Finland’s first 24-hour-long traffic surveillance exercise ended at 6.00am Wednesday morning, giving police a haul of more than 300 fines issued to truck drivers.
Police managed to check just over 1,000 heavy vehicles during the exercise. They found that 168 drivers had not had their compulsory break, while the tachograph on 43 vehicles were faulty or did not function at all. A tachograph is a device fitted to vehicles to record speed, distance and driver activity.
"That is quite a lot, if out of just over a thousand stopped, we write more than 300 fines. On the other hand we were rather thorough," said Inspector Jouni Takala of the National Police Board.
Loose loads, minor speeding, but sober drivers
Police inspections revealed that loads had been loosely or incorrectly secured, or not secured at all in 27 cases. Another 26 trucks had been overloaded, but were not fined as they are subject to an administrative charge for the infraction.
While the enforcement exercise uncovered many misdemeanours, officers found that for the most part, truck drivers are sober when they get behind the wheel.
Around 840 of the trucks inspected were domestic while roughly 130 had foreign registration plates. This time around, officers paid particular attention to charter coaches, checking 58. They found that some of the drivers were performing their jobs in a state of fatigue.
"On the bus side there were a few rest period violations, however all of the drivers were duly licensed," Takala noted.
Police also wanted to determine if people licensed to operate heavy and charter vehicles also had bus driver licenses.
"This was also publicised in advance and many drivers were aware of the exercise. However foreign drivers were of course not aware of it," Takala added.
He said that one of the commonest violations encountered during the Tuesday night surveillance marathon was minor speeding infractions.
"Heavy vehicle monitoring should focus more on the nighttime, and this is very seldom done," he commented.