So says IAM RoadSmart as it highlights a rise in van traffic in recent years compared to HGVs. DfT figures show van traffic has risen 12% from January 2013, with research suggesting that vans are being used to substitute for HGVs, for reasons including the lower wages of van drivers, the rise in home deliveries and lastly, the fact that both the fleet management and drivers of vans are less regulated than HGVs.
IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, Neil Greig, said: “There is no additional test or qualification required to drive a van, over the basic car licence. This compares directly to drivers of HGVs, who must undertake a test in the vehicle they drive and continued professional development through the driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). As more and more orders are made online, it is very likely that the increased growth in the number of van drivers will continue.
“But whether your fleet is made up of vans or HGVs, the same corporate manslaughter laws apply and as an employer it is not enough to assume that just holding a driving licence will keep your drivers safe. With additional pressures on them, including often overly optimistic delivery schedules, van drivers face challenges car drivers rarely will.
“With the Christmas delivery surge fast approaching be stringent in your risk assessment process and ensure every individual you have on the road receives the training they need to get their valuable cargo and themselves delivered on time and in one piece.”