Consumers value transport sector but remain wary of foreign truck drivers

25 October 2012 #SMMT News
  • 96% of consumers in favour of commercial vehicles on our roads.
  • Road safety a big concern, with foreign truck drivers topping the polls as worst offenders.

With an overwhelming 96% of consumers agreeing that the road transport sector is important to the UK economy, continuing to improve safety and skills within the sector is of paramount importance.

According to a recent survey on behalf of the Commercial Vehicle Forum 2012, road safety is still a significant concern to the general public.  When asked specifically what dangers commercial vehicles posed, the majority of respondents (29%) were deeply concerned with the perceived poor driving ability of foreign truck drivers.

Other concerns were excessive speed (17%) and poor driving or lack of awareness from truck drivers in general (16%).  The same question posed to transport industry professionals again confirmed fears of driving standards among foreign drivers (40%) while a lack of awareness from other road users was the greatest danger for 33% of respondents.

The survey went on to ask which other road user groups caused trepidation, with consumers expressing concern about motorbikes and cyclists (19% and 11% respectively) and those within the transport sector troubled by cyclists (30%) and pedestrians (24%).

Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive said, “Safety is of paramount importance to the UK commercial vehicle industry and we will look to engage business, trade associations and government in the drive to introduce higher standards among both foreign and UK truck drivers.”

Geoff Dunning, RHA Chief Executive said, “As the only UK trade body dedicated solely to the road haulage sector, safety is a key issue for our members. UK hauliers are already subject to strict safety standards – it is our aim that the rest of the EU should follow our example.”

The survey was undertaken for the Commercial Vehicle Forum 2012, an event which will take place at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London on 15 November. Chaired by broadcaster Simon Jack, the Forum’s key theme is innovation and specifically future sustainability, skills and safety. Panellists will include Rob Flello MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Freight Group and Robert Gifford, Executive Director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS).

The Commercial Vehicle Forum 2012 is supported by AA Drivetech, Bridgestone UK, Brigade Electronics, Greenchem Solutions, Isuzu Truck (UK) and Squarell Technology.

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