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P ENFORCEMENT

24th April 2008, Page 14
24th April 2008
Page 14
Page 14, 24th April 2008 — P ENFORCEMENT
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Met Police trials 'informal get-together with drivers

By Roanna Avison THE METROPOLITAN Police is to trial a scheme designed to improve communication between truck drivers and the enforcement agencies.

Based on a German model known as Stammtisch, which roughly translates as 'regular gettogether', the police will spend some time at Clacket Lane and Thurrock services on the M25, and Histon services on the M4, on the first Wednesday of every month. This will start on 7 May; the police will be there in the morning.

Sergeant Richard Golding is part of the Met's Commercial Vehicle Education Unit, which comprises serving traffic officers with HGV roadside enforcement experience. The education unit is funded by Transport for London.

Golding says the programme will be based on Stammtisch, which has been running in Germany for four or five years. "The German police found that by talking with drivers they were able to improve road safety among LGVs."

He adds the idea is to have two or three officers available to chat to the drivers and answer their questions in an environment where they know their details will not be recorded.

"In the haulage industry, most of the larger operators will train their drivers on changes to legislation, but some of the smaller operators will not have the time and the resources to do that and sometimes the first a driver will know of a rule change is when he is stopped and fined for the offence.

"We want to change this and help educate these drivers in a friendly environment." May's session will be in the morning; June's will be in the afternoon; and in July there will be both morning and afternoon sessions in order to gauge the times when drivers are happy to stop and have a chat.

The pilot will run for six months.

• Transport for London (TfL) launched FORS (Freight Operator Recognition Scheme) at the CV Show. This is a membership scheme designed to establish industry benchmarks and encourage operational efficiency. The aim to is improve all areas of freight distribution in London to cut CO2 emissions, congestion, collisions and operator costs.

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