Seven out of eight cyclist deaths in the capital this year have involved Heavy Goods Vehicles. This is an appalling statistic and as a consequence, London has introduced a ban on ‘unsafe lorries’ to protect cyclists from being killed or suffering serious injuries in accidents involving Heavy Goods Vehicles.
Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) must now be fitted with side guards that prevent cyclists from being dragged underneath the lorry.
They must also have a certain type of mirror to give HGV drivers a better view of cyclists and pedestrians.
However, lorry drivers are criticising the new move as just another ‘regulatory tool’ and think more should be done to target a minority of rule breakers on London’s roads.
London Mayor, Boris Johnson says the scheme is a ‘life saver’, saying that a ‘disproportionate’ number of fatalities and serious injuries were caused by lorries.
Each breach of the new ban, which covers all of London’s roads except motorways, could result in a maximum £1000 penalty. Repeat offenders risk losing their operating licences.
Of the scheme, Boris Johnson says, “We are ahead of any other part of the UK in closing legal loopholes that allowed many HGVs to operate without basic safety equipment.”
“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.”
In criticism of the ban, Natalie Chapman, of the Freight Transport Association, says, “There are better ways to achieve safer roads for all users.” She claims that the funds used to launch the ban would have been better spent on targeting the small proportion of lorries that aren’t complying with existing regulations.
19,000 children and adult cyclists were injured or killed on our roads in 2013 and Swain & Co welcome measures that reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities on our roads.
Vicki Wright, personal injury lawyer, says, “Education is the way forward too. To make roads safer for cyclists and HGV drivers, they also need to respect one another. HGVs should have safe guards in place to prevent serious injury and death to cyclists, and cyclists need to ensure they too are using the roads safely.”