LCC says well done TfL for Fresnel lenses campaign, but Government must move faster on implementing EU safety mirrors legislation
London Cycling Campaign says well done to Transport for London, who have distributed 10,000 safety lenses for lorry drivers as part of a campaign to help cut collisions between cyclists and heavy goods vehicles.
The lenses stick on to the passenger window of a truck cab, improving lorry drivers’ vision of cyclists who come within close proximity of their vehicles. The lens is one of the tools of the Freight Operator Recognition Scheme, which encourages operators to ensure best practice both for driving standards and vehicle safety.
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: "Cycling in London is getting much safer, but one safety issue that has been very difficult to address until now is the fact that more than half of cyclist fatalities on the Capital's roads involve a collision with a goods vehicle. These safety lenses are a simple measure that will help drivers of these vehicles to see cyclists. This will save lives and make cycling safer for both cyclists and lorry drivers."
Jenny Jones, the Mayor of London's Road Safety Ambassador, said:
"This is one of those simple ideas which will make a huge difference to Londoners' lives. It is a relatively cheap way for lorry drivers to avoid stress for themselves and death and injury to others. All lorries in London should have these lenses and all drivers should be reminded regularly to use them."
Transport for London are also giving away free wind-up powered secondary bike lights to cyclists.
LCC urges all freight operators in London to use these lenses which will help them to see cyclists and remind them of their responsibility to ensure the safety of all vulnerable road users.
The next step is for the Department of Transport to expedite fitting of EU standard safety mirrors on all large lorries in the UK. Legislation which will make it compulsory to have full safety mirrors on all lorries over 3.5 tonnes as of March 31st 2009 was approved in May 2007 following an LCC campaign. LCC is currently investigating the timetable for implementation of legislation – watch this space for updates.
LCC is also campaigning to ensure that all lorries, not just the ones built after 2000, are fitted with the safety mirrors. The EU legislation exempts the 100,000 plus older lorries on our roads from fitting mirrors but the UK government can decide to rule that all lorries should have them.