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Minister calls for meeting to prevent truck hijackings

Published måndag 10 april 2017 kl 12.02
Lastbilen kraschade in Åhléns-varuhuset.
The truck used in the attack on Drottninggatan in Stockholm. Credit: Tomas Oneborg/ TT

The government has called for an emergency meeting with vehicle manufacturers and haulage contractors to discuss how to prevent future truck hijackings.

The announcement comes after haulage contractors called for new technical solutions over the weekend in order to prevent a repeat of Friday’s deadly attack, where the culprit hijacked a truck owned by the Spendrups brewery company. He stole the truck while the driver was unloading products outside a restaurant and then plowed into a crowded street in Stockholm.

On Monday, Sweden’s infrastructure minister Anna Johansson called for a special meeting to discuss potential solutions.

“It could be a question of technical measures,” Johansson said. “For instance, ensuring that a truck can’t be started by an unauthorised person or installing auto locks or automatic breaks. But it could also be a question of introducing regulations, as well as other measures.”

Apart from representatives of vehicle manufacturers and haulage companies, representatives of authorities and municipalities will also attend the meeting on Thursday.

Johansson added that apart from technical solutions for vehicles, it may also be necessary to install physical barriers in parts of Swedish cities.

“Our roads should be safe and of course, in urban environments, many people are moving around in quite small spaces. Cities especially must look into potential physical measures to make it more difficult to carry out these types of attacks. That is why the municipalities are also invited to the meeting,” Johansson said.

Since the truck attacks in Nice and Berlin, the same matter has also been discussed at the EU level. Johansson now wants to push that discussion on but said it is important to strike a good balance.

“We also don’t want measures that will take us away from the open and free society that we want to protect,” said Johansson.

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