Lawyer’s warning for delivery drivers

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Delivery drivers must take more personal responsibility to avoid attacks on themselves and their vehicles, according to transport lawyer Anton Balkitis of Nottingham-based solicitors Rothera Dowson.

The law firm said it had seen increasing attacks on drivers and their vehicles, including thefts, freight robberies and personal attacks, experiences of which have led a number of drivers to seek medical and/or psychological attention.

Although some cases may attract Criminal Injuries Compensation, the amounts available under the tariff scheme are fixed and can be inadequate, with many cases resulting in no compensation being awarded.

Balkitis and his team at Rothera Dowson encourage drivers to use secure truck parking areas as highlighted in the regularly updated IRU-ECMT Truck Parking Areas publication, and to make more use of protective devices, including robust vehicle security technology.

Concerns over a rise in reported incidents is being addressed by the European Conference of Ministers and the International Road Transport Union, but Balkitis said: “Until there are more concrete measures in place on a practical level, drivers must take more personal responsibility. Drivers should also follow whatever guidance they are given by their employers and the various codes of practice available.”

He also warned of the challenges faced by drivers entering the UK: “Although most drivers are aware of the need to check vehicles regularly en route to the UK, there are still many who end up receiving civil penalty notices of up to £2,000 because they do not have a document to demonstrate they have a system to prevent the carriage of unlawful entrants – although on many occasions we have been able to persuade authorities to withdraw or significantly discount penalties for drivers.”

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