2000 cyclists demand safer lorries
2000 cyclists have signed petitions supporting London Cycling Campaign's call for wide vision mirrors to be fitted to all lorries.
London Cycling Campaign (LCC) warns lives may needlessly be put at risk because the Department for Transport (DfT) plans to do the minimum required by new EU laws. Lorries are involved in about half of all cyclist fatalities in London.
Under the new laws, large lorries are required to be fitted with a full set of mirrors which give a clear view of pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles around the front of the driver’s cab. But the government only plans to impose the regulations on lorries registered since 2000, which means 30% of Britain’s large lorries will be exempt.
“The threat of large lorries is the biggest barrier to safer cycling, but about 120,000 older vehicles will not be fitted with these new safety mirrors,” said Charlie Lloyd, Cycling Development Officer and former HGV driver. “We want every lorry driver on the road to able to see pedestrians and cyclists.”
LCC is also calling on the Olympic Delivery Agency to ensure lorries used for building the games all comply with the latest rules. Currently they have no targets for road safety. Construction industry vehicles are involved in the majority of HGV related cyclist deaths in London.
The BBC current affairs programme "Inside Out" on Wednesday 3rd October (BBC1 7pm - London Edition) examined the danger large lorries pose to cyclists in London. In one case highlighted by the programme a lorry driver who killed a cyclist had been reading papers while stationary at traffic lights when he should have been keeping a look out. He was fined only £300 and given five penalty points. You can watch the programme online by following the link on the right.
Cycling in London is getting safer as more people take to their bikes, but the HGV threat is the one area where there has been little improvement. Resolving this problem will bring the cyclists casualty figures back on target for a 40% reduction.
Add your name to our petition: fill in the form below.
Full Safety Mirrors for All Lorries – A Petition to the UK Government
We ask that the British Government acts to save cyclist and pedestrian lives by requiring that the 100,000 plus lorries sold before 2000, and still on our roads, are fitted with a full set of safety mirrors.
Following lobbying by LCC and others, the European Union and the British Government will be requiring all lorries registered from 2000 to carry full safety mirrors but the legislation currently exempts all older lorries.