As you’ll no doubt be aware, speed limits for HGVs were increased earlier this year in England & Wales. Trucks over 7.5 tonnes can now travel on single carriageway roads at a maximum of 50mph, and on dual carriageways at a maximum of 60mph.
These changes do not apply to Scotland and Northern Ireland where the limits haven’t changed.The increased limits on single carriageway roads were welcomed by the industry as a common sense move. The hope is that speedier trucks will lead to fewer frustrated car and van drivers attempting dangerous overtaking manoeuvres. A recent survey conducted by road safety charity Brake and insurer, Direct Line, suggests that it may well save lives. 80% of respondents said that at some time, whilst driving, they’d felt threatened by dangerous overtaking – and had to take avoiding action.
“Hopefully the increased speed limits will reduce journey times for all drivers and make our roads safer. But whenever we’re behind the wheel we need to be aware of our speed and safe stopping distances in all types of weather,” says Richard Armitage, director of Driver Hire Training. “As well as reducing the risk of an accident, defensive and courteous driving has an additional benefit – it’s more fuel efficient too.
Not being aware of the correct speed limits can result in points on a driver’s licence – or worse, a ban. This is just one of the reasons that it is an employer’s legal responsibility to make regular checks on the licence of workers who drive as part of their job. Using an online licence check system (such as dh Licence Check) to conduct regular checks will instantly highlight any issues, which means employer’s can be sure the drivers’ they have out on the roads are fully compliant.