World

British Van Driver Dies After Migrants Block Road

A British van driver died in a massive crash a week ago after migrants placed tree trunks on the highway to stop motorists in an attempt to get a ride from France into the United Kingdom, Breitbart News reports.

When the van was unable to slow down before the barrier, it caught fire and the driver was killed. Nine Eritrean migrants have been arrested, suspected of planting the wooden blockade, and are now in police custody.

According to a Daily Mail report, drivers of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), have been fined 3,552 times since the beginning of 2016 for carrying illegal immigrants, equal to a fine every two hours. These fines are up 500 percent since 2011-2012, when only 648 were issued.

The presence of migrants has not only hurt truckers financially, but their jobs are becoming increasingly precarious. HGV drivers have cited a newfound “gauntlet of intimidation and fear” of transporting goods to Britain. Migrants armed with baseball bats, iron bars, and even guns have made the French Calais region extremely treacherous.

Roadside violence has become commonplace, with one driver narrowly dodging a sharpened stake thrown at his windshield back in November of 2015. Road Haulers Association (RHA) spokesperson Rod McKenzie recently stated, “The Calais run is now a stressful, dangerous and sometimes downright terrifying experience for UK-bound lorry drivers.”

Drivers must now choose between two undesirable outcomes. If one fails to inspect their vehicle for stowaways, they run the risk of being hit with a financially crippling penalty of up to £2,000 per stowaway. Discovery of illegal migrants, however, often brings confrontation with the impending threat of violence.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett discussed the migrant effect on the decreasing number of truck drivers in a recent official statement. “We now regularly hear of hauliers who are throwing in the towel. They just want to do their job — not face regular acts of intimidation or violence. And who can blame them? Every day thousands of UK-bound hauliers are suffering because of the migrant mayhem at Calais.”

The problem has escalated to the point where the RHA now has requested that the French government deploy troops to mitigate the problem and keep roadways safe for truckers.