French lorry-drivers watch TV at the wheel

10.59 | 21 April 2009 |

French long-distance lorry drivers have sparked alarm with a new pastime for beating boredom at the wheel: watching television.

Police have been ordered to keep a close watch on the cabs of ‘poids lourds’ (heavy goods vehicles) after reports that drivers are putting their feet up on the dashboard and watching videos or playing computer games while steaming along at the regulation 90km/h (56mph).

To take their eyes off the road, they have devised a technique for ‘driving by ear’, according to Le Figaro. When traffic is not too dense, the driver sets the cruise control and puts the lorry’s right wheels on the band that marks the edge of the hard shoulder. These are often ribbed, making a noise and alerting sleepy drivers that they are heading off the road.

Le routier then steers by sound, leaving him free to watch a DVD, play a game or read, witnesses say.

Click here to read the full Times Online news report.


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