HGV DRIVER NEWS ROUNDUP MAY

31-05-2016 16:32

Your one stop shop for the latest HGV driver news around the LGV industry.

Whether you are an experienced HGV driver who likes to keep up to date on what is happening or you are a new starter who wants to learn a bit more about the issues currently facing the industry, we have you covered.

SCAM EMAILS

DVSA are warning HGV/LGV drivers to watch out for fixed penalty scam emails that have started showing up recently. The aforementioned emails have an attachment supposedly containing a ‘fixed penalty receipt’ however the DVSA are imploring people within HGV driving jobs to not only not open the attachment but to reach out to Action Fraud and report them here https://reportlite.actionfraud.police.uk/.

If you have had this email already then do not:Open any attachmentsClick on any links within the body of the emailReply or contact the senders in any way

SATNAV UPDATE ATTEMPTS TO REDUCE HGV DAMAGE

Ordnance Survey is investing £3 million into a nationwide project to update satnavs to have a lorry-specific option as standard. By including metrics such as bridge heights, road widths and other similar features, all available at a high resolution, the project will attempt to reduce the amount of damage and the inappropriate use of roads by HGV and LGV drivers.

During a parliamentary debate on the issue it was decided that inappropriate satnavs cause potential danger, both physically and economically, when used by HGVs. At the moment it appears that mainly foreign drivers rely on car-specific satnavs however this update would be made available for free to all digital mapping companies and it is hoped that these companies make full use of the data and develop a lorry-specific option out of the box.

HEART RESEARCH UK ARE LOOKING OUT FOR HGV DRIVERS

It has been announced that HGV drivers in Kent are to be given a free health check from Heart Research UK in the hope to reduce the increasing number of heart issues suffered by professionals in the LGV industry. The testing includes heart rate, blood pressure, BMI (Body Mass Index) and weight checks and as the project is planned to last the whole year there will also be three follow-up visits concurrently.

Some of the statistics currently brought to light via a national study show that 88% of HGV drivers suffer from obesity, high blood pressure and smoking-related issues that has resulted in an increased risk of developing heart disease. The Director of Heart Research UK, Barbara Harpham, stated “getting drivers to understand more simple healthy lifestyle changes that could lower their risk is very important and we look forward to seeing positive results from this pioneering project.”

NEW TUNNEL UNDER THAMES MUST BE LGV FRIENDLY SAYS FTA

Highways England recently announced plans for a multi-billion pound road linking the M2 with the M25 via the A13 under the Thames. The FTA (Freight Transport Association) have insisted that the tunnel must be larger enough to allow lorries with height and width excess to be able to pass through without stopping. The proposal plans to have the tunnel open in 2025 and is aimed at reducing congestion at current river crossings and generally speeding up journeys for drivers across the Thames.

A Highways England spokeperson said “by choosing a tunnel rather than a bridge we can minimise the effects of the new road on the environment” however the FTA response states that there must be a robust system in place for handling commercial vehicles to keep the freight routes flowing smoothly.

THE LATEST ON THE CURRENT LGV STOWAWAY ISSUES FACING THE UK

After the recent discovery of over 50 stowaways in the back of a couple of lorries in Kent, the RHA (Road Haulage Association) has reached out to hauliers to do more to protect their drivers. Although the RHA admits that these discoveries are no big surprise they also require to urgently gather information on who is behind this issue and how and where the migrants are getting into the LGVs. They are currently working with the UK Border Force and have set up a free reporting line for drivers who have been subjected to this problem first hand or have any helpful information on the matter. The RHA’s free incident reporting line is 01274 863111.

There has also been a request from The Home Office via a recent government consultation to look into how to improve the current stowaway penalties regime facing drivers. The penalty scheme raised £6.6 million in fines from HG drivers found transporting illegal immigrants last year alone. The FTA stated that the penalties have not been amended in over 10 years yet vehicle security technology has improved exponentially of late so now would be the time to relook at the entire scheme.

BELT UP AND STAY OFF YOUR PHONE!

An operation to crack down on HGV drivers not wearing their seatbelts or using their mobile phones whilst driving has resulted in a large number of offenders. Out of 236 drivers who were stopped during the sting there were 177 who had failed to put on their seatbelt and 59 were caught whilst using their mobile phones.

The Department for Transport said that “while accidents involving HGVs with mobile phone use as a contributory factor are relatively rare, it is clear that drivers of vehicles the size of LGVs have the ability to cause major accidents when distracted by using a mobile phone.” This has resulted in a proposal for higher penalty points for drivers caught using phones or not belting up in a large goods vehicle in the hope that this will help reduce the number of offenses. Only time will tell now whether this proposed increase will be a positive step in the right direction.

Check back each month for the latest updates and please feel free to like, comment or share. We are always open to a conversation and will happily include any new findings in our next blog update. If you have any questions then please call on 01582 393 535 or email us at hello@adrnetwork.co.uk

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