Drivers told to clear windscreens or face fines

DVSA

The DVSA has urged HGV drivers to ensure their windscreens are always clear of obstruction after a cyclist in Birmingham was killed.

Robert Bradbury was found guilty of causing death by careless driving after he failed to see NHS doctor Suzanna Bull because a tray table on his cab dashboard was cluttered with ornaments and restricting his view (CM 12 December 2019).

He was sentenced to 21 months in prison and banned from driving for two years and 10 months.

During the case, it came to light that Bradbury’s employer knew that the lorry wouldn’t pass an annual test with the tray and so it was removed during tests, then replaced afterwards.

The DVSA said it has highlighted cases of blocked windscreens in the past, but that as a result of this case and the coroner’s verdict it was reminding all professional drivers of the importance of having clear windscreens.

In a blog post, the enforcement agency said: “We always check a lorry’s windscreen is clear of obstruction when carrying out our roadside checks.

“Unfortunately, our enforcement staff do still find vehicles where the drivers’ view is obscured.

“In all cases, the drivers will be given a prohibition and penalty. The obstruction must also be removed before the lorry is allowed to move on.”

Jail for driver who killed cyclist while on drugs

A skip loader driver who was under the influence of drugs when he failed to give way at a junction and killed a cyclist has been jailed for three and a half years.

Tests showed Joseph Large was over the limit for both cocaine and cannabis when the Volvo truck he was driving hit Paul Thompson in Bilston, Wolverhampton in November 2018. 

Thompson suffered crush injuries and died at the scene.

CCTV from a nearby premises showed Thompson cycling towards the junction, with the skip loader emerging from the left, and without stopping the lorry pulled out knocking down the 50-year-old cyclist.

Large, 30, admitted during interview that he had taken cocaine the previous Saturday evening. 

Forensic tests confirmed he was over the limit for both cocaine and cannabis - with the cocaine result being over three times the permitted limit. 

He said the reason he did not see Thompson was because the sun was glaring in his eyes as he looked right. 

Large denied causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drugs but following a trial he was convicted (CM 16 January).

PC David Crump, of the serious collision investigation unit, said: “As a professional lorry driver, Large’s driving should have been of the very highest standards. 

“But he got behind the wheel of a 32-tonne lorry having previously consumed cocaine and as a result of his actions Mr Thompson sadly lost his life.

“We would urge anyone to think twice before driving if they have had alcohol or taken drugs, as they can be putting the lives of other people in danger, as well as putting their own safety at risk.”