Why are we campaigning on lorry safety?
- Lorries are involved in half the cyclist fatalities in Greater London, even though lorries make up only a small fraction of motor traffic.
- Lorries are also involved in many collisions that cause life-changing injuries.
- Pedestrians and motorcyclists are also extremely vulnerable to lorry danger.
What are we asking for?
We’re calling on all councils in London to take our Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling pledge (read details). It asks councils to put the following measures in place for all council-operated lorries and for all lorry contractors:
- Cyclist-awareness training for all lorry drivers
Training involves lorry drivers riding bicycles on the road so they can better understand the vulnerability of people who cycle. This training is low cost and available all over London.
- All lorries to have the latest safety equipment
This means a full set of safety mirrors and sensors/cameras that help the driver be more aware of vulnerable road users near their vehicle. These cost a few hundred pounds per vehicle.
How are councils performing?
There's a huge difference between the safety measures put in place by the best and worst councils. We've mapped them using a traffic light system (green = good, yellow = must do more, red = bad).
Are our demands realistic?
- Yes they are – already Transport for London uses identical Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling conditions for all its lorry services, so there’s no reason why all councils can’t achieve the same safety standards.
- Several private sector organisations also use very similar conditions for their lorries, including the Mineral Products Association and the C2C property group. These two organisations operate tens of thousands of lorries in London that follow Safer Lorries conditions.
Why focus on councils?
- Council vehicles operate on local streets, and are involved in fatal and serious collisions with cyclists and pedestrians.
- Councils spend taxpayers’ money on lorry services, so have a moral duty to only use the safest drivers and safest vehicles.
- Councils are voted in so they're leaders are likely to be more receptive to public pressure than other organisations.
- Contractors, vehicles and drivers who work for councils work for other clients too, so pressing councils to make safety a priority is a major step towards creating a culture of safety throughout the whole lorry industry.
What are we asking supporters to do?
- We’re asking supporters to use our website tool to write to their council leader calling for them to take our Safer Lorries, Safer Cycling pledge. Several thousands have already done this.
- Our web tool customises the letter you send so the message is tailored to how much effort your council is putting into lorry safety.
- If you've already written, we ask you to share this campaign with friends and family.
Should we be educating cyclists too?
- Yes, and we provide the best safety information to cyclists, based on information from hundreds of cyclist-lorry collisions all over Europe.
- However, while education for cyclists is important, reducing the danger at its source should be our major priority.
A final word…
The private sector, haulage contractors and government bodies can be slow to change. However, they are responsive to pressure, and now we've succeeded in putting lorry danger at the top of the cycling safety agenda then it’s only a matter of time before every council recognises the need to keep cyclists and pedestrians safe.