September 3rd, 2015
The first ever safer lorry scheme has been announced which seems appropriate considering the recent spate of fatalities involving HGVs on London’s roads. Seven of the eight cyclist deaths in the capital this year have involved HGVs.
From now on all HGVs must be fitted with side guards if they want to operate in the capital. If they don’t have these simple safety features fitted then they will be fined. The aim of the safety equipment is to protect cyclists and pedestrians from being dragged under the huge wheels which often leads to life threatening or fatal injury.
As well as the side guards they must also have a special mirror which is designed specifically to spot bicycles and pedestrians at close proximity.
The scheme covers every road in the capital except motorways and operates 24 hours a day with fines reaching £1,000 and repeat offenders losing their operating licence.
London Mayor Boris Johnson commented:
“We are ahead of any other part of the UK in closing the legal loopholes that allowed many HGVs to operate without basic safety equipment, and I am delighted that, over the 18 months since we announced the safer lorry scheme, the vast majority of operators have got the message and fitted safety equipment to their vehicles in anticipation of the ban.
“We have, from this morning, begun vigorous enforcement action against the laggards. A very disproportionate share of cyclist deaths and serious injuries are caused by Lorries, and today’s scheme will undoubtedly save lives.”
The Mayor has also proposed a future consideration that all Lorries should be fitted with bigger windows to reduce driver blind spots.
This has been hotly anticipated news for many pedestrians and cyclists in the capital and now only time will tell if these new safety regulations are effective in preventing fatalities on London’t roads.