October 2021 Newsletter – Monthly Question
HGV Drivers – numbers or safety?
The HGV Driver shortage is certainly no secret. A combination of Covid, Brexit, retirement and other factors has led to a lack of drivers, falling below what is required. Subsequently, this has led to shortages on supermarket shelves and, more recently, at petrol stations.
In order to try and recruit more drivers, the Government have altered tests, so drivers will now only need to take one test for rigid and artic lorries. Also, drivers will not need to demonstrate reversing, coupling and uncoupling as part of the DVSA Testing. Instead, a third party will carry these out. Drivers will also now be able to increase their daily driving limit from 9 hours to 11 hours twice a week.
Meanwhile, there has been criticism from industry experts, claiming these relaxed rules will lead to unrequired risk on the UK Roads. Therefore, EVP asks the following question:
Should the Government continue to alter the rules to try and get more drivers onto the roads, or should safety come first and keep regulations as they are?
1. Let the tests be changed. Without drivers, our daily lives become more complex.
2. No changes. Road safety should always be paramount, and examiners should assess drivers as they were.
3. Somewhere in the middle.
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