Police will carry out proactive patrols as part of a campaign to ensure the safety of commercial vehicles this month.

Drivers are being reminded to check that their vehicles are roadworthy and that loads are safely secured.

Officers from Surrey and Sussex Police Roads Policing Unit (RPU) will be ensuring drivers have completed safety checks on their vehicles.

The patrols will be done as part of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) Commercial Vehicle Week.

RPU Sergeant Huw Watts said: “We see at first-hand the devastating consequences that insecure loads and poor vehicle conditions can lead to.

“Taking part in operations and education campaigns such as these form an essential part of our policing and we will continue to work with partner agencies to ensure those motorists using our roads are doing so safely.”

Checks will include whether tyres on commercial vehicles are safe and legal, while HGV or goods vehicles will be checked to ensure that the loads being carried are secure, correctly stored and labelled.

There are simple checks that drivers can do throughout the year for their vehicles, such as checking the fluid levels are correct, and that brakes, tyres and lights are checked and in good working order.

Any item capable of being thrown from or bouncing out of a vehicle needs to be secured, whatever vehicle it is being carried on.

Even small items can cause serious injuries or death if they fall off a vehicle being driven at speed, including small items like a plastic bucket or wheelbarrow in a trailer, and heavy items like plant equipment.

Meanwhile debris on the road causes delays and disruption to journeys which impacts other road users, the economy, and road safety.

Updated guidance relating to the security of loads was published this year and should assist in reducing the numbers of such incidents.

Motorists of goods vehicles are also being reminded of the speed restrictions that are in the place for their class of vehicle and to ensure these restrictions are adhered to.

Surrey and Sussex Police will be taking part in multi-agency checks during the week, which will also incorporate checks for mobile phone use, wearing seatbelts, vehicle insurance status and vehicle condition.