South Shields firm fined for overloading van with curry

The overloaded van
The overloaded van

The driver of a van from South Shields has paid a heavy price for overloading the vehicle with frozen curries.

Magistrates in County Durham heard the vehicle being used by Punjab Kitchen Limited, of Eldon Street, South Shields, was being driven by Kevin Hansson, 48, of Holbein Road, South Shields.

The vehicle, which was carrying frozen curry meals, was found to be overloaded by 790kg - 22.5%.

It was carrying a load weighing 4,290kg where the maximum permitted was 3,500kg.

The case was heard at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court during a prosecution brought by Durham County Council followed routine weighing of vehicles by trading standards officers in the county last year.

Punjab Kitchen Limited and Hansson were absent but had pleaded guilty by letter.

The company was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £399.95 and victim surcharges of £100.

Hansson was fined £200 and a victim surcharge of £30.

The case was one of three similar prosecutions.

Owen Cleugh, Durham County Council’s consumer protection manager, said: “Weight restrictions for goods vehicles exist for the safety of all road users.

“By overloading a vehicle you are increasing the chances of it being involved in an accident with potentially fatal consequence, due to the massive strain it puts on tyres and making it more difficult to steer and longer to stop.

“I hope these cases serve as a reminder to companies and their drivers to not only be aware of weight restrictions but to operate within these limits.”