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People will die if truckers stick to speed limits, says Lincolnshire lorry driver

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: September 10, 2012

Warning: Alan Kaye

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A lorry driver who was caught speeding claims lives will be lost if he and other truckers stick to the limit.

Alan Kaye, 51, was caught doing 48 mph on the A15 southbound at Snitterby, by a speed camera.

The limit for his 44-tonne double-decker articulated lorry and other HGVs over 7.5 tonnes is 40mph on the single carriageway road. It is 60mph for cars.

Mr Kaye claims traffic police turn a blind eye to lorries that go marginally over the limit, and argues it is unfair that speed cameras give no quarter.

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And he wants the same speed limit for cars and lorries.

He admitted speeding in the Renault lorry at 3.30am on February 25 and was fined £60 and given three points.

At Lincoln Magistrates' Court, Mr Kaye, who was carrying parcels on the journey, argued that slow-moving HGVs prompt dangerous overtaking from some car drivers.

"Yes, I'm guilty of speeding," said Mr Kaye, from North Lincolnshire.

"But I truly believe this is a very dangerous position that lorry drivers are put in because of this law.

"I put it on record: the situation is bonkers and if it continues there will be accidents and fatalities and I'm here to stop this happening.

"Police just do not stop drivers for going over the 40mph limit but road safety partnerships do enforce it.

"Since all this happened to me I'm now a more dangerous driver.

"Car drivers have been overtaking me since I started driving at 40mph – I cannot tell you the amount of near misses I have had."

Speaking after the case, Mr Kaye, a Freeman of the City of York, told the Echo: "What I foresee is a head-on collision between two cars after a car has overtaken a lorry.

"It will be the lorry driver that's blamed for doing what we are told to do.

"Most car drivers are unaware that the speed limit for HGVs above 7.5 tonnes is 40mph on single carriageway roads.

"I'm arguing for equivalent speed limits for lorries and cars."

The Government is consulting on the speed limit for heavier lorries on single carriageway roads.

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  • 40mph  |  January 08 2013, 10:52PM

    Thanks the comments. The current law goes back to 1963 and has never been actively enforced by the Police but in the last decade has been by Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership (LRSP). Which is why some people think it's a recent law. Most car drivers are unaware that trucks should do 40, because most trucks have always travelled faster. To sum up, it seems it is a case balancing the risk of increased head on collisions because more people are tempted into overtakes verses trucks maintaining the same speed as other traffic and being able to stop quickly enough when they need to. The other HGV driver on here, says that stopping distances for trucks are little different from cars these days. Anybody who heard the discussion between John Siddle LRSP and I on BBC Lincolnshire will know I have a similar opinion. We now have the official government report but it is working on data that's over 10 years old! And admits on page 2 the data was flawed, but put the fatalities from slow trucks at 5 per year on average in the UK. I think it would be more than that if trucks slowed to the legal limit. Unusually for me I drove back from Scotland on the A1 last Sunday. I had 7 cars overtake on solid white lines on a quiet early Sunday morning. Lorry stopping distances these days are improved and will get better still and its best for traffic flow to be maintained for all classes of vehicles to have the same speed and remove the need for overtaking as much as possible. I only drive part time, I have a great deal of respect for the full time lorry drivers I work with, the majority of whom do a great job, drive carefully and increasingly work to higher safety standards than that asked of them by the law. New training is also being introduced for existing lorry drivers, called CPC including me! I am always happy to improve and adapt to newer safe ways of working. I take pride in doing a good job and driving as safely as possible. Since the incident I have been able to choose work that takes me mainly on the M180 and motorway network and avoids the A15. However car drivers are more at risk from slow lorries than lorry drivers and that includes my family and for that reason alone I want this law improved. On the rare occasions recently I have been down the A15 at 40 MPH the queues are spectatular. As for leaving it to the experts, I have today written to one such expert who spends most of his life behind a desk and invited him to drive down the A15 at 40 MPH in a truck and witness the problem for himself. I wonder if he is up for the challenge? What ever your opinion constructive discussion welcome. See http://tinyurl.com/b67ppmj and follow it on twitter #40mph. Even better still write to your MP! The story continues tomorrow at 7am on Radio Humberside and 8am on Radio Lincolnshire!

  • Fishooo  |  December 26 2012, 9:08AM

    So a lorry driver gets done for speeding puts on a suit and tie to go to court and get his photo in the paper surely (and I've been in the same position myself ...... minus the court and tie !) the right answer is "it's a fair cop guv" it's quite simple NOT to be prosecuted for speeding, you will notice that all vehicles have a handy little device that shows you how fast you are going .........

  • Gnome_Chomsky  |  September 13 2012, 11:19PM

    HollyW - Agree 100%. Trucks should be allowed, maybe even forced, to speed on roads with blind bends and hidden dips. If everybody drives fast on difficult roads, that must surely be better than just a few people driving within safe limits? Just a guess, but with a user name of 'disbandnlc', and comments about the A15 being narrow, the original commenter might be well acquainted with this stretch of road?

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  • HollyW  |  September 13 2012, 10:58PM

    disbandnlc- you obviously don't know the a15... blind corners and hidden dips, people would do anything to over take a lorry as its such a long road. I was behind a lorry doing 55 today, only one person over took him on a blind corner. If he was doing 40, someone could have easily been dead because everyone would have attempted an overtake. Also 40 or 60, your dead if you get hit by a lorry.

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  • disbandnlc  |  September 13 2012, 7:47PM

    Just seen this idiot on look north, god knows why. When a lorry is in an accident it is generally fatal for whoever the lorry hits. This widiots idea for keeping us safer is for him to go faster, if he hits you at 40 you might live at 60 no chance, the A15 is quite narrow just a small slip and he hits you at 60, you are done for, plenty of lorries do 40 on the A15 and I'm more than happy to sit behind them, I know they should be doing 40 and am appalled at those doing 60 or faster, This driver should be taken off the road, he doesnt grasp that for whatever reason or for whoevers fault if he hits you at 60 you are finished 40 and you stand a lot better chance, same as a car doing 20 a child will live 40 its dead same but scale up or down, appalled at this w www

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  • TomWhimpole  |  September 13 2012, 6:55PM

    I've been driving on the A15 for 38 years. I had no idea that the limit for lorries was 40 and I can't think of a single occasion that I've found one going as slow as 40. Usually between 50 and 60. Always seemed safe to me. Is this law out of date compared to the vehicle capabilities now? Seems to be based on a WW2 farm truck to me. Mr Kaye's argument seems quite valid. 8 whole miles an hour over the limit - whoopee! What a tyrant. Honestly people get a grip. He seems like a decent man trying to earn a wage and put over a sensible point.

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  • HarryWorth  |  September 13 2012, 11:39AM

    Same as yours. In your world, the newspaper should be interviewing all offenders as they leave the court. Me, I prefer to listen to the formally qualified road safety experts. ....if that's okay with you.

  • Sir_Chasm  |  September 13 2012, 9:16AM

    "He's just a convicted lorry driver. His opinions count for nothing." And you're just a nobody spouting off on the internet. Your opinions count for nothing. Easy to play the man and not the ball, isn't it?

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  • Ex_TIG_user  |  September 13 2012, 7:20AM

    Lots of HGV's I get sat behind seem to drive at 50mph in national speed limit areas, but when in 30 zones fail to slow down to the limit. (Buamber, between Horncastle and Wragby where I see it most regularly). I also find it easier and safer to overtake a vehicle travelling at 40mph than at 50mph. I don't accuse all HGV drivers of being poor. There are too many poor drivers of all vehicles on the roads and speed is not the only issue, but it is not up to individual drivers to decide what is a safe speed to drive at (unless driving below the legal speed limit).

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  • HarryWorth  |  September 12 2012, 9:53PM

    Spot on !!!

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