The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has called on the Department for Transport to change the Highway Code so that it includes guidance for learner drivers on how to handle their vehicle around lorries.

In addition, the FTA also wants learner drivers knowledge and understanding of how to behave around lorries to be included as part of the driving test.

Guidance on how to behave around cyclists, cars and motorcyclists are included in the Highway Code, however, there’s no section on lorries – which is quite alarming when you consider there were nearly 11,000 accidents involving lorries in 2007.

Commenting on this, the FTA’s Policy Director, James Hookham said, “As road users, whether we’re on two, four or even sixteen wheels, we all have a responsibility to act sensibly and within the law”.

“It’s unfair to make lorry drivers the scapegoat. Whenever there is an accident, or even a near miss, involving a lorry, the common assumption is that the lorry driver is at fault. But how many of us are aware of how much clearance we need to give HGVs when we are overtaking or how much distance do we need to keep to enable a lorry driver to see us?”

Hookham continued, “Three years ago, the Driving Standards Agency consulted on changes to the Highway Code, but ended up bottling it. We’re asking them now to rethink that decision and help make our roads safer”.

Steve Tattersall, a spokesperson for Driving School Lessons said, “We support the FTA on this important issue and think the Highway Code should include the necessary guidance on driving behaviour around lorries. We encourage the DSA to open up the consultation on changes to the Highway Code again”.

The FTA, the leading voice on freight transport in the UK also wants all haulage & freight companies to make sure their drivers’ training is up to date and comprehensive.