Mayor calls on EU to accelerate safer lorries regulations

Mayor calls on EU to accelerate safer lorries regulations

In a letter to EU Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska, London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, says the EU should set earlier start dates for regulations that will require manufacturers to build lorries without extensive blind spots.

The EU commission agreed earlier this year that future lorries must be required to have good direct vision (not just via six mirrors that have to be constantly monitored in town), but it set distant dates for the regulations to come into force: 2026 for new lorry models and 2029 for all new lorries.  

The Mayor wants those dates brought forward by two and three years: 2024 for all new model types and 2026 for all new lorries. While some manufacturers, like Dennis Eagle, Mercedes and Scania, already supply lorries with good direct vision the new designs are still not offered by all manufacturers and prices remain higher than for old-style lorries.

Increased production and usage of lorries without blind spots will help achieve the Mayor’s target of zero fatalities and serious injuries on the roads by 2041. Currently lorries are involved in 20% of pedestrian fatalities in London and half of cyclists fatalities. Having direct sight of other road users has been shown to helps drivers avoid collisions.   

Increased production of lorries with good direct vision will also help bring their costs down to those of conventional lorries.

The Mayor has introduced a Direct Vision Standard (rated from 0 to 5 stars) in London and set a deadline of October 2020 for lorry operators in the capital to meet a one star deadline and 2024 for a three star deadline. However, because of limited availability and slow uptake of  the new lorry types, operators of zero star lorries will, on an interim basis, be able to enter London as long as they meet ‘safe system’ mitigating measures which will include having both camera systems and electronic alert systems in place on their vehicles.

LCC has strongly championed the use of lorries with good direct vision and wants them to become the norm in London, as promised by the Mayor. The refuse sector in London has switched almost entirely to five star direct vision lorries and the same is true of airside vehicles. Forward thinking operators such as Tideway, Cemex, Explore Transport and Riney are already using five star lorries for both construction and other freight.