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ScotsLawPro, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
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Experience:  LLB (Hons), Dip LP, NP
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I have been charged with overloading a van, should i have been

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I have been charged with overloading a van, should i have been given a print out showing the weighbridge was at zero prior to being weighed and handed the weight
on a print out. If you have any information on this point i would be grateful to read about it.

Thanks Richard
Hi thanks for your question.

The print out should at the very least advise that the weigh bridge was calibrated before use. They sometimes state the manufacturers' unladen weight for the vehicle make and model. The weight displayed can then be shown as the difference , or the overweight value. You should be able to clearly see what the difference is and work out that the value was zero at the start.

You should also remember that this offence is non endorsable and does not affect your driving licence.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the reply but it is still unclear. Should i have been given a print out showing the weighbridge scale is reading zero before being asked to drive on and being weighed.

Basically should i have two print outs. One stating zero and one stating the gross weight of my vehicle.



I have been given no paperwork nor has a calibration certification for the weighbridge used been quoted on any documents I have received. I have requested this subsequently but was told that my local harbour board (where the vehicle was weighed) is not part of freedom of information.

Just wondering if I can use any of this information to back up a "lack of evidence" from the prosecutor.



When you drive on to the weigh bridge there should be something on the print out that tells you that the system was reset to zero . Most printouts that I have seen look almost like a breath test print out. There is a zero reading, then a calibration check, then the manufacturers' unladen weight for the vehicle, then the gross weight. Thereafter most of them have the difference between the two of them, I.e. the load weight. If there is nothing to show that the system was zeroed then they would need to bring along the weigh bridge operator to court to tell them that it was zeroed before the procedure started.

On the negative side, whilst I don't know the operating procedures of all weigh bridges in Scotland, there is one at a local paper mill near where I work that will not operate if the reading is not set to zero and supposedly cannot be overridden.

If there is no evidence that the thing was not zeroed then the case does not prove. In that case during the trial at the end of the crown case that is something that should be stated to the court by you or your solicitor in a no case to answer submission.
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