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ALTHOUGH commercial-vehicle drivers are rightly regarded as the knights of the road, some of them indulge in practices that do not reflect wholly to their credit, Close-convoy driving is one of them. This is a selfish use of road space which may cause serious accidents.
Four heavy lorries driven in close formation cover about 60 yd., which means that a following vehicle, unless it possesses exceptional acceleration, requires a clear distance ahead of probably at least a quarter of a mile if it is to overtake in safety. Under present road conditions one may travel for miles before a gap of more than perhaps 100 yd. occurs in oncoming traffic, and dangerous frustration is caused. The spacing of vehicles 60 yd. apart would permit overtaking without inconvenience to anyone.
Good sense is not invariably, exercised in parking at the roadside for rest periods. It is not always possible to find a lay-by, but a safe place in which to rest can certainly be selected by using a little common sense. There is no excuse for leaving a vehicle at the roadside near or on bends or on hills where visibility is restricted.
Speeding is another matter which is beginning to attract unfavourable public comment. The report of the Road Research Laboratory for 1957 says that the proportion of heavy goods vehicles exceeding 30 m.p.h. has risen from 45 per cent. to 56 per cent. Speeds up to 50 m.p.h. by heavy vehicles now seem to be common on main roads. They are certainly not in the interests of longevity of vehicle or tyres, or of economy, and are not condoned by many operators.
If commercial-vehicle drivers wish to continue to enjoy the warm esteem in which they are generally held by the public, they must make sure that they are not guilty of thoughtlessness or flagrant law-breaking. As professional drivers they should set an example to others: Their good reputation is not lightly to be thrown away.