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The latest news from the world of HGV driving

HGV Parking Brake Warning

The Health and Safety Executive has issued a warning to LGV drivers to take extra care when following basic safety procedures when coupling and uncoupling vehicles. HGV drivers are urged to apply parking breaks and use warning alarms to prevent “putting lives at risk”.

Back in January of 2015 a 20-year-old road worker was crushed to death by a tractor unit which unexpectedly rolled backwards whilst the driver had stepped away from their vehicle. The driver was an experienced HGV driver and was in the process of connecting his tractor unit to another parked trailer when it rolled backwards. Two men were able to jump away in time but tragically one did not and was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment and disqualified from driving for an incident that could have wholly been avoided.

The Health and Safety Executive pleaded to LGV drivers to ensure they correctly apply the tractor unit parking brake before exiting the cab and then follow safe decoupling and coupling procedures.

HGV Drivers Hit With Inflated Road Repair Costs

LGV drivers, fleet operators and insurance companies are being advised to challenge the costs associated with road surface and street furniture repairs following any sort of crash, spillage or fire. If an HGV driver damages any property of the Crown such as a motorway barrier, a traffic sign or by damaging the surface of a road then the driver or the insurer of the vehicle will be issued with a bill. This will ordinarily come from a council, Highways England, Transport for London or one of their contractors. It is advised that rather than simply paying the bill, it is wise to scrutinise the invoice to check for errors in costs.

The Managing Director of Claims Management & Adjusting (CMA), Philip Swift went on record saying “I do not make these comments lightly, but certain Highways England contractors seem to be acting in an informal environment. My experience of dealing with hundreds of below-radar claims has caused me to question whether many of the costs being presented are accurate or appropriate. There is a shocking lack of transparency!”

Educational Driving Event Encourages Youngsters to Learn Motor Skills Early

Last month in Scotland there were a significant number of 11-17 year olds behind the wheel of a car well before reaching the legal driving age. This may sound like a daunting prospect however it was all thanks to an event called “The Borders Under-17 Driving Day”. It’s focus allowed young people of 11 and upwards to drive a vehicle, off the main roads, with tuition and guidance from experts. It brought out a lot of community support too as over 30 volunteers from local emergency services came in to help, giving each participant 5 hours of driving each, one-to-one.

The event was the first of its kind in Scotland and the goal is to make it the start of many that aim to help make younger drivers better and to cut down on road accidents and, ultimately, fatalities. Long term they would love to get the activity added to the education curriculum in the hope that it would train our youth how enjoyable driving can be and to raise awareness on the dangers to make them more alert behind the wheel.

Vehicle CCTV – the Cash For Crash Boom

Here’s some statistics for you. In the last year, demand for in-vehicle CCTV cameras has increased by 30%. Cash for crash claims are increasing the average price of UK insurance policies by around £90. No-win, no-fee claims from lawyers ends up costing British motorists a monumental £1 billion a year. Out of the 500,000 whiplash claims in the UK, it is estimated by insurance experts that around 60% of them are entirely false. Food for thought!