‘Transporters will also have to pay for their security’
More and more motorway parking lots are closing at night for truckers because of security problems. G4S MD, Jean-Paul Van Avermaet, thinks that a far better security is possible but transporters have to pay their share.
Local mayors have recently been closing parking lots along important motorways in Belgium because they can’t assure security anymore. Problems with so-called transmigrants climbing in trucks and people smuggler gangs fighting each other have led to a situation in which truckers now have to park on motorway exits or in industrial zones to get their resting periods.
“Making those parking lots more secure is surely possible”, says Van Avermaet, “we just have to install the adequate surveillance devices and monitor the whole system permanently. The problem is who’s going to pay for this.”
Technology is available
“In Kalken (E17 motorway near Ghent) we installed the highest security for the parking lot managed by Total”, says Van Avermaet. “There is wiring and there are trenches around the spot, the ins and outs are controlled and everything is being monitored permanently. This is an extreme (and costly) way, but there are alternatives.”
Better lighting is surely a good solution and not so expensive, weighing the trucks when they arrive and depart is another possibility. “Those weighing bridges can detect 50 kg of difference, so when a few people have climbed in, this can be immediately detected.”
Who pays the bill?
“There are several parties who can benefit from a better security”, continues Van Avermaet. “Great Britain being the ultimate goal of many illegal migrants, the British authorities have huge fines for truckers and transporters bringing them on the UK territory. “In fact, it’s also in their financial interest to have secure parking lots and it’s the same for the insurance companies.”
The transporters are counting on the government and the local authorities to secure everything but despite funding from Europe and the national governments, heavy security is very expensive.
“If the authorities choose small but efficient security measures, security can improve drastically if the transporters are willing to pay their share. We must absolutely avoid that the local communities around these parking spots are endangered.”
There is a fierce competition between transporters on European roads, so every euro counts. Maybe we have to rethink the transport model, realizing that transporting goods can’t be as cheap as it is now if we want everything to be secure and go well. “If we don’t pay the right price for our transport, the whole community will pay in the end, and we have to avoid that”, Van Avermaet concludes.