New guidance setting out a raft of security measures to stop commercial vehicles being used as weapons in acts of terrorism is now available.
The standard, developed by the British Standards Institution (BSI) and sponsored by the Department for Transport, is intended to prevent criminals and terrorists from accessing commercial vehicles.
Vehicles have been targeted for use in attacks on the public in recent years, including in the Westminster and London Bridge attacks of 2017.
More recently, the bodies of 39 Vietnamese nationals were found in a lorry container in Essex; the victims of people smuggling.
The new guidance is designed to minimise the risk of similar tragic events from happening again and encourages commercial vehicle operators to improve knowledge of potential risks and develop rigorous security plans.
Transport Minister Robert Courts said: “This is vital new guidance which will go a long way to help us in our fight against terrorism and organised crime. I wholeheartedly support this move and the British Standards Institution in their important work.”
Other requirements will include checks of drivers’ references and previous employment history and also regular visual checks of vehicles for signs of tampering.
To support this, the Government is working with the industry to develop accreditation and certification schemes for commercial vehicle firms, with further details to be announced in due course.
Nick Fleming, head of mobility and transport standards at BSI, said: “This new standard, developed with operators of commercial vehicles, encourages good practice in the managing of security risks that may help to reduce the threat of vehicles being used in acts that may cause intentional harm to the public or for organised crime.
“The standard highlights the growing importance of physical vehicle security measures to help prevent such criminal acts taking place,” he added.