Over the last three years in Derbyshire, heavy goods and light goods vehicles have been involved in 730 collisions – resulting in 944 people getting injured and, sadly, 25 of which were fatal.
A National Police Chief’s Council campaign will be taking place between 11-17 October 2021, ensuring HGVs and commercial vehicles are operating safely on the roads of Derbyshire.
This campaign will focus on offences such as insecure or excessive loads, mechanical defects, carriage of dangerous goods, lack of documentation and checking tachographs, to ensure that drivers and employers are following the rules on drivers’ hours.
During this intensive week of action, our Roads Policing Unit will be undertaking a series of high-visibility patrols at static check-sites around the county, conducting routine vehicle and document inspections and engaging with drivers to raise awareness on vehicle safety.
PC Luke Christian, RPU operational lead, said: “Though commercial vehicle drivers are professionals, mistakes can easily be made and we are still seeing a significant amount of offences taking place on our roads.
“With being in control of such heavy vehicles, it’s crucial that drivers carry out regular checks. Loads shift easily when travelling and if they aren’t secured in the correct way, it could lead to truly devastating results.
“Throughout this week, we’ll be checking loads are safely secured and inspecting vehicles to make sure they are not operating in a dangerous condition, along with carrying out spot checks on documentation.
“Where necessary, we’ll be issuing fixed penalty fines and prohibitions, along with educating offending drivers, to ensure everyone is safer on the roads of Derbyshire.”
Safer Loads advice:
- Make sure your vehicle is fit for purpose.
- Drivers should carry out regular walk-around checks to ensure their loads are secure.
- Stack loads against the headboard, with the centre of gravity as low as possible.
- Make sure loads are stable without lashings to reduce the risk of it falling over during unloading.
- If a load is not against the headboard, or items could slide over it, think about ways you can stop the load from moving forward. You may need extra lashings, sails, chocks or blocking.
- If a load is unstable by itself, think about how you can support it: put it in a box, stillage or transport frame.
- Keep the headboard maintained – fix any damage as soon as possible.
- Ensure the load restraint system is secure to the vehicle chassis and prevent movement.
- Choose a securing system that stops the load moving without creating risks – like unnecessary manual handling and working at height.
- Consider the right securing method. Webbing straps or chains are often used to secure loads, but they are not right for every situation. For example, fragile or live loads need different securing methods to prevent damage.
- The combined strength of the load restraint system must be sufficient to withstand a forward force not less than the total weight of the load to prevent the load moving under severe braking, and half the weight of the load moving backwards and sideways.
- Drivers should also do a quick series of checks before setting off. Almost half of all breakdowns are caused by simple mechanical problems that could be avoided by simply checking fuel levels, tyres, engine oil, water and lights.
For further load securing advice, see the Government’s Vehicle Operator Guidance: