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Association calls for councils to be given power to fine lorry drivers who ignore road restrictions

A NATIONAL association is calling for councils to be given the authority to fine lorry drivers who ignore width and weight restrictions on roads. The Hereford Times reported last November about a lorry getting stuck in a narrow country lane near Hoarwithy – just one of many who followed their satnavs and ignored the warning signs at the end of the road. Since then, numerous readers have been in touch from across the county with stories of a similar nature.

Now The Local Government Association (LGA) wants councils to be able to fine lorry drivers who flout weight and width restrictions, and also make it a mandatory requirement for lorries to use specially designed satnavs for lorries. LGA transport spokesman Martin Tett said: “There has been a spate of recent accidents involving lorry drivers driving irresponsibly and causing chaos. The government must start taking this issue more seriously and give councils the legislative tools to help their communities and other motorists.

“It is common sense that all lorry drivers should use satnavs designed for trucks, but this is only going to become a reality when it is a mandatory requirement. We are talking about a very small extra cost to drivers. “Lorry drivers who get wedged in narrow roads or under bridges not only endanger themselves, other road users and pedestrians, but also cause massive disruption.

This has a significant impact on local economies, particularly in rural areas.” Lorries of a certain weight or width are banned from many minor roads but the police do not always have the resources to enforce the restrictions. The government has handed powers to local authorities in Wales, and London (under different legislation), to take action if lorry drivers break the law.

The LGA would like councils across the country to be given the ability to enforce weight and width restrictions where there are hotspots of abuse in their communities by issuing fines. The money collected from the fines could be used towards tackling the national pothole backlog. Lorry satnavs include bridge heights, narrow roads, and roads unsuitable for trucks, and allows the driver to enter the lorry’s dimensions – height, width, weight and load – so they are only guided along suitable roads.

A Herefordshire Council[1] spokesman said: “Herefordshire Council would support government legislation which requires the drivers of heavy goods vehicles to use satnav systems that are suitable for lorries.

Such laws should be beneficial to communities and road users.”

References

  1. ^ Herefordshire Council (www.ledburyreporter.co.uk)

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