TWO THIRDS of vehicles stopped by police as part of a high-profile road safety clampdown were found to be travelling illegally.

And around a dozen vehicles were in such a dangerous condition that they were barred from continuing their journeys until repairs had been carried out.

Just under 100 vans, light goods vehicles and HGVs were stopped during Lancashire Police's Operation Canberra, which ran from 6am to 6pm yesterday.

Vehicles were stopped and given a thorough examination as they passed the British Aerospace site at Samlesbury.

Drivers were also questioned about their journeys and the loads they were carrying.

Problems ranged from overloading and defective brakes to tachograph offences and serious mechanical faults.

A number of drivers were cautioned and advised to carry out repairs, but others could face court action. Insp Dave Pye of Lancashire Police said: "Distressingly, a high number of vehicles continue to be found with faults.

"Two thirds of all vehicles stopped had something wrong with them or the drivers.

"We stopped everything from pick-ups to Transits and articulated lorries and the faults we found are the ones we are finding all too frequently.

"Goods vehicles are often overlooked in road safety terms but the results can be very dangerous."

Officers from the force's stolen vehicle squad and HGV enforcement officers with expertise in checking tachograph records took part in the operation.

They were joined by officers from the Department of Social Security, Department of Transport vehicle examiner and animal welfare officials from Lancashire County Council.

Health and safety inspectors also checked vehicles carrying hazardous loads.

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