The Freight Transport Association has reacted positively to the range of measures set out by the Government recently to improve road safety, which include a range of commitments and actions aimed at all road users which should further improve the UK’s road safety record.
Commenting on the statement, Christopher Snelling, FTA’s Head of National & Regional Policy, commented: “Overall this appears to be a sensible range of measures that should further improve the UK’s comparatively good road safety record.”
One of the suggested measures is that HGVs will not be able to remove sideguards or rear underrun protection. Snelling commented: “Assuming that there’s some allowance in the detail for any HGV where it is essential to that vehicle’s work, as with the London Safer Lorry Scheme, this should not prove a problem for the haulage industry.”
A further suggestion was that for lorry drivers caught using a mobile phone whilst driving, the number of penalty points issued would increase to six points.
Snelling reacted: “Use of a mobile phone whilst driving is clearly dangerous and illegal. We would note that while penalty points can act as a deterrent, such measures have more impact if there is a genuine chance of being caught. Consequently we feel increased targeted enforcement against high risk HGV operators in key areas such as London is more important than this change.”
FTA also welcomed the funding announced for Bikeability training for school children, and expressed the hope that this would incorporate messages about how to be safe around HGVs.
Snelling concluded: “It is incremental improvements such as these, along with the hard work of road freight operators, that have contributed to the fact that half as many HGVs are involved in fatal incidents today as compared with 10 years ago.”