The British Standards Institution (BSI) has launched guidance aimed at preventing trucks, vans, buses and plant machinery from being used as weapons in a terrorist attack or by organised crime gangs.

The standard, launched this week, is sponsored by the DfT and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and was developed by a steering group of transport, safety, and crime experts.

It is aimed at operators of light and heavy goods vehicles; public service vehicles (PSVs); and mobile plant, whether they are leased, hired, or owned by the operator or driver.

The launch of the standard is in response to a series of terrorist attacks in recent years using commercial vehicles, including the use of a hired lorry by terrorist Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel in Nice, France in July 2016 to mow down crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day, which resulted in 86 deaths.

Another terrorist attack in London in March 2017 saw five people killed when Khalid Masood drove a hire car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, before crashing into railings outside the Palace of Westminster.

Three months later eight people were killed when three terrorists used a hired van to mow down pedestrians on London Bridge before attacking people nearby with knives.

The new standard, known as PAS 29000:2021, requires commercial vehicle operators to carry out checks of drivers’ references and employment history to identify links to criminality.

It also advises that visual assessments of vehicles be carried out for signs of tampering, according to the document issued by the BSI.

Nick Fleming, BSI head of transport and mobility standards 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 organized crime.

“PAS 29000 highlights the growing importance of physical vehicle security measures to help prevent such criminal acts taking place.”

Transport Minister Robert Courts said: “This is vital new guidance which will go a long way to help us in our fight against terrorism and organised crime.

“I whole-heartedly support this move and the British Standards Institution in their important work. Terror attacks involving commercial vehicles have had tragic and devastating effects in recent years, with every life lost leaving an unimaginable void in the lives of so many. This Government will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the British public are kept safe.”

The standard can be downloaded from the BSI website for free at