There have been some disturbing reports recently about the alleged gas attacks on HGV drivers parked up for the night. This is not new but it now seems to be more widespread. The latest was reported nationally in the tabloids and on television news. These attacks have prompted police forces around the country to ask haulage bosses to advise their drivers to be on their guard.
On the 21st March the RHA issued a press release saying ‘The Road Haulage Association is concerned about reports that criminals are ‘gassing’ lorry drivers before stealing goods from their trucks.
In one incident 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 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.
The RHA urges 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.
However there was also a report in Commercial Motor (26th March) claiming that the Royal College of Anaesthetists have cast doubt on the claims. According to CM the RCA have said ‘it is not possible to render someone unconscious by blowing an anaesthetic agent into their cab, even if they are sleeping at the time’. Whoever is right, it seems clear drivers and operators need to be aware there may be some truth in this latest method of hi-jacking and look at trying to find safe overnight stops for their employees.