Recently, the British Government announced that they would be implementing new border regulations. Among these controversial changes is the raised penalty for drivers caught bringing Clandestine Entrants into the UK.
The fine, which will be raised from £2,000 to £10,000 per migrant found (as of Feb 13th, 2023), will be given whether the driver knew that there were migrants inside the vehicle or not.
Ensuring that all vehicles are secured properly is vital. But securing loads correctly is just as important.
Serious injury, prosecution or damaged reputation can all result from poor load securing. In some cases, it can even prove fatal.
According to official DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) guidance, drivers loading vehicles should follow the following guidance:
The first step towards correctly loading your vehicle is to choose the right vehicle for your load.
Whilst keeping the centre of gravity as low as you can, drivers should stack the load against the headboard and make sure that it is stable without lashings. This will help to prevent any accidents and/or injuries from occurring later on during the unloading process.
Boxes, transport frames, chocks, extra lashings and stillages can all be used to stabilise the load at this point. Any damage to the headboard should be fixed as soon as possible.
Remember, you will need more force to secure a load when it is moving than when it is stationary.
The DVSA is responsible for enforcing lorry, bus and coach load securing regulations.
They will assess whether the load is stable, whether the load could affect the handling of the vehicle, if there is a danger of the load falling off (or into the front of the vehicle) during transit, or of any other immediate danger to road users during transit.
There are also a number of consequences that occur as a result of poor load securing, including (but not limited to) :
In some cases, poor load securing can be fatal.
For this reason, it is vital that all hauliers understand the importance of securing loads properly and the official DVSA guidelines.
For more information about safe loading best practices (including who is responsible for ensuring these guidelines are met), please visit the official UK Government guide.