This week, the Transport committee has called for the mandatory roll out of Transport for London’s Safer Lorry Scheme across the UK. This new call comes as part of a push to improve road and cyclist safety.
The committee also supplemented the call with fresh statistics to back up its recommendations.
Despite measures to combat cyclist and lorry collisions:
- Fatalities have risen by 4% since 2014
- Injuries increased by 8.2% in 2014 and have risen since
- Cyclist traffic has risen by 3.8% in the same period
With more cyclists on the roads and accidents still far too common, the committee highlighted that measures need to be taken, like the Safer Lorry Scheme, to improve cyclist safety. At the scheme’s first introduction in London, last year, Transport for London (TfL) statistics revealed that 53% of cyclist fatalities since 2008 have involved HGVs despite them only accounting for four per cent of London’s traffic.
Referring to statistics that show HGVs are “over-represented” in fatal incidents involving cyclists, the committee recommended the DfT assess the impact of TFL’s London’s Safer Lorry Scheme. If it is found to have reduced cyclist and pedestrian casualties in London, it was recommended that the DfT lobby the EU to make the scheme mandatory across Europe.
The Safer Lorry Scheme introduced a set of new rules to apply to HGVs weighing more than 3.5 tonnes, that drive on London’s roads. The rules said that any HGV that is not equipped with side guards and extra mirrors to protect cyclists is to be banned from London’s streets. What’s more, any HGV operator using a vehicle without such measures could be fined up to £1000.
The new side guards, which were made a necessity, had been designed to prevent cyclists being dragged under a moving lorry. The Class V and Class VI mirrors, on the other hand, would give drivers a better view of cyclists and other road users, minimising the chances of an accident occurring.
Further recommendations also suggested the government needs to consider tougher penalties for HGV driving offences. A reduction in the 60mph HGV speed limit was also recommended, alongside the restriction of lorries in central London during rush hour. Greater monitoring of foreign-registered trucks when in the UK was also raised as an issue that needed proper consideration.
Minimising risk with safety technology
Of course, there are other things you can do to make your HGV safer too. Our safety technology has been proven to reduce the risk of accidents and save lives. While we have a wide range of technologies available, it’s our VT TurnSafe range that’s particularly relevant to the Safer Lorry Scheme.
VT TurnSafe comprises of five products – each of which can help to ensure cyclist safety. The suite of products, which includes a cyclist detection system, audible alarm, cyclist warning light, side detection system, and blind spot visibility camera, can be purchased as single technologies or together – for ultimate protection.
If you have any questions about our products, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can contact a member of our expert team today on 08452 873 169.