Police in Pontefract fine drivers £530 each for using illegal red diesel in stop and search operation

HMRC checked vehicles for red diesel.
HMRC checked vehicles for red diesel.

Police, HMRC and the DVSA took part in a crackdown on dodgy drivers which resulted in several cars being seized and some big fines being issued.

The operation was held in Kinsley, Pontefract, on Thursday (April 25).Eastern Roads Policing Unit in West Yorkshire took charge of an operation which saw officers stopping and checking cars and vans.

The HMRC 'red fuel team' found three vehicles which had illegal red diesel in the tank, and those responsible were fined £536 EACH on the spot.

Another vehicle was seized after the driver abandoned it and ran off.

The Driving Vehicle Standards Agency (VOSA) carried out checks on 17 vans. Six of those had 'serious defects'.

The police stopped cars and issued the following fines and punishments:

1 x Traffic Offence Report for a defective hand brake.

1 x Report for Summons for driving without Due care.

1 x Sec 59 warning.

1 x Arrested - wanted by Chesterfield police for threatening behaviour.

2 x Seizures for no insurance and no licence.

1 x Traffic Offence Report for using a mobile phone whilst driving.

1 x Traffic Offence Report for a defective number plate.

Police remove car for pavement parking in this Leeds street

2 x Vehicle Defect Rectification Scheme notice for minor defects.What is red diesel and why is it illegal?

From a scientific point of view, Red diesel is no different to normal diesel except that it has red colouring dye added to the fuel.

But from a legal point of view, this is to ensure that it can be identified, in case someone tries to use it in a normal road car.

Its use in a normal vehicle on a public road is illegal, and anyone caught using it can be reported to HMRC.

This is because it is not subject to the normal fuel duty. Red diesel is legally used by off-road vehicles such as tractors and farm machinery.

Where does red diesel come from?

Red diesel is a fuel that is used in off road vehicles and machinery. It is used in many industries, most prominently construction and farming.

Do you require a licence to buy red diesel?

No, you do not need a licence to buy gas oil, but you will need to sign an RDCO form.

However, the company selling red diesel or any other controlled oils (rebated bio blend, kerosene and aviation turbine fuel) must be registered with HMRC. It is the responsibility of the dealer of controlled oils to make sure the fuel is being used legitimately, and they may pass on details about the transactions to HMRC which can be further used by the Road Fuel Testing Units (RFTU).

According to GOV.UK: "Report someone to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) if they’re using red diesel on public roads.

"It’s illegal to use red diesel on public roads. You can report it to the HMRCFraud Hotline."