Monday, 17 February 2014

Lorry drivers want high-winds ban

Review of the Year 2013

Lorry drivers are urging the Government to implement a ban on heavy good vehicles travelling during gale-force winds.
 
A transport union, which represents HGV drivers, is claiming that lives are being put at risk by "cowboy" haulage firms that are forcing its members to stay out on the road to ensure cargo is delivered on time, irrespective of the recent appalling weather conditions.

One unnamed driver said drivers were being put under "ridiculous pressure" by bosses, despite storms causing travel chaos.

"These bosses are not bothered about how the stuff gets there as long as it gets there. They're not bothered about safety, only money," he said.

"The bigger players are more understanding but the cowboy firms at the bottom just don't care.

"Maybe when one of these things goes over and crushes a family of four, the government will finally do something."

The recent storms have seen a number of roads across the country being blocked by HGVs that have been blown over by high winds.

Drivers have not escaped without injury. In December, a haulier died after his lorry toppled over, crushing two cars in West Lothian, Scotland.

Lee Pimbley, a spokesman for the United Road Transport Union, said: "Lorries are going over all the time – yet the government hasn't provided any guidance on the movement of these vehicles.

"They are not doing enough. They need to put rules in place to stop companies putting pressure on drivers. This would make the roads safer for all users."

Companies not taking the appropriate measures to ensure staff are safe may find themselves falling foul of health and safety legislation.

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: "Employers have responsibility under Health and Safety legislation to ensure so far as reasonably practicable the health and safety of their employees and others who may be affected by their work activities. This includes the activity of driving on public roads."

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