The Highways Way or No Way

The M1 became the route that acted as a safety guinea pig during one week in May 2019, as the three ‘HGV Supercabs’ owned by Highways England, set out on a mission to catch out those HGV drivers flouting the law. Thanks to the success of this M1 Safety Week, the same exercise is set to run on other motorways. What do you need to be aware of?

The Supercabs were deployed to drive alongside other trucks whilst unsafe behaviour was captured on video, so that police further down the M1 could then force the at-fault HGVs to pull over and receive the appropriate caution or punishment.

This exercise identified almost 200 dangerous HGV drivers, who could have otherwise caused collisions through negligence and illegal driving behaviour.  Three major issues emerged.  57 drivers were taking calls on mobile phones whilst driving, 37 were not wearing seatbelts and 26 were driving carelessly and not in proper control of their vehicle.  Police filed 133 traffic offence reports and five prosecutions resulted from this exercise.

This seems to be part of a new determination to punish or educate (dependent on the extent of the misdemeanour) those who still choose to ignore driving and health and safety law. There is increasingly nowhere to hide if you wish to treat your cab as an entertainment centre rather than as the well-regulated vehicle ‘control room’ that the law and public expect to see. 

Failure to train drivers in the correct behaviours in the cab – and an unwillingness to control drivers who choose to flout the law – could land both your business, and you as an individual, in hot water. Sky-high fines and prison sentences are more than possible punishment for serious offences that cause injuries or deaths and for situations that have the potential to do so.   Flout the law yourself as the at-fault driver and there is absolutely no defence.

Do not be slack with your approach or become the victim of your drivers’ wilful negligence or illegal actions. Get a firm grip of your business, know of any poor behaviours in the cab, and clamp down on them.  Gauntlet has various tools to assist, which will help you take back control and turn suspicions into hard evidence, before the authorities provide you with that.  Contact us on 0113 244 8686 today!

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