New rule for HGV Lorries to improve cycle safety

A large waste collection company has decided to fit their London-based vehicles with sideguards and sensors, to improve safety for cyclists on the roads of London. 

Over 50 large vehicles have been fitted with a range of safety features which are aimed to minimise and prevent collisions with cyclists on the road. 

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, proposed in January last year that all HGVs weighing over 3.5 tonnes that were not fitted with sideguards are to be banned from the city’s roads. This ban is due to the soaring number of incidents and fatalities which have taken place in London recently. A report showed there were 4,623 casualties involving cyclists in that year alone, 17% of this occurred on roads in the city of London. The new measures are scheduled to be implemented from September this year under the safer lorry scheme, which all HGVs must comply with.

Safety measures will be fitted on the inside and outside of large waste collection vehicles in London, these include:

  • Side guard bars to protect and stop cyclists from getting trapped in the space underneath the vehicle.
  • Scanners on the side of the vehicle that alert drivers to any road users that may be present alongside them. There are six mirrors installed however this does not cover the full surrounding of these large waste collection vehicles and so these ‘ultra-sonic’ scanners issue a bleeping noise inside the vehicle so the driver is made aware when something is in one of the blind spots of the vehicle.
  • External warning devices, to alert cyclists of where the vehicle will be moving to, have also been installed on the vehicles to warn of a planned left hand turn. When the driver indicates the left hand turn signal, a verbal warning announcement is broadcast multiple times outside of the cab to alert cyclists of their intentions rather than relying on an indicator to make surroundings aware.

£1,000 has been invested per vehicle in just this one particular company. It follows the installation of safety features already mentioned as well as including side-view cameras, cycle safety vision windows and awareness stickers.

This new proposal of mandatory features on HGV Lorries should improve safety for cyclists on roads and reduce the number of fatalities occurring on the roads in our capital. 

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