If you are a commercial vehicle operator licence holder, you should have recently received a letter from Richard Turfitt, the Senior Traffic Commissioner. This is being sent out to operators in light of the recent series of bridge strikes across the country. Although accidents do happen, operators have a duty to take all practical steps to avoid bridge strikes. A copy of the letter can be found here.
Amongst other things, the letter sets out that operators should ensure that their vehicles are operated without unacceptable risks to road safety. These risks include the need to prevent bridge strikes, which clearly bring with them potentially serious consequences as well as avoidable costs in terms of checking and repair, and delays to rail services and other road users. It also acknowledges that this is not a new issue for the commercial vehicle industries.
Operators should be aware that in addition to the obvious other consequences, they are likely to be called to a Traffic Commissioner Public Inquiry and regulatory action is a real possibility for those operators who fail to take appropriate control measures to prevent bridge strikes, as well as for the drivers involved. The letter also sets out measures that operators should take.
We covered this recently in a webinar, a recording of which you can find here.
If you would like advice, please contact our regulatory team on 01254 828300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.