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We’ve been hearing a lot in recent months about the need to make the roads safer by mandating new LGV equipment and standards. But how much regulation is too much regulation? Is it possible some of the mandates are actually slowing down the development of safer LGVs?

According to the Freight Transport Association (FTA), these are legitimate questions. In fact, the association asserts that even as companies are spending hundreds of thousands of pounds installing new equipment and retrofitting existing trucks, current regulations are preventing the industry from implementing design changes that would address some of problems inherent to LGV safety.

The FTA is currently working with the European Commission on proposals for a draft amendment to Directive 95/63. They claim that although discussions are going well, the powers that be are not addressing the possibility of designing out blind spots in a timely manner. Rather, they are favouring the slower and more costly approach of mandating new equipment and retrofitting.

Experts in the field largely agree with the FTA position. It is far better to create new designs that get rid of blind spots rather than taking the time to make old trucks a little bit safer. If companies could invest money now being spent on new equipment in coming up with new designs, it would produce a more long-term solution that would benefit all of Europe.

Designing out blind spots would include creating LGVs with cabs that ride lower to the ground and replace much of the existing metal with glass. That would include wraparound windscreens and full-glass doors. These simple design changes could increase visibility many times over while reducing the need for some of the currently mandated safety equipment.

From the training standpoint, high visibility LGVs would also make it easier to produce safer drivers in the future. It’s a lot easier to train drivers to take advantage of a high visibility cab than to learn how to use awkward equipment that was never meant to be installed on an LGV. Pushing for new design seems to be a win-win for everyone involved.

In the meantime, the HGV Training Centre will continue to offer LGV training that takes into account the current state of vehicles in the UK. We will continue to focus on driving safely, paying attention to other users on the road, and being especially cautious when operating around cyclists. Our commitment to driver safety is uncompromising.

Our company offers comprehensive LGV training for both individual and fleet drivers. In addition, we can train you to operate coaches and buses, heavy construction equipment, articulated lorries, forklifts, horseboxes and more. We offer the most complete and thorough training anywhere in the UK. Moreover, with more than 45 facilities, there are always new classes forming.

If you’re already licenced, please don’t forget the CPC requirements. We can provide the training you need to meet the certification deadline of September next year.


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