LCC meets minister to discuss lorry dangers

London Cycling Campaign HGV group representatives visited Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick to discuss the implementation of the EU Directives designed to make London lorries less dangerous to cyclists.

The meeting was a response to the high proportion of fatal cyclist accidents that involved lorries in 2008.

The minister confirmed there would be no delay in implementing the EU Directive, which will demand that all lorries registered from 2000 are fitted with downward-facing safety mirrors, as well as standard rear-view mirrors (see the link on the right for an illustration and more information).

However, the government is currently not willing to commit the haulage industry to retro-fitting safety mirrors to lorries registered before 2000. The means a large number of lorries will still pose a serious danger to cyclists in the capital.

In reply to a question in the House of Lords the transport minister, Lord Adonis, said they would take no action due to the risk that new mirrors would be  incompatible with some old lorries. This excuse only applies to a  tiny percentage of lorries and the EU directive on mirrors shows how to make allowances for them.

The minister will consider giving out more Fresnel lenses to the lorry industry. These lenses are a low-cost means to improve visibility from lorry cabs. They do improve safety to a degree, but fall a long way short of the effectiveness of EU-standard mirror sets.

LCC is lobbying for all lorry operators working in London to subscribe to the Freight Operators Recognition Scheme – which promotes good practice.