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The Industrial HGV Task Force (IHTF) was established more than a year ago to crack down on HGV drivers violating the law in London. By all accounts, it has been a huge success. Transport for London (TfL) said that the task force has cited approximately 1,000 drivers in the capital during the first 15 months of operation. The only question is whether it has made London any safer or not.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has weighed in on the TfL announcement, saying they believe the task force is working well. Their work has resulted in 1,000 fixed penalty notices, in addition to a number of vehicles taken off the road. TfL and their enforcement partners employ a strategy combining intelligence and observation to target specific vehicles for enforcement action, according to the FTA. This has resulted in greater numbers of non-compliant vehicles being dealt with while not interfering with the routine operation of compliant vehicles.

The FTA’s Christopher Snelling told HGV UK that more than 360,000 tons of goods are transported throughout the capital on a daily basis. He said that the violations discovered by the IHTF are representative of only a small minority of drivers and truck owners. He said the vast majority of those on the road are complying with the law as they go about their daily business. Snelling also made a point of explaining that FTA members are very careful about making sure their vehicles are in compliance so as not to jeopardise the viability of their operations.

Making London Safer

By all accounts, it seems that the work of the IHTF has been highly successful. It is also evident that their efforts are necessary in order to find and cite HGV drivers and vehicle owners who refuse to comply with the law. There is never a valid excuse for an HGV not to be in compliance. Yet the question still must be asked as to whether or not the efforts will make London safer.

There is no way to know for sure until proper studies are conducted. If it turns out that London is made safer, we can expect TfL to continue aggressive enforcement efforts aimed at HGV drivers. If not, it is anyone’s guess what will happen to the IHTF in the future. In either case, regulatory compliance and individual safety should remain at the top of the list of concerns among HGV drivers all over the UK.

As we have said in the past, regulations exist for a reason. When companies and their drivers comply with those regulations, they reduce the likelihood of serious accidents that result in property damage, injuries, and deaths. Ignoring the regulations is akin to inviting disaster.

The HGV Training Centre makes a point of instructing our students about safety and regulatory compliance. We are committed to ensuring the HGV drivers we train are fully aware of their legal obligations and fully prepared to meet them at all times.

Sources:

  1. HGV UK – http://www.hgvuk.com/?p=18270

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