The road haulage sector is keeping the UK running during the coronavirus crisis – but drivers could be forced off the road due to a lack of routine medical testing, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has warned.
With GPs having suspended testing and specialist test centres temporarily closed, it’s not clear how drivers who are due their mandated health checks can keep themselves compliant with the law, Transport Network reports.
All truck drivers over the age of 45 must take a D4 medical test every five years, while those over 65 are required to get an annual check-up.
The RHA highlighted that the average age of UK HGV drivers is 56 – so, in theory, there could be thousands of drivers who are due to be tested in the coming months. With a shortfall of 60,000 drivers before the coronavirus pandemic and some drivers being forced to self-isolate, driver numbers could reach worryingly low levels, according to RHA spokesman Paul Mummery.
“If there are fewer and fewer drivers on the road, we’re going to make it more of an acute problem in terms of the supply chain,” he said.
In answer to whether recruitment could fill any gaps, Tim Shallcross, IAM Roadsmart’s head of technical policy, pointed out how new drivers to the industry will need to have a medical to apply for an HGV licence.
Are you due your routine medical test soon? We’ll keep you up to date with any developments.