This is part two of two of an article that originally appeared in Freight in the City’s sister publication, Commercial Motor. Why not subscribe and get 12 issues for just £12?
The recommendation that non-driver crew members should be given basic training in how to stop a refuse truck in an emergency, aimed not just at Glasgow City Council but at local authorities across the UK, will happen in Glasgow according to the council’s spokesman.
“We only got the recommendation on Monday so we’re still looking at exactly how that’s going to work, but we certainly will implement it.”
He suggests that while there is no targeted training that he knows of in the road transport industry at present, local authorities are likely to have the capacity to conduct it in-house.
“We have various pieces of available training for the operatives. So it will be something that we’re able to do in-house, because we have driver trainers, too, who are experts in the vehicles that we have.”
Campbell says that while the sheriff’s call for the training was aimed specifically at Glasgow City Council, it is likely that authorities across the country will take heed of the message.
“I’m sure local authorities will jump on the idea that if you’re in a crew situation, it makes a lot of sense for everyone on board to have some basic understanding of how to stop the vehicle in an emergency.
“We’ve all got to listen and learn from what’s happened here. I think it will have an effect across the country, because all the local authorities now will be thinking ‘Oh my goodness, I don’t want that happening here’, so they’ll have to look at what’s come out of the court to see if there’s anything in their operations they can change to avoid it.”
Sheriff Beckett called for a possible change in legislation around the freedoms doctors have to report concerns about drivers’ health directly to the DVLA, or even an obligation to do so. The DVLA said that it was “carefully considering the recommendations in the report”.
While it remains to be seen whether the transport secretary will sanction such a change, there remains the worry that drivers will be dissuaded from going to see a doctor at all if they feel unwell. “They need to keep their licences because they have to feed their families,” says the RHA’s Campbell.
“But at the same time, no driver wants to be involved in something like what happened in Glasgow. So if there’s something they can do to prevent that happening, I think they’ll do it.”