Fleet News

Call for new safety curbs on Britain's van fleets

DRASTIC changes in the law must be introduced by Government to curb the dangers posed by delivery van fleets serving the new internet home-shopping boom. Legislation should treat vans as lorries, not cars, and van drivers should have the same qualifications as HGV drivers before they can get behind the wheel, according to David Smith, managing director of Lex Transfleet.

Dot.com delivery fleets have been growing in size over the past year, with multi-million pound orders being signed by major corporations as they fight to win a slice of the internet economy.

With vehicles able to go three years before they need an MoT, the same as a car, they could have covered 300,000 miles in some of the most demanding working conditions vehicles are put through before needing compulsory checks.

Lex Transfleet runs a fleet of 6,000 vans and 10,000 HGVs for customers and treats vans as heavy goods vehicles for servicing purposes. Smith said: 'So far, public attention on increased numbers of 'white vans' has been limited almost entirely to the contribution they could make to congestion, especially in residential areas.

'Anyone with a driving licence can drive a van and considering the degree of training needed for other commercial vehicles, that is an accident waiting to happen. With no tachographs, drivers can spend any number of hours at the wheel if pushed by unscrupulous owners.'

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