Vision Techniques

Should there be UK-wide compliance standards for fleets?

More than 85% of truck operators believe there should be a UK-wide compliance standard for fleets, to improve safety, according to a new survey by Freight in the City. Currently, there are no national guidelines, meaning that standards differ across regions; but with a UK-wide standard and measures to improve vehicle safety, the picture on Britain’s roads could change for the better.

London’s HGV safety scheme

In London, Transport for London’s Safer Lorry Scheme requires all vehicles weighing more than 3.5 tonnes be fitted with Class V and Class VI mirrors. These mirrors will give drivers a better view of cyclists and pedestrians. Vehicles on London’s roads must also incorporate side guards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision. The scheme will operate for 24 hours a day, and is in force on all of London’s roads apart from motorways. The Metropolitan Police Service, City of London Police, and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, will all be enforcing the scheme.

Compliance standards across the rest of the UK

Despite these major changes to road operations in London, there’s been a failure to implement similar schemes across the rest of the UK. This is despite the fact that in 2014 there were 240 fatal accidents involving HGVs. Cyclists in Manchester are just some of those campaigning for a new law to be introduced, which makes HGVs safer for people on two wheels. The consensus is that if bigger construction trucks are deemed dangerous in London, they should be deemed dangerous everywhere and similar rules applied.

While some major cities are considering, or have rolled out other initiatives, such as free training for cyclists and HGV drivers to make roads safer, there have been no other moves to implement anything similar to the Safer Lorry Scheme. A universal compliance standard will be among topics discussed at Freight in the City’s Spring Summit, to be held at Manchester Central on 3rd March 2016.

Safety technology: Making Britain’s roads safer

Whatever the outcome at the Spring Summit, one thing we know is that safety technology can improve accident numbers and help make Britain’s roads safer for all its users.

Products such as VT BrakeSafe and the suite of products in our cyclist safety system, VT TurnSafe, all go a long way in reducing the number of accidents involving HGVs. While the former prevents against accidents that occur from failure to engage the brakes, the latter helps to remove blind spots, detect cyclists and make road users more aware of a HGVs presence.

For more information about any of our safety products get in touch with the Vision Techniques team. You can give us a call on 08452 873 438.

What do you think about UK-wide compliance standards for fleets? Do you believe it would improve safety for drivers and other road users? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or join the conversation on Twitter @VisionTechnique