One of the big fleet news stories of this year so far, has been that the speed limit for heavy goods vehicles (HGV) has increased on British roads from 50 miles per hour to 60. That’s quite significant and should mean that a lot of goods are delivered more quickly and the overall efficiency of the industry should see a boost too. However, as many have pointed out, this does come with its own safety concerns.
The biggest issue with HGVs travelling quickly, is that due to their weight, they take a lot longer to stop than your average vehicle, so hitting the brakes in a hurry isn’t ideal. On top of that, they’re also more prone to skidding and tyre damage. With that in mind, Fleetpoint writer Phil Shirley has suggested, that telematics could be the single most important tool in making sure people stay safe on the roads with the new HGV laws in place.
While he understands the argument that in some ways a faster speed limit for HGV vehicles is safer, since there is less of a gap between them and the rest of the road’s traffic and indeed traffic flow should improve because of it too, but the issue lies with driver safety at those speeds. With that in mind, he wants to see fleet managers pay careful attention to HGV drivers, especially those that may be more likely to enjoy the faster speed they can travel by being more gung-ho with their traditional driving practices.
Any problems with driver behaviour should be spotted and weeded out as soon as possible, with those found responsible for carelessly heavy acceleration or braking given training to improve the way they act when behind the wheel. On top of that, solid fleet location monitoring and management from the HQ should allow HGV drivers to avoid problem areas with dangerous weather or accidents/traffic jams that might lead to quick braking, something that will be that bit harder since they’ll be travelling at 10 miles per hour more than they were just a few weeks ago.
Of course getting good telematics installed will give fleets many other benefits too, including better fuel economy, improved business efficiency and a reduction in vehicle wear. But ultimately safety needs to come first and that’s where the tracking tech will be invaluable in making sure that nothing too untoward happens as a consequence of this new legislation.