Highways Agency introduce HGV unit for safety
Between February and April 2014 the Highways Agency trialled the use of an HGV tractor unit in five South East police forces for a driver behaviour safety initiative on the motorway network.
The tractor unit enables police to observe and record poor and dangerous driving behaviour using a video cameraand was very successful during the three-month trial. The elevated seating position offered by the HGV tractor unit enabled police officers to notice unsafe behaviour traditionally difficult to spot from police patrol vehicles, such as dangerous HGV driver behaviour and car drivers texting.
The objective of the initiative is to reduce the number of incidents on the motorway network, to improve road safety and journey time reliability. The focus is on poor HGV driver behaviour because the impact of HGV incidents is much greater than that of light vehicles, but unsafe light vehicles are not excluded.
Based on the success of the pilot, the Highways Agency is extending the rental of the HGV tractor unit into a national initiative for 2015/16. The plan is to rotate the HGV tractor unit between police forces on routes agreed with the Highways Agency.
The BMF says: "Riders are very worried when they see drivers looking at mobile phones, computers or drinking and eating while driving. When this is done by the driver of a 40-tonne vehicle, it becomes a terrifying thing to see. We welcome the expansion of this use of a truck to help the police to see truck drivers who are not paying attention."
For more information, please email IncidentPrevention@highways.gsi.gov.uk