Following concerns raised by a coroner about the lack of training on HGV mirrors, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has announced that the theory test for new, heavy goods vehicle drivers will be changed. Here’s what we know about potential changes to the HGV theory test…
A series of new questions will be added to HGV theory tests on the topic of class VI mirrors in an effort to raise awareness of mirror positioning on class VI HGVs for new lorry drivers, the DVSA has announced.
The agency has also stated that it is recommending that new lorry drivers take safe urban driving (SUD) and vulnerable road user (VRU) CPC courses.
The changes come amid a report filed by Norfolk coroner, Jacqueline Lake, which warns of an increase in road traffic related deaths if no action is taken.
Ms Lake’s report came in the aftermath of an incident involving an HGV that resulted in the death of 82-year-old pedestrian Dudley Howe, who stepped out in front of a lorry that was stationary in queuing traffic. However, the vehicle then pulled forward with the driver failing to see Mr Howe.
Driver cleared of causing death by careless driving
An inquest into Mr Howe’s death cleared the HGV driver of causing death by careless driving. However, Norwich Crown Court was told that Mr Howe’s death could have been prevented had the driver positioned his vehicle’s mirrors correctly.
In a letter to Lake, sent by DVSA chief executive, Gareth Llewellyn, he said: “The HGV theory test will be changed to include two new questions on cyclops mirrors this coming autumn.”
“Although we cannot mandate which DCPC courses are taken by industry bodies and operators, we can increase our efforts to promote SUD and vulnerable road user awareness courses.
“We will recommend to industry bodies and operators that all drivers take some SUD/VRU training as part of their driver DCPC periodic training.
“We will highlight the need for lorry drivers to make sure mirrors are properly adjusted on each journey. We will do this across our social media platforms, including on our Twitter and Facebook accounts. We will also look to issue blog posts to heavy vehicle operators and drivers,” Mr Llewellyn said.
Llewellyn said that changes would occur within the next six months, ‘when drivers and operators are less focused on the coronavirus effort and more receptive to other messages and advice.’
Meanwhile, DVSA director of policy, digital and technology, Becky Thomas said: “This case raises an important issue and DVSA will be taking action to highlight the need for lorry drivers to make sure mirrors are properly adjusted on each journey.”
Need to book a HGV theory test?
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