Pensioner’s death prompts change in lorry driver training
PUBLISHED: 12:05 22 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:28 22 May 2020
The training of lorry drivers in the UK will be changed after a Norfolk pensioner was run over and killed.
Dudley Howe was knocked over by a lorry while crossing Station Road, Attleborough, in October 2017.
The 82-year-old, who lived in the town, had been walking through stationary, queuing traffic, when the vehicle slowly crept forward and drove over him.
Mr Howe, a retired farmer who bred Ayrshire dairy cows, was killed instantly.
Senior coroner for Norfolk, Jacqueline Lake, later warned of further deaths if HGV driver training was not changed to account for blind spots immediately in front of lorry cabs.
And now the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has said it will add questions to the theory test for large vehicles, while ensuring training which highlights blind spots is completed at five-year intervals.
Concerns over the adequacy of training were initially raised during the trial of Simon Rayner, from Norwich, who was cleared in January of causing Mr Howe’s death by careless driving.
But Norwich Crown Court heard the lorry’s mirrors had not been properly adjusted and the pensioner could not have been seen from the vehicle’s cab.
The jury sent a note to the judge asking that lorry drivers ensure they have mirrors fitted to show a view of the whole front of the cab, and for it to be made a criminal offence to not do so.
Judge Anthony Bate passed the recommendation to Norfolk’s coroner’s office and, following the conclusion of Mr Howe’s inquest in March, Mrs Lake wrote to the DVSA.
She said: “During the course of the inquest, the evidence revealed matters giving rise to concern. In my opinion there is a risk that future deaths will occur unless action is taken.”
In response, DVSA chief executive Gareth Llewellyn said in a letter that mandatory completion of training every five years would be introduced for drivers to maintain their driver certificate of professional competence (DCPC).
He also pledged to run a social media campaign within the next six months, “highlighting the need for lorry drivers to make sure mirrors are properly adjusted on each journey.”
Changes to training will come into effect this autumn, the DVSA has said.
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