I reckon that, on average, I see the aftermath of a collision involving a foreign-registered lorry about once a week.

Most of these are of the "I didn't see him" variety, meaning a predictable trail of destruction.

First there'll be a police patrol or Highways Agency Shogun strobing in the hard shoulder, then the wayward lorry (inevitably looking completely undamaged) and then, either near it or under it, the remains of whichever unfortunate van or car it's side-swiped.

So the fact that a committee of MPs are urging a crackdown on badly maintained and over-hours foreign lorries is undoubtedly a good thing, although the obvious question is why it's taken us so long to get here.

This is hardly a big surprise: a previous report published earlier this year reckoned that foreign drivers are eight times more likely to be involved in a serious crash than their UK counterparts.

Every day, tens of thousands of European registered lorries rumble through our ports with unconverted headlights dipping the wrong way and without mirrors capable of seeing anything lurking in their blindspots.

Many of their drivers are likely to have no more than a rudimentary understanding of how to convert their km/h displayed by their speedos into mph, let alone the more subtle nuances of the UK's lorry-specific speed limits.

And once these trucks are in the country, the odds of them being stopped or checked for any reason - short of having driven into someone - are slight at best.

Camera enforcement means fewer police patrols, and a retired motorway cop admitted to me a couple of years ago that there are fewer and fewer officers capable of reading the tachographs that measure how long a lorry has been on the move for.

Whenever I travel in America I'm impressed by the number of truck inspection points on the Interstate Highways, and how many of them are open on a typical journey.

There's a lorry weighbridge run by VOSA, the agency charged with maintaining standards, about five miles from where I live. In seven years of passing it regularly, I've seen it open once.

So thanks to the Commons Transport Committee for pointing out the blindingly obvious, but in the meantime I'll carry on giving foreign-registered wagons a wide berth.

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