New HGV Rules
I am an experianced HGV Driving Instructor. A new law has come into force 10/04/2014 where any driver having passed a car driving test in a manual car will now be able to sit a test in an automatic lorry or bus in order to gain a full manual licence for that vehicle. This is the equalivent of allowing such drivers to operate a mobile phone while driving.
Some lorries have up to 24 forward gears and takes time and effort to drive. Many experianced London Bus Drivers in the past who have trained up to HGV driver take on average one to two weeks training most experiancing problems managing the complex gear system.
It is only a matter of time for the driver of such vehicle to state that he/she did not see the cyclist because they were looking at the gears. I have had drivers fail on manual gears selecting too low a gear at too high speed almost causing a bus load of passengers to run into the rear of bus as the lorry slows abruptly with no break lights. There is no longer the need to train on such vehicles to obtain this licence.
This new rule is a big step backwards in road safety and does not have the support of most Commercial Vehicle Driving Schools.