New app tools designed to enable easy checking of abnormal loads have been immediately adopted by a quarter of the UK’s police forces.

The enhancements – made to the FleetCheck Driver app – are already in use by Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG), Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Gwent, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Lancashire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Staffordshire forces.

The tools are based on new checksheets created by the fleet software specialist working in conjunction with National Highways and CMPG, which have also been added to the College of Policing web site. These have been built into the Driver app, with the two main documents covering instances when the police stop a vehicle with an abnormal load or are escorting one through their area. These exist in variants for both UK registered and foreign vehicles.

A driver-facing version of the checksheets has also been incorporated into the app for private companies that specialise in escorting abnormal loads in order to self-audit compliance.

Barrie Wilson CMILT, commercial fleet consultant at FleetCheck, said: “CMPG have been running an initiative called Operation Nightstare that is designed to clamp down on illegal abnormal loads and has found a very high level of non-compliance. The work we have been doing with them and with National Highways is very much designed to dovetail with this campaign, helping operators to meet their legal obligations and the police to inspect vehicles.

“The checksheets have been added free to all commercial users of our Driver app – in use by fleets totalling 220,000 vehicles – and mean that legal requirements can be checked quickly and easily using any smartphone or tablet in a structured manner, helping both compliance and enforcement.”

Marie Biddulph, National Highways assistant regional safety co-ordinator for the Midlands, said “Drivers carrying abnormal loads have a huge responsibility, and it is vital for the safety of all road users that they comply with the appropriate regulations. The work we have been doing with CMPG and FleetCheck will help to ensure that more meet their legal responsibilities.”

The FleetCheck Driver app, introduced in 2017 and regularly enhanced ever since, is designed to streamline legally-required vehicle inspection processes for fleets, removing the need for manual paper trails while also providing additional features such as fit to drive declarations, fuel purchase details and incident reporting.

An abnormal load is a vehicle that has a weight of more than 44,000kg, an axle load of more than 10,000kg for a single non-driving axle and 11,500kg for a single driving axle, a width of more than 2.9 metres, or a total length of more than 18.65 metres.