Campaign launched to stop lorries being blown over in storms

Lorry blown over on A96 near Huntly during Storm Gertrude on 29 January. Picture: Hemedia

Lorry blown over on A96 near Huntly during Storm Gertrude on 29 January. Picture: Hemedia

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A campaign to reduce the number of lorries blown over in strong winds was launched today after 11 incidents within weeks last winter including a car being crushed.

Hauliers are being urged by Police Scotland to drive with curtain-sided wagons tied open if they are empty to cut the risk.

The move comes nine months after Scotland on Sunday revealed a safety investigation into the problem had been ordered by ministers in the wake of the crash.

BACKGROUND: Derek Mackay orders safety probe after lorries blown over

Caroline Munro and Martin Bayliss were trapped when an empty articulated lorry with its curtains closed was blown onto their car on the A96 near Huntly in Aberdeenshire during Storm Gertrude on 29 January.

Ms Munro suffered fractured ribs and collarbone. She said: “It is not reasonable, fair or in the public interest to say the accident was unavoidable.”

Another lorry was blown over on the same day on the M9 near Stirling.

The following day, four lorries suffered a similar fate, three on the A82 in Glencoe and one on the Cromarty Bridge.

A further four were blown over on the A1 in East Lothian in January and February, while the other incident happened on the A87 in Skye in February.

Police Scotland launched the campaign with the Malcolm Group haulage firm at its headquarters at Linwood in Renfrewshire.

Superintendent Fraser Candlish said: “Although such instances are rare given there are more than 29,000 lorries on Scotland’s roads, when they do happen they pose a significant risk to the safety of lorry drivers as well as other road users, and can result in disruptive road closures.

“We are also encouraging operators and drivers in the road haulage industry to be prepared for bad weather, follow advice on social media and register for weather alerts from Traffic Scotland.

Derek Mackay, the then transport minister, told Scotland on Sunday in February: “There is an issue here over volatile weather. We will look at incidents and that will inform next steps.”

Humza Yousaf, his successor, said today: “Now that we are in autumn, when we traditionally see more stormy weather, this is a good example of how we can work alongside the haulage industry to improve the safety and operation of our trunk roads in these types of conditions.

“Many types of goods vehicles can be badly affected by high winds, but curtain-sided vehicles are particularly vulnerable when empty, and this is a timely reminder from Police Scotland.

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