Last reviewed 11 May 2021

Attacks on the public involving vehicles, which have been targeted due to their size and potential impact, have had tragic consequences in recent years, including in the Westminster and London Bridge attacks of 2017.

Robust new security measures are therefore being introduced to prevent criminals and terrorists from accessing commercial vehicles with operators encouraged to improve knowledge of potential risks and develop rigorous security plans.

The new guidance (available from the British Standards Institution) is designed to prevent vehicles being used as weapons in acts of terrorism.

Sponsored by the Department for Transport (DfT), it sets out a range of security measures to prevent criminals and terrorists from getting hold of vans, lorries, buses, coaches and even cranes.

To meet the new requirements, operators must:

  • improve their knowledge of potential risks and determine which of those risks apply to their business

  • develop a security management plan

  • assess risk exposure

  • put in place management and accountability for security.

Other requirements will include checks of drivers’ references and previous employment history and also regular visual checks of vehicles for signs of tampering.

To ensure this new standard is met, the Government is working with the industry to develop accreditation and certification schemes for commercial vehicle firms, with further details to be announced in due course.

It is hoped that these measures will not only create barriers to carrying out these types of attack but could also assist the fight against serious and organised crime, including helping to minimise the risk of drug and people smuggling.

Nick Fleming, Head of Mobility and Transport Standards at BSI, said: “This new standard, developed with operators of commercial vehicles, encourages good practice in the managing of security risks that may help to reduce the threat of vehicles being used in acts that may cause intentional harm to the public or for organised crime.”