The Road Haulage Association (RHA) is concerned about reports that criminals are ‘gassing’ lorry drivers before stealing goods from their trucks.
In one incident, according to the RHA, a haulier was parked overnight on an industrial estate in the West Midlands and woke up the next morning to find that thieves had slashed the curtain on one side of the lorry and stolen cargo valued at thousands of pounds.
The RHA says that the driver had been ‘gassed’ in his sleep and remained unconscious throughout the incident. He was taken to hospital for tests before being released.
There have also been a number of incidents in South Yorkshire where criminals have used similar methods to target drivers before stealing goods, it says.
The issue hit the headlines several years ago, with similar from reports from drivers on the continent. A survey from the International Road Transport Union (IRU) also found that a third of drivers (32%) who had been attacked claimed that gas had been used.
However, the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCOA) has previously dismissed the claim, saying that there was no known gas that could render a driver unconscious in this way.
Nevertheless, the RHA is urging hauliers to remain vigilant and do all they can to keep themselves safe, especially when they have no choice but to take their daily or weekly rest breaks in secluded spots and laybys.