Government aims to increase short tractor safety
The Government wants to introduce new regulations to reduce the risk of accidents for short tractors with semi-trailers, known as EU trailers. The proposal is now being presented to the European Commission so that the Government can later take a decision on it.
“The Government is doing all it can to increase safety on Swedish roads. In recent years we have seen several serious accidents involving short tractors with trailers, and therefore both the Government and the industry want to see stricter regulations,” says Minister of Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth.
The proposal was drafted in response to several ‘jackknife’ accidents, where the lorry twisted in relation to the attached trailer so that the tractor and trailer folded in on themselves, making control impossible.
The risk is greatest in winter road conditions when there is insufficient friction between the road surface and the tyres. One important measure to prevent this is to require the lorry to have sufficient pressure on the driving axle.
For two-axle heavy goods vehicles with one driving axle that have one or multiple trailers attached, it is proposed that the load be distributed so that:
- at least 25 per cent of the total gross vehicle weight is on the driving axle; or
- the total gross weight that the tyres of coupled trailers transmit to the road does not exceed 1.5 times the total gross weight that the tyres of the lorry transmit to the road.
These requirements are to apply between 1 December and 31 March.
In addition to better road safety, this measure can also help to reduce the number of times roads are blocked, as there will be fewer accidents and incidents with heavy vehicles.
The proposal with the new regulations is now being presented to the European Commission, which is necessary for the Government to later take a decision on it.