With HGVs still proving to be a major hazard to cyclists, a new legislation has been imposed in London, with the aims of combatting the problem. To make HGVs safer for both the driver and other road users, they must now be fitted with a certain type of mirror if entering London. Any HGVs found within the London area without these new mirrors will be deemed unsafe, and the driver will face a fine of up to £1,000.
Reports show that between 2009 and 2013, HGV’s were involved in around a quarter of cyclist deaths despite comprising only 5% of the traffic. Blind spots were the main culprit behind these accidents – something that these new mirrors should remedy. What’s more, in London alone, there have been eight cyclist deaths so far this year as a result of collisions with HGVs.
The new regulations
With recent statistics in mind, efforts have been introduced in London to prevent such accidents from occurring. The new fittings required include:
- A Class V mirror, to reflect the area to the side of the cab.
- A Class VI mirror, allowing drivers to see the area directly in front of the cab.
- Side guards, to help prevent cyclists being dragged under the vehicle should an accident occur.
While these fittings may be old news to some, there are still far too many companies failing to comply with safety regulations. Making these safety additions mandatory in London should make a huge impact on the number or critical incidents.
The new legislation covers all roads in London, except motorways, and operate 24 hours a day.
While this new regulation is great news for London’s road users, many still don’t think it’s quite enough.
Charlie Lloyd, from the London Cycling Campaign, told the BBC:
“What we’d like to see is a total re-design of a lorry cab… the driver is brought down to the level of a transit van, he can see everything around him, it solves most of the problems.”
Road safety technology for extra security
While re-designs of the HGV may be a long way off, if at all possible, there are still a huge number of ways HGV drivers can improve their visibility and road safety. Road safety technology plays a major role here – and at Vision Techniques we have plenty of it.
Some of our most popular products include:
TurnAlarm – making cyclists and pedestrians more aware of HGV presence as they make difficult turns.
TurnSign – improving cyclist awareness with a flashing sign that can be made active prior to and during turning.
TurnSensor – audibly alerting a driver if there is danger down the side of the vehicle, or within the blind spot, through the use of ultrasonic proximity sensors.
TurnCamera – capturing the activity within a driver’s blind spot whenever they turn.
VT Overview – giving a driver the most comprehensive view they can have, offering all-round 360º vision, even in those tricky, hard-to-see situations.