Theory test changed after coroner’s deaths warning

Chris Tindall
June 9, 2020

Testing for HGV drivers is to be changed after a coroner raised concerns about the lack of training over mirrors.

The DVSA said it would add questions to the driving theory test for new drivers of lorries on the topics of class VI mirrors and also increase awareness of the positioning and use of the class VI mirror.

It said it would also be recommending that drivers take safe urban driving (SUD) and vulnerable road user (VRU) CPC courses.

The move came after Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake filed a report warning of a risk of deaths if no action was taken.

She was responding to the death of 82-year-old pedestrian Dudley Howe in 2017, who walked in front of a stationary lorry in queuing traffic and was killed when the vehicle pulled forward (CM 14 May).

The driver was cleared of causing death by careless driving, but Norwich Crown Court was told he would have seen Howe if the mirrors on the lorry had been adjusted properly.

In a letter from DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn to Lake, he said the enforcement agency would add two new questions on cyclops mirrors to the theory test for the next reprint in autumn 2020.

“Although we cannot mandate which DCPC courses are taken by industry bodies and operators, we can increase our efforts to promote SUD and vulnerable road user awareness courses,” he said.

“We will recommend to industry bodies and operators that all drivers take some SUD/VRU training as part of their driver DCPC periodic training.

“We will highlight the need for lorry drivers to make sure mirrors are properly adjusted on each journey. We will do this across our social media platforms, including on our Twitter and Facebook accounts.

“We will also look to issue blog posts to heavy vehicle operators and drivers.”

Llewellyn added: “We will do this within the next six months when drivers and operators are less focussed on the COVID-19 effort and more receptive to other messages and advice.”

Becky Thomas, DVSA director of policy, digital and technology, said: “This case raises an important issue and DVSA will be taking action to highlight the need for lorry drivers to make sure mirrors are properly adjusted on each journey.”

About the Author


Chris Tindall

Chris Tindall started writing for the haulage and logistics industry in 2002 and has covered a broad range of significant issues, including GPS jamming by criminals, platooning and Brexit.

Share this article

Vehicle Type