By Alex Kapadia
Bald tyres and tiredness are among the reasons motoring watchdogs have warned that cost-cutting trucking firms from Eastern Europe are turning Britain’s roads into ‘death traps’.
The overworked drivers are taking to the highway in ‘clapped-out lorries with bald tyres’, according to reports.
Now a warning has been issued by the ARBO – the leading motoring organisation in Austria, a country that has been plagued by pile-ups.
It believes that 2.4million of the goods vehicles travelling across Western Europe to the UK from the former Soviet bloc aren’t safe enough to be moving at all.
Its fears were accentuated recently when a smash occurred on the A23 motorway in which a Romanian lorry driver fell asleep prompting his truck to skid across the central reservation.
According to a police spokesman the tyres were so bald, the lorry should not have been allowed out at all.
Now Austria’s transport minister Doris Blures has blamed the crisis on transport firms looking to cut costs.
Her words will add further fuel to the fire of campaigners that believe something should be done about the foreign hauliers operating here. According to MPs, eight out of 10 trucks moving through UK ports are registered abroad and almost half of those checked fail our safety standards with more than a third overloaded.
Now Austria has invested more than £500,000 in 10 mobile checking stations where police can pull over and test suspect lorries.