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Government's relaxation of lorry driver hours risks fatigue, accidents and fatalities

Date: 07 July 2021 Retail distribution trade union Usdaw urges the Government not to compromise safety on our roads by extending heavy goods vehicle drivers’ hours, which was today announced by the Department of Transport.
Mark Todd – Usdaw National Officer says: “Fatigue is known to be a factor in up to a quarter of fatal and serious road traffic accidents and lorry drivers are known to be at greater risk of suffering fatigue, even when they are driving within the European driving hours limits because shift patterns require them to work anti-social hours.

“Extending their hours beyond the current legal requirements increases the pressure to drive while tired. This short-term response to the much greater problem of driver shortages is not the answer. The Government needs to make the industry more attractive through improving employment rights and ensuring higher pay for workers.

“Key workers across the transport industry have already worked tirelessly, frequently without recognition, to keep the country going. It’s not realistic to expect them to work further additional hours. We expect employers to consult on any proposed changes to shift patterns as a result of this announcement.”

Notes for editors:
Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) is the UK's fifth biggest trade union with over 400,000 members. Membership has increased by more than one-third over the last couple of decades. Most Usdaw members work in the retail sector, but the union also has many members in transport, distribution, food manufacturing, chemicals and other trades.
For Usdaw press releases visit: http://www.usdaw.org.uk/news and you can follow us on Twitter @UsdawUnion

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers