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Transport Minister gets truck driver’s view of the road

27 July 2015 #News #Top Stories

Transport Minister Andrew Jones gained an “immensely valuable” insight into the challenges faced by HGV drivers this week, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz.

The Minister was handed the keys to three different Mercedes-Benz trucks at the HORIBA MIRA vehicle proving facility in Warwickshire, to experience first-hand the capabilities and limitations of different types of vehicles.

The three trucks chosen for the Minister’s demonstration were the new Econic High Visibility Safety Truck, an Arocs 8×4 tipper and an Actros tractor unit.

Mr Jones described road freight as the “lifeblood running through the veins of the British economy” and said his twin priorities were to improve air quality and safety. “Our roads are among the safest in the world,” he observed, “but there’s always more that can be done to improve things still further.”

Speaking afterwards, the Minister said, “As someone who has never driven a heavy goods vehicle before, I was struck by how easy all are to drive. That said, the first vehicle (the low-entry Econic) felt totally different to the other two. You’re surrounded by glass and sit much closer to the road, so the visibility is incredibly good.”

He added, “It is clear that the industry is trying hard on cycling safety. We need technology like the High Visibility Safety Truck and more education of both HGV drivers and cyclists of the dangers of HGVs in cities.”

Nick Blake, Head of Engineering at Mercedes-Benz Trucks, commented, “The number of cyclist fatalities in London caused by construction vehicles is unacceptable. So it was a great opportunity to demonstrate to Mr Jones how a truck like the Econic tipper can make a real difference when it comes to reducing injuries and deaths.”

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