The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has moved to reassure motorway users that safety is the number one priority for the HGV industry – following claims it is prioritising capacity over safety.
Earlier this month, road safety charity Brake published a survey which it said shows the levels of freight being transported on UK motorways is making drivers fear for their safety.
75% of respondents to the Brake survey said they believe too much freight is being transported on UK motorways, while more than 25% thought it was ‘highly likely or likely’ that they would be involved in a fatal or serious crash on a motorway or dual carriageway.
Brake went on to suggest the HGV industry is prioritising capacity over safety – citing the introduction all-lane running on UK motorways and plans to trial lorry platooning.
In response, the FTA – the UK’s largest membership association in the logistics sector – has spoken out to reassure drivers that ‘HGVs have never been more motorway-safe’.
The FTA points to statistics which show that the proportional involvement of HGVs in motorway collisions (all severities) has fallen from 13.1% in 2007 to 9.9% in 2016 – despite the levels of HGV traffic on motorways remaining similar.
The FTA adds that figures also show a ‘downward trend’ in the number of people killed or seriously injured in incidents involving HGVs on motorways. In 2011, 22 people were killed and 41 seriously injured as a result of motorway collisions involving HGVs – compared to 15 deaths and 37 serious injuries in 2016.
Christopher Snelling, head of UK policy at the FTA, said: “The driver perceptions Brake has focused on are not reflective of reality. In fact in the last six years the number of people killed or seriously injured in incidents with HGVs on motorways in Britain has reduced by over 15%.
“Contrary to public perception, the amount of freight being transported on UK motorways has only marginally increased (2.6%) over the past 11 years, it has only just reached the pre-recession levels of a decade ago.
“We want to take this opportunity to reassure motorway users that safety is the number one priority of the HGV industry.”