Solicitor for Glasgow bin lorry crash victim calls for legislative change



Ronnie Conway
Ronnie Conway

A solicitor representing the family of one of the 2014 Glasgow bin lorry crash victims has called on the UK government to change the law to prevent further tragedies.

Ronnie Conway, Scottish co-ordinator for the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), warned that there is “no system in place to ensure a driver only receives a HGV licence if the DVLA has seen the applicant’s medical records”.

Evidence provided to the fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into the bin lorry crash in 2015 indicated that driver Harry Clarke had failed to disclose a history of loss of consciousness to the DVLA.

Glasgow City Council announced stronger health screening for drivers as part of a package of reforms informed by Sheriff John Beckett’s recommendations.

However, Mr Conway has said “legislative change” may yet be required.

In a letter marking the fourth anniversary of the crash this month, he wrote: “Clarke was able to continue driving because he denied having had any previous fainting episode and there is no system in place to ensure a driver only receives a HGV licence if the DVLA has seen the applicant’s medical records. This loophole means the tragedy could happen again, anywhere in the UK, at any time.

“In the fatal accident inquiry which followed these six tragic deaths, Sheriff Beckett recommended that the Secretary of State for Transport should consult on the issue. At the moment, the UK Government and DVLA appear content to rely on increased guidance and awareness. This does not legislate for those who willfully drive HGVs when they know they should not. And it will provide no comfort to the families of those who died four years ago.”