weight restricted areas, guidance can be found here
  • ensure that you display any exemption permit that may be applicable to your journey
  • following satnav advice does not create a defence acceptible in law.

Know what weight restriction signs mean

Road sign showing a warning of a weak bridge up ahead Road sign showing weight limit of 7.5 tons
No vehicles over maximum gross weight shown (in tonnes) No goods vehicles over maximum gross weight shown
A road sign showing a warning of except for access.  
Except for access to premises or land adjacent to the road within the weight restriction zone, where there is no other route. Other exemptions may be shown e.g. “Except for Loading”  

Finding out the maximum gross weight and axle weights of your vehicle

The maximum permitted gross and the axle weights of your vehicle can be found listed on 'plates', which must be fitted to all vehicles and certain trailers. These will either be a manufacturer's plate or a Department of Transport plate and are usually located either in the cabin or under the bonnet of vehicles or on the chassis of trailers. The weights are given in metric units of kilograms (kg).

See also:

Advice for residents

Reporting breaches of weight restrictions in your area

We are working with Neighbourhood Watch groups to protect Oxfordshire's roads and bridges and safeguard local communities. You can use the online form below to report breaches.

In the interest of your safety, under no circumstances should you attempt to follow or stop any vehicle. Mobile telephones should not be used for any purpose whilst you are in control of a motor vehicle including taking pictures.

Help in identifying vehicle types

How to report breaches

If you have witnessed a suspected breach of a highway weight restriction by a vehicle in Oxfordshire you can report this matter to Oxfordshire Trading Standards dedicated Road Traffic Enforcement Team for further investigation.

Incident details

:
The direction of travel
The direction of travel

Photographs

Have you taken a photograph?

Please note we can only accept photographs in their original state that have not been subject to any photo-editing software.

Files must be less than 50 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png avi mov mp3 ogg wav.
Files must be less than 8 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg png avi mov mp3 ogg wav.
Files must be less than 8 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg png avi mov mp3 ogg wav.
Files must be less than 8 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg png avi mov mp3 ogg wav.

 

Your details

Witness statement

If you are not prepared to provide a statement the vehicle details will be recorded but no further action taken.

If you have indicated that you are willing to provide a statement an officer will be in contact to update you in due course. Please retain any notes made relating to this suspected breach as you will be required to produce them as an exhibit.

A weak bridge signData Protection Act 1998

The information you provide will be recorded and used for the purposes of the prevention and detection of crime and for monitoring and administrative functions. Where it is relevant it may be shared with other law enforcement agencies and organisations.

Last reviewed
09 June 2017
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