Many online retailers and courier firms have been recruiting extra drivers to cope with the unprecedented demands over the Christmas period and during the pandemic.
However, this has caused concerns about the quality of driving and state of some delivery vehicles in the South West.
Anticipating the increased deliveries expected prior to Christmas, the Peninsula Road Safety Partnership – part of Vision Zero South West - says it will be operating mobile camera vans on key delivery routes in Devon and Cornwall.
As well as the human toll of collisions, they disrupt supply chains in Devon and Cornwall, and their impact on the emergency services and particularly the NHS during times of peak demand.
Both drivers and operators are being reminded they, and their vehicles, must be fit for the road and compliant with the legislation.
Companies responding to the current demand are being reminded that drivers need to be given realistic schedules, and comply with road traffic laws in terms of vehicle loading, driving times and speeds.
Drivers who are using class restricted vehicles should be appropriately licensed, and reminded that their vehicles may not operate to the same speed limit as cars, which they may be more used to driving.
A spokesperson for the Peninsula Road Safety Partnership said: “We will work with partners to keep our roads as clear from collisions as possible over the run up to Christmas. Our goal is to make sure that deliveries are made, and drivers return safely home at the end of their shifts.
“We will be reviewing offences detected, and any companies who are identified as systematically flouting the rules, and gaining an unfair advantage of their law abiding competitors, will be followed up.”
Earlier this month, Vision Zero also raised concerns that despite 30%-40% less traffic on our roads during ‘Lockdown 2’, the speed at which vehicles were driving had increased.
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is chair of the Vision Zero South West partnership and also the national APCC lead for road safety.
Commissioner Hernandez said: “I am concerned that newly hired drivers are not adequately qualified, insured or prepared to be travelling as much as they are.
“We have had reports of delivery drivers speeding in residential areas and travelling in vehicles which appear to be unroadworthy.
“Our officers will remain vigilant and I welcome the use of camera units to monitor key delivery routes.
“I would urge anyone using the roads of Devon and Cornwall to be mindful and do so safely to protect everyone during the festive period.”