January 29, 2017
Councils press for legislation banning lorries from using car sat-navs 0
The Local Government Association (LGA) wants new rules introduced to ensure lorry drivers in England and Wales use a GPS system tailored for HGVs.
It wants councils to be able to make off limits to lorries, routes where they exceed height or weight restrictions.
There have been several calls recently to change navigation systems after a number of lorries have become stuck on narrow roads, or under low bridges.
In 2016, a lorry was driven over a bridge in Marlow, Buckinghamshire causing it to be closed for a several months. It was later found that the vehicle was ten times over the bridge’s weight limit.
Network rail – the body that maintains the UK’s railway infrastructure, including bridges – has asked drivers of high vehicles to pay extra vigilance to “low bridge” warning signs after the same bridge in Hinckley, Leicestershire was hit 11 times in 12 months.
Commercial GPS systems that are designed exclusively for lorries, feature detailed information on bridge heights and narrow roads.
They also give HGV drivers the option to enter vehicle dimensions to ensure they’re following a suitable route.
Police forces in Greater London and Wales already have the power to enforce height and weight restrictions on lorries; councils across the rest of England are calling for the government to roll it out across the rest of England.
Several councils have started working with freight and haulage companies to help good drivers use roads that are suitable for the vehicles they are driving.
LGA transport spokesman, Martin Tett, called upon the government to “start taking this issue more seriously”.
“It is common sense that all lorry drivers should use sat-navs 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,” he added.
An AA spokesman said it was down to the council to ensure that warning signs were clearly visible.
He said: “If a particular road has a particular problem then it is up to the local authority to come up with the signage to deal with that.
“And obviously if the lorry or any other road user contravenes that road order and that signage then they are open to a penalty.”