IAM RoadSmart condemns LGV licence proposals

Road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has condemned government plans that could allow novice drivers to get behind the wheel of lorries.

A recent government consultation suggested that drivers who possess a category B car licence should be instantly entitled to a category C1 licence, which would enable them to drive vehicles weighing up to 7.5 tonnes.

This would mean that a newly-qualified driver as young as 18 years old could be allowed to drive large trucks without any further training.

However, IAM RoadSmart has warned strongly against the proposal after the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety revealed that light goods vehicles posed nine times as much risk of death to other road users, compared to cars.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research, said: “Research has revealed that larger vehicles pose a higher risk to other road users, so it is critical that those who drive them possess the necessary skills and training to drive them safely. And yet, this proposal would allow a potentially high risk 18-year-old to legally drive a lorry, without the necessary training, guidance or experience required to do so safely.

“In our view, these plans present a totally unacceptable risk to the safety of all road users and could lead to chaos up and down our road network.”

He continued: “To combat the truck driver shortage, we would support steps to expand driver testing capacity, making the industry more attractive to a more diverse workforce and improving the working conditions and infrastructure for drivers. This way, we can ensure that the nation’s truckers continue to deliver vital goods, without compromising the safety of other road users.”