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HGVs: No overtaking!

Trucks continue to pose the highest risk for traffic, but there was a 25.6% drop in the number of accidents involving trucks in the past eight months.

Thanks to a measure that bans trucks from overtaking, the number of accidents involving heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) on roads has decreased significantly in the past year.  

The measure, which took effect on January 1, 2011, bans all trucks and vehicle combinations of more than 7.5 tons from overtaking on the country’s dual carriageways and motorways between 6 am and 10 pm. The Hungarian highway regulations were amended in accordance with the ban.

As a result, both the number of crashes caused by HGVs and those involving trucks has decreased significantly says a press release from the National Development Ministry and the National Police Headquarters (ORFK).

The National Development Ministry introduced the ban with the aim of enhancing road safety and increasing the average speed in the second, outer lane. Although it was highly criticized by truck drivers in Europe, the ban seems to have delivered results. Between January and August, 93 accidents occurred which involved trucks: a 25.6% drop from the same period a year earlier. And while 59 of those accidents were caused by truck drivers in 2010, this year has seen a 17% drop in that figure.

According to ORFK, the drop is also the result of the fact that the police officers have checked drivers’ compliance with the obligatory driving and rest periods during peak season. Check-ups took place mainly at night and dawn from mid-June until late August.

Regardless of weather conditions, trucks pose a major risk on roads. The risk factor of trucks is higher than that of other vehicles that, in comparison, are far less protected. Overtaking by HGVs is riskier due to their higher weight and relatively low speed difference during overtaking. In the case of an accident, both material damage and personal injuries are generally more serious.