FTA warns HGV drivers

Published: 06 September 2016

FTA warns HGV drivers
Following a series of accidents due to collisions with bridges across the UK the FTA has released a statement telling drivers it is vital that they know the height of their vehicle, after a particular driver caused a major accident clashing with a bridge on the M20 over the weekend.
This caused severe delays, closing the motorway for over 24 hours to manage repairs and damaged. Parts of the bridge fell onto another vehicle and a motorcyclist was rushed to A&E. The height of the vehicle had not been checked by the driver before departing for his journey, causing major damage to the bridge.
Head of Advice at FTA, Es Shepard told reports that operators need to make sure their drivers have the facilities to measure the height of loads as well as vehicles before managing any journeys. The required height of the cab needs to be managed suitably. They also recommended avoiding any routes with potentially low bridges.
“Drivers must always know the height of their vehicle and load. The height could easily change depending on what load is being carried,”  he stated, also mentioning the height of a vehicle can change depending on the loads the driver collects during shift, which can lead to the same accidents taking place. Which is why it is vital that operators be sure their drivers have the facilities to check their vehicle’s height.
On UK roads there is no limit to vehicle height, bridges are commonly marked if they have a height of 5.06m or anything below. While there are some exceptions which drivers are usually informed of on approach, UK bridges across motorways are designed to fit most vehicle heights below them. Shepard told reports “There is one on the M5 thatis 5.06m-high across the carriageway, but is lower over the hard shoulder.”
Investigators are refusing to comment on the accident that took place.
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