Foreign lorry focus for safer roads and fairer market
Thursday 11 March 2010
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report into the regulation of commercial vehicles will provide a welcome focus on the issue of unsafe overseas lorries and driving practices, according to the Freight Transport Association (FTA).
Jo Tanner of FTA said:
“The Public Accounts Committee is quite right to be concerned about the number of overseas trucks on UK roads, and their poor safety record. Tired drivers operating vehicles in poor mechanical condition are accidents waiting to happen.
“VOSA has done a good job in clamping down on non-compliant foreign lorries at the roadside but because there is no meaningful monitoring of these vehicles, authorities have no idea who is on our roads or where they are travelling to or from.”
Overseas trucks tend to fill their tanks with diesel bought outside the UK, where fuel duty is far lower, so not only do they avoid contributing to the UK economy at the pumps they also put domestic truckers at a massive commercial disadvantage.
“Overseas operators effectively drive on the UK’s roads for free, as they contribute nothing to Treasury coffers while the British taxpayer picks up the tab for the damage they cause. This isn’t the first report to highlight the inadequacies of taxation on these overseas vehicles, and sadly it probably won’t be the last. What we need now is action.”
FTA Press Office