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What is CPC certification? It is an important tool for ensuring only the best and safest drivers are on the road. Yet it is not the perfect solution that will eliminate the majority of accidents in the UK. A case recently decided in Bexley Magistrates Court provides an excellent example.

The case dates back to a well-publicised accident in London involving one of the computerised Routemaster buses affectionately known as ‘Boris Buses’. The bus in question careened out of control through a Sloane Square junction prior to hitting three cars, seriously injuring three – including the driver and another man who broke his back. The driver of the bus was initially charged with driving without due care and attention.

New Routemaster buses used in and around London rely heavily on computers and electronics for both safety and fuel efficiency. The accused bus driver denied the charges against him, saying he attempted to control the vehicle using the engine isolator and breaks but neither were responsive. Prosecutors contended that the vehicle’s automated systems were functioning prior to the crash and that the bus driver inadvertently pumped the accelerator rather than the brake. The driver was eventually cleared after video footage recorded by a camera inside the bus was presented in court.

The video does appear to show the bus driver doing all the right things short of applying the emergency brake, something he says he did not do for fear of flipping the bus. After seeing the video, the judge presiding over the case was persuaded that a computer malfunction could have been the cause of the crash. He could not say one way or the other, but he told the court that there was insufficient evidence to convict the bus driver.

Technology Not Perfect

It is unfortunate that three of the victims of the September 2013 accident suffered severe injuries. If nothing else, the accident serves as a reminder that technology is not perfect. We must always keep this in mind even as we are moving very quickly into the era of driverless vehicles.

Computers malfunction, as do mechanical accelerator and braking systems. Electronic components also fail. We are striving to improve technology and, through CPC certification, the skills of drivers handling commercial vehicles such as London’s buses. Yet nothing can be done to eliminate accidents entirely. We can never relax and assume that the road will be 100% safe.

The HGV Training Centre is doing our part to make things as safe as we can, including offering CPC certification training to all professional HGV and PCV drivers. What is CPC training? It is 35 hours of classroom training intended to enhance the competency of the UK’s commercial drivers. HGV and PCV licence holders are required to complete this training once every five years in order to continue working. The HGV Training Centre provides individualised and fleet training at more than 45 facilities throughout the UK. Contact us to learn more about CPC training.

Sources:

London Evening Standard – https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/runaway-bus-drivers-terror-as-he-desperately-battles-to-steer-out-of-control-routemaster-10180349.html

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