Campaign success as Mayor brings safer lorries for London one step closer

The Mayor of London has launched a consultation on his plans to bring in Safer Lorry traffic control orders. These rules will ensure that no lorry in London is exempt from the rules that require most lorries to have adequate mirrors to see cyclists and pedestrians immediately around the cab as well as side guards to reduce the chance of being dragged under the wheels.

Better Protection could save lives

Last week cyclist Henry Lang died after a collision in Richmond with a small lorry which had no side guards fitted. From the details we have learned about the crash on Monday 21st July it may be that side guards could have prevented his death.

We urge all cyclists to support the plans by completing the consultation response.

We recommend that you ask that the exemption on side guards allowed for most articulated lorries carrying shipping containers is removed.  Such a lorry was involved in the death of Phillipine de Guerin-Ricard who was riding one of the Mayor's hire bikes when she was swept under the rear wheels of a container trailer at Algate East in July 2013.

The Mayor started the consultation while demonstrating lorries with the most advanced equipment to help drivers avoid running down cyclists and pedestrians.

This O'Donovan skip lorry has sideguards which will be required in London but are not required in the rest of the UK for this type of lorry. It has additional aids including cameras and sensors which detect pedestrians and cyclists close to the lorry but hidden from view to the driver.

The Sainsbury's lorry has all that plus extra LED lighting down the left side which will illuminate pedestrians and cyclists close to the lorry at night.

LCC lorry danger expert, Charlie Lloyd, commented: "It's brilliant that these companies are showing the way that the risk of injury to cyclists and pedestrians can be reduced. The proposed "Safer Lorries" regulation from the Mayor is the first step in bring all transport operators up to this level.  Avoidable risks still remain as current designs put the driver up in the air too far away from people on the street.

"Some manufacturers are working on plans to create "direct vison" drivers' cabs as suggested by LCC's Safer Urban Lorry design in 2013. The large warning sign on the back of the Sainsbury's lorry is still required as drivers of these lorries are still handicapped by inappropriate vehicle design."

Most construction industry lorries, tippers, skip carriers and concrete mixers are still built on an "off-road" chassis which increases danger by not pushing the victim away when a crash happens. This exemption from safer designs needs to be removed. That could be the next step for the London "Safer Lorries" control regulations.

Use section 13 of the TfL consultation to add requests for extra side guards on container lorries, an end to off-road vehicles in the construction industry and other features as mentioned in the comments below.

Replies

Forgive me if I don't get too excited about a few bits of ladder section, mirrors, cameras and lights. Buses have all these and knock down a member of the public every day.

Key issues are the attitude, aptitude of the driver and how much pressure they're under, to go fast, make time, save fuel, stay off the phone, stop eating, drinking, reading, browsing the net...

Let's have truck brakes directly connected to the collision avoidance sensors, running outside rush hours, and if it's unsafe to manoeuvre a truck on-site without a banksman, due to blindspots, then it's unsafe off-site too.

  • By bigpete at 11:33am 31 Jul 2014

I’m sure these changes are for the better, but if all the lorries in London were similarly equipped it wouldn’t make me any more likely to venture out onto the road.

The massive yellow sign on the back says it all: this is a dangerous vehicle that shouldn’t be sharing the same space as cyclists. 

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