Evidence suggests two 2008 cyclist deaths caused by lack of lorry mirrors

Evidence relating to two 2008 cyclist-HGV fatalities has shown that properly fitted safety mirrors might have prevented both deaths.

Class 6 mirrors, which are compulsory on new lorries, allows lorry drivers to see the area in front of their cab where there might be pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists (see the link on the right). Lorries registered before 2007 are not compelled to have one of these mirrors fitted.

At the inquest into the death of Lisa Pontecorvo, who was struck by a lorry while walking across Holloway Road, the coroner concluded that a missing safety mirror might have saved her.

The lorry's front downward-facing mirror had been removed by the driver the previous week after it became damaged, and he failed to replace it. He has since been charged with causing death by careless driving.

Second case highlights vital mirrors
In a second case from 2008, the family of Stephen Ferguson, a cyclist struck by a lorry at traffic lights in Dulwich last year, won substantial damages from a haulage firm whose lorry was missing vital safety mirrors.

The vehicle, because of its age, was not obliged to have a front downward-facing mirror, which would probably have saved cyclist Stephen Ferguson's life.

The lorry also had a side downward-facing mirror missing after being knocked off in a separate incident the previous week. The fact that this mirror was missing could also have contributed to the driver's inability to see Mr Ferguson.

Mark Bowman, the lawyer representing the family, said: "Had the HGV been fitted with a mirror so as to eliminate its frontal blind spot this tragedy may have been averted."

"More needs to be done to ensure that cycling is a safe and viable means of travel in London and to ensure that accidents such as this are reduced in the future."

LCC campaigning for safer mirrors
LCC's lorry specialist Charlie Lloyd said, "Downward-facing front and side mirrors should be fitted to all lorries: they significantly improve visibility in front of the lorry and can prevent tragic collisions."

"Lorry drivers deserve to have all the aids necessary to ensure a collision-free journey,  everything should be done to make it easy for them to keep a good look-out. That way they can avoid being involved in yet another tragic death."