Lord Attlee has demanded that heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) be fitted with mandatory sensors in order to protect cyclists. Attlee is a former government transport minister who has experience driving HGVs.

The Conservative peer has urged the government to carry out research into the life-saving devices and set minimum standards for their inclusion on appropriate vehicles. He has warned that the current sensors used for scanning blind spots may provide false positives, reacting to objects such as street furniture.

Lord Attlee’s proposal is that a system be enforced where HGVs are fitted with infrared emitters and bicycles are fitted with detectors. The devices will then alert HGV drivers when cyclists come close by. It is hoped that this will drastically decrease the number of accidents that occur involving HGVs and cyclists.

Sensors for HGVs

As we have covered previously, there has been a large amount of cycling deaths so far this year, with 4 victims killed by lorries in London alone. Additional safety measures are due to come into force on September 1st 2015. Despite being advised not to pass on the inside of HGVs, most cycle lanes tend to run along the inside of motor lanes.

“I’m calling for a technical solution that will drastically reduce the number of collisions,” Lord Attlee said. “We need policies that will take us to zero for this type of HGV-cyclist accident. It is technically possible.”

The Department for Transport is thought to be open to making sensors compulsory for HGVs if it is proven that they are reliable. A camera-based system called Cycle Safety Shield has been trialled by Transport for London. Also trialled is the CycleAlert system, which is reliant on cyclists carrying a tag which emits a radio signal to a HGV driver’s cab.