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New rules governing the roadworthiness of HGVs will give Manx transport authorities “teeth” to tackle “unscrupulous” operators, a haulage firm boss has said.

The regulations, which come into force on 1 January 2020, bring the island broadly into line with the UK.The laws require firms to keep strict maintenance records for vehicles that weigh more than 3.5 tonnes.

John Quay said the rules would “improve” safety on the island’s roads.

Firms could face a fine of up to £10,000 or have their operations restricted if they do not comply with the Road Transport Licensing Committee’s (RTLC) new registration and licensing system.

RTLC chairman Brendan O’Friel said although the new laws would not “eliminate risk”, they were “a very useful step forward” in making the island’s roads safer.

“It will reduce risk, because all operators will have to have a proper maintenance regime, they will have to have regular safety checks for their vehicles, and those things will all have to be recorded,” he said.

Mr Quay, who is chairman of Manx Independent Carriers, said while the regulations would create “more paperwork”, they would “make sure that operators aren’t being unscrupulous and running unroadworthy vehicles”.

“Now there will be a consequence if you don’t maintain your vehicle properly,” he added.

The Road Transport Regulations 2018, which were approved by Tynwald in July last year, are being phased in across 2019.

When the new laws come fully into force in 2020, it will be illegal for an HGV that is not licensed by the RTLC to carry goods on Manx roads.