New guidance has been issued to lorry and van owners to minimise the risk of their vehicles being used in terror attacks.
It requires commercial vehicle operators to carry out checks of drivers’ references and employment history to identify links to criminality.
Visual assessments of vehicles should also be carried out for signs of tampering, according to the document issued by the British Standards Institution (BSI).
Commercial vehicles have become the apparent weapon of choice in terror attacks designed to maximise the number of people killed and seriously injured.
Some 86 people died when Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel drove a hired lorry through crowds gathered to celebrate Bastille Day in the French city of Nice in July 2016.
Five people lost their lives in March 2017 when Khalid Masood drove a hire car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, before crashing into railings outside the Palace of Westminster.
Eight people were killed three months later when terrorists ploughed into pedestrians in a Hertz hired van on London Bridge then ran amok with knives.
BSI head of transport and mobility standards, Nick Fleming, 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 organised crime.”
The new guidance was sponsored by the Department for Transport and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure.
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 wholeheartedly support this move and the British Standards Institution in their important work.
“Terror attacks and organised crime 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.”