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Lorry drivers caught using mobiles at the wheel should be sacked, says police chief

  • 10 August 2013
  • By Chris Tindall

Companies whose LGV drivers use mobile phones at the wheel should sack them, according to the chief constable of Essex police.

Stephen Kavanagh said that his officers were “constantly” having to re-enforce the message about using mobile phones and that haulage companies should take a tougher stance.

“Some of the behaviours that go on; the texting that takes place, the conversations that can wait, or people that connect to blue tooth, they are just being lazy and we are ending up with cyclists and young people being killed on our streets,” he said.

“Professional agencies who employ people who get caught using mobile phones should dismiss them. Professional drivers should behave in a professional manner and the companies that employ them should start reinforcing some of these messages.”

Essex police and crime commissioner Nick Alston also backed the move: “That’s a really interesting idea and I think that’s one we should follow up.”

However, both the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and the Road Haulage Association said dismissals should only be considered following the results of a disciplinary inquiry:

“As far as the RHA is concerned, there’s no excuse for the misuse of mobile phones,” said RHA policy director Jack Semple. “That should be made clear in employment contracts and we do make it clear in RHA’s specimen contract we draw up for members.

“In terms of the consequences, lorry drivers face more serious penalties than other motorists so, as a rule of thumb, their vocational licence is likely to be suspended for three weeks by a TC for a first offence. The consequences are already significant,” added Semple.


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