UK Truckers Banned In Record Numbers

Thu 12th Mar 2020

Britain’s road network is being put at increasing risk from lorry drivers who are unfit to be behind the wheel according to a new report.

Data provided by the DVLA and published in The Sun newspaper reveals that driving bans for those behind the wheel of heavy goods vehicles has shot up by almost 50 per cent in the last five years, with more than 1,500 fatal crashes on the roads since 2013.

There was a total of 14,260 driving bans for lorry, bus and coach drivers in 2019, a figure up from 11,213 in 2018 and almost double the 7,464 cases in 2013.

The DVLA said: “Safety is our priority and we must take appropriate action when there is a risk someone could endanger other road users.

“All drivers must meet certain minimum medical standards and we strictly enforce additional health checks for drivers of heavy goods and passenger carrying vehicles to keep road users safe.”

Worryingly, alcohol misuse amongst lorry drivers is a major concern, with 599 drivers losing their licence last year due to drink related problems - 15 of those were alcohol related seizures.

Unsurprisingly the health of the UK’s truckers is one of the key reasons for drivers losing their licence. The industry’s union points out that the life of a driver involves a generally unhealthy environment of poor food options and very little opportunity to exercise. High blood pressure, blackouts, sleep apnoea, and a general fear of heart attack or stroke were amongst the reasons for driving bans; Poor eyesight is also a big issue.

Current guidelines suggest that a driver must undergo a medical at 45 and one every five years after and at 65 a medical is required every year.