Joan Aitken, Scotland’s traffic commissioner, has asked for hauliers throughout the industry to take steps to make the space where they keep their vehicles safe and suitable in order to protect their own drivers and members of the public.
Hauliers often take steps to ensure the safety of their vehicles in order to reduce the cost of commercial fleet insurance but can overlook the human element and how safe the conditions at their sites are for their drivers. Joan Aitken is calling for hauliers to address this problem and her comments have come after she suspended haulage firm, Alex Campbell Haulage Ltd from the road for two months due to their operating centre being unsafe. This led to the fatal injury of another road user.
Speaking about the incident, Joan Aitken had the following to say –
“It is patently clear to me that the reversing manoeuvres into the access road to the operating centre were inherently less safe than taking entry in forward gear,”
“The operator had significantly breached the safe operation of its vehicles and trailers by engaging in this reversing manoeuvre and expecting the driver to reverse in.
“The tragedy of this case is that this operator compromised road safety by allowing the operating centre to deteriorate and change in use such that it was no longer suitable. The deterioration in the suitability of the operating centre was all of the operator’s doing and goes to the operator’s repute.”
She has since noted that the company’s operating centre has improved drastically since the incident took place in 2014 and is now safe for operation.