Lorry drivers should be compelled to use commercial sat-navs, say councils

Carol Millett
January 30, 2017


Lorry drivers who use sat-navs should be compelled to use commercial models, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).

The LGA argues that lorry drivers using sat-navs designed for car drivers are causing chaos on local roads by getting stuck under bridges or in narrow turns.

The association has also renewed its call for councils to be given the power to fine HGV drivers who flout weight and width restrictions.

The LGA, which represents more than 370 councils in England and Wales, said it is targeting the minority of HGV drivers who “cut corners by using cheaper sat-navs designed for cars".

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 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 said councils “urgently need tougher powers”, adding: “If a community is being plagued by problems, councils should be able to respond to their concerns by issuing fines to act as a deterrent”.

The RHA  said it backs the LGA’s view that HGV drivers should not use sat-navs designed for cars but rejected its call to make commercial sat-navs in HGVs a legal requirement.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “HGV-specific sat-nav systems have the ability to make journeys for HGV drivers safer and more cost-efficient and that's a big issue for us. But, we remain firm in our view that these systems should only be used as a driving aid. Drivers should pay attention to road signs at all times.

Burnett also called for the message “to be communicated to all hauliers that operate their vehicles on UK roads, including those from abroad”.

FTA head of road network management policy Malcolm Bingham echoed RHA’s view. “I am not sure legislation would solve this problem. It’s a matter of firstly educating companies and drivers that the equipment is an aid and that they must drive to the signage and secondly that they use the appropriate sat-nav kit,” he said.


Image: Press Association

About the Author


Carol Millett

Carol Millett is an award-winning freelance journalist with over 30 years’ of experience writing across a broad range of sectors, including road transport, construction and civil engineering, project management, private finance, technology, HR, and travel and tourism. She is currently a regular contributor to a variety of DVV Media titles including Motor Transport Magazine, Commercial Motor and Transport News.

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