In news that can only be described as a relief to London cyclists, it has been announced that as of 1st September 2015, all HGVs in the capital will be required to be fitted with additional safety equipment. This ban on inadequately equipped HGVs will be in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is in response to the shockingly high numbers of cyclists who have fallen victim to these larger vehicles whilst on their daily commute. In fact, of the 14 cyclists who died in London in 2013, 9 of these deaths involved HGVs. The installation of signs throughout the city has already begun, with the scheme commencing on 1st September.
Vehicles over 3.5 tonnes will require sideguards to prevent cyclists from being dragged under their wheels in the event of a collision. In addition to this, there will also be a requirement for improved blindspot mirrors which will allow the HGV drivers to more easily see the cyclists and pedestrians around them. Any vehicle found to not have these safety features will be fined up to £1,000 and the driver referred to the Traffic Commissioner (who controls licensing for HGV drivers).
In the statement, Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Improving the safety of London’s roads is a top priority. We know that a large number of cyclist deaths and serious injuries involve a relatively small number of trucks and lorries that are not fitted with basic safety equipment. Such vehicles are not welcome in the capital and the Safer Lorry Scheme will see them effectively banned from our streets. The lives of thousands of cyclists and pedestrians will be much safer as a result and I urge all operators of HGVs to get on board and make it a success”.
For more information, read the full announcement by the Mayor of London, Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils here: https://www.tfl.gov.uk/info-for/media/press-releases/2015/february/mayor-confirms-britain-s-first-safer-lorry-sche