Road Safety

Safety is the top priority for FTA members. FTA is campaigning for enhancement and improvements to the already-stringent set of regulations that support safe road freight operations.

Road Safety


Road operators must already comply with road safety laws, and an additional level of legislation through the Operator Licensing System which applies a rigorous set of regulations to both vehicles and drivers and confers the responsibilities of a commercial vehicle’s road safety onto their owners and the companies that run them.  FTA is campaigning for policy and governmental reforms to make the operation of HGVs and Vans even safer than today.  


Key facts

  • HGVs have an accident rate less than half that of cars, even after adjustments to account for the higher number of cars on the road and the distances they travel 

  • Since 2018 it has been mandatory for all new heavy commercial vehicles to have level 2 Advanced Emergency Braking Systems (AEBS), which automatically detect potential collisions and apply the brakes without any driver intervention 


What is FTA campaigning for?

FTA has four priorities for Road Safety:

  • Professional competence requirement for own-account operators – Currently, if the goods in the back of a commercial vehicle are owned by the vehicle operator then it does not, in law, need to employ a professionally competent individual to manage and control the safety of the fleet. FTA members believe this should change.  

  • Allow recording of domestic drivers’ hours on smartphone apps – currently Domestic Drivers Hours rules are recorded on a paper logbook.  This should be changed to allow digital recording to improve data quality and analysis; this is already available for EU Drivers Hours sector.   

  • Allow Traffic Commissioners to focus on safety matters – Traffic Commissioners are currently arbiters on environmental matters surrounding operating centres. These should be moved to planning authorities to free up Commissioner capacity to focus upon road safety.   

  • Increase enforcement of the van sector – FTA members – particularly those who operate van fleets – would like to see significant increases in enforcement activity against vans.  A mere 0.3% of vans were subject to a mechanical check by DVSA in 18-19 


Policy Manager


James Firth

Head of Road Freight Regulation Policy



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