Council calls for ban on use of personal sat-navs by HGV drivers

Oxfordshire County Council is calling on the government to introduce legislation forcing hauliers to provide drivers with commercial sat-navs.

The council wants the legislation to ban HGV drivers from using personal sat-navs and include fines for those hauliers that fail to update their sat-navs with the agreed HGV routes.

It wants the rules to become part of the current HGV inspection and enforcement process.

Councillor Kevin Bulmer, who introduced the motion, which was unanimously supported by all Oxfordshire County councillors, said: "It was clearly something that struck a chord with councillors. Whatever their [HGV drivers] reason is, they are ending up on the routes they shouldn’t be. If you’re a cyclist or a pedestrian the last thing you want to do is meet a lorry.

"Private sat-navs will give you the quickest route from A to B. If you’re a lorry driver the last option is the scenic route. It’s the quickest way for a car but not a lorry. Commercial sat-navs are programmed with routing agreements and the size of your lorry."

He added: "We’ll be pushing this motion with the government and the Department for Transport to do something about it."

RHA said the compulsory use of commercial sat-navs by HGV drivers would be impossible to enforce.

John Howells,regional RHA director, told Commercialmotor.com: "I understand why Oxfordshire Council are calling for this but it is not a practical solution to the problem. Commercial sat-navs are expensive and how would their use be enforced? A better solution would be to introduce these measures as best practice and to educate drivers to become more reliant on the skilled use of maps."

He added: "Councils could also help by investing in good signage to keep vehicles where they want them, which clearly show which routes should be taken."

Members of Commercial Motor's LinkedIn networking Group dismissed Oxfordshire County Council's motion as impractical.

One said: "Whilst this may be a laudable request who on earth is going to enforce it? Incidents such as depicted are relatively rare involving large commercial hauliers and most involve small operators and often those using unfamiliar vehicles."

Another member said: "With a lot of the younger end of the industry relying on technology instead of buying a good quality map with bridge heights in, they should be made to buy a good quality truck sat-nav but it all boils down to who is going to pay for them.

"If you are a new driver you have enough expense getting the things you need just do the job before even getting on the road."

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