Government plans to upgrade the licences of all drivers to C1, allowing driving of ‘Lorries’, is condemned by IAM Roadsmart.
The Covid pandemic has caused problems across a wide range of industries by reducing parts supplies and jobs – particularly in the car industry – but it’s also had a major impact on goods deliveries thanks to a shortage of drivers, an issue not helped by Brexit either.
To try and tackle the issue and get more delivery drivers behind the wheel of ‘Lorries’, the Government is consulting on granting all those who’ve passed their driving test a C1 license, allowing them to drive vehicles of up to 7.5 tonnes.
The more mature of our readers (staff at Cars UK included) already have C1 licences because they took their test before 1997, but anyone taking a test after then only gets a B License, which means those up to age 42 can’t drive lorries without further tests.
With a big driver shortage – down by 11 per cent in the last year – it seems like a pragmatic route to us, but Road Safety Charity IAM Roadsmart is dead set against the idea.
Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM, said:
Research has revealed that larger vehicles pose a higher risk to other road users, so it is critical that those who drive them possess the necessary skills and training to drive them safely.
This proposal would allow a potentially high risk 18-year-old to legally drive a lorry, without the necessary training, guidance or experience required to do so safely. In our view, these plans present a totally unacceptable risk to the safety of all road users and could lead to chaos up and down our road network.
What do you think?
The way the weight of big SUVs is heading, and especially with the transition to EVs, some vehicles are heading towards the 3500kg group B limit so something is going to have to be done to allow the ordinary working man to continue driving these let alone a lorry.
Granting people a C1 licence when they pass their car test would only be a return to how things were before 1997 and the clowns in Europe decided to take it off us. A good thing as far as I can see.