Call to tackle sat-navs sending lorries under low bridges following recent St Albans accident

Lorry stuck under Harpenden bridge in May 2016 - photo by Nicola Bourne

Lorry stuck under Harpenden bridge in May 2016 - photo by Nicola Bourne - Credit: Archant

Calls for laws to ensure lorries are using the right sat-navs have been welcomed by Herts county council after a stuck vehicle recently blocked a country lane near St Albans.

The Local Government Association (LGA), consisting of more than 370 councils in England and Wales, said that there were numerous examples of heavy lorries driving over bridges not designed for their weight, ripping off their roofs on low bridges, or wedging themselves in small roads - like one in Flamstead in late January.

While stressing that the majority of lorry drivers are responsible drivers, the LGA has called for specialised truck sat-navs to be compulsory and fines for people who do not abide by road restrictions.

The slightly more expensive devices include details like bridge heights and narrow roads.

Councillor Terry Douris, cabinet member for highways, said it would be ‘welcome’.

He said the council wanted to ensure free-flowing traffic and ensure the safety of road users by “putting an end to the blight of lorries getting stuck in places where they shouldn’t be.

“We also back the latest calls from other councils and the LGA to give local authorities across England powers to issue on-the-spot penalties to lorry drivers who ignore height and weight restrictions.”

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He suggested the National Digital Road Map as a suitable navigation device for commercial vehicles.