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Foreign Lorries Causing Chaos On Country Roads

By raccars Published

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The Local Government Association has expressed concern about the behaviour of foreign HGV drivers on British roads, following high numbers of incidents. The association claims that foreign lorry drivers are ignoring size and weight restrictions on country roads, causing problems such as crashing lorries getting stuck on narrow roads.

The LGA has requested that it be given an extension to its powers, so that it can track down the culprits. Local authorities in Wales and London have the power to pursue lorry drivers who commit offences and the LGA feels it should be granted the same authority and resources to help it enforce restrictions. Many minor roads are subject to size and weight limitations, but police forces are often too busy to be able to enforce these regulations.

In December 2012, a Bulgarian lorry driver collided into a tree in a Kent village, necessitating the help of a translator and four police officers. Once the incident had been dealt with, the driver got back on the road and promptly ran into a car. In another case, a lorry got stuck in a narrow lane in the village of Ivybridge in Devon. The driver spent three nights sleeping in his cab there, before the truck was finally pulled out by a tractor. One incident saw the French driver of a 12 metre articulated lorry carrying beer cannon off a number of houses in Uffculme, also in Devon, while trying to navigate a narrow road. A number of power lines were also brought down in the incident.

The LGA claims that Eastern European HGV drivers are responsible for the majority of the mayhem and blame a lack of familiarity with the concept of driving on the left, and a lack of common sense when following confusing satellite navigation information. The LGA claims that irresponsible foreign lorry drivers are causing mayhem in rural communities in the UK and that it must be able to take a tougher stance to help residents.

The law applies a £50 penalty to HGV drivers who exceed weight limits, while more serious cases can go to court where higher penalties are given.

The Department for Transport claims that it does not intend to increase local councils' authority to police HGV restrictions, in which it is supported by the Freight Transport Association. The DfT has advised local authorities to work closely with the police, to make sure restrictions are enforced.

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