Horse Transporters Targeted
Vehicle Inspectorate has now impounded over 100 vehicles for operating
without the correct licences.
on the 100th impounding at the end of last year, Bob Tatchell, VI's
Operations Director said; "This is good news for road safety
and legitimate operators. Impounding is an effective sanction against
those who continue to flout the law. The Vehicle Inspectorate is
aware of those who have simply not bothered to get a licence, and
they will be specifically targeted."
owners could also have their vehicles impounded by the Vehicle Inspectorate
and then scrapped or sold - just for playing the good Samaritan
after a fellow owner has broken down. It is illegal to accept any
form of payment - even in kind - for transporting horses without
an Operators Licence and the correct hire and reward insurance.
the last few years many people have been tempted to accept payment
for transporting horses, often with the best intentions," explained
Jon Phillips, Managing Director of the Organisation Horsebox and
Trailer Owners. "We have even heard of horsebox owners being
recruited by rescue companies to assist others in the case of breakdown.
This is fine if the individual concerned has an Operators Licence
and the correct hire and reward insurance. If not, they stand a
very real chance of losing their vehicle altogether. Being told
that the company concerned holds a licence and insurance that covers
you simply is not good enough, no matter how reliable or well known
that company appears to be."
V.I. can seize any horsebox with a gross plated weight of 3.5 tonnes
or unladen weight of more than 1.525 tonnes found to be contravening
the legislation. Vehicles are taken to a secure compound where they
remain for 21 days. The operator may appeal against wrongful impounding
and any appeal must be made within 21days of the impounding
have to be made to the Traffic Commissioner and then to the transport
tribunal but ignorance of the law will not help. Miranda Roberts
of the Vehicle Inspectorate recently warned that "The grounds
for appeal do not include the owner of the horsebox being unaware
of this change in Department of Transport law."
Vehicle Inspectorate's national helpline for advice is on 0870 60
60 440. This number includes a confidential line allowing drivers
and members of the public to pass on information about potential
lawbreakers to the VI's Intelligence Unit. Any company that actively
encourages the practice should also be reported.