In a week that revealed that 12 cyclists are injured every day on London roads, we were pleased to attend an industry event, demonstrating a drive to tackle the statistics. We had a great day at CLOCS road safety event at the Excel to demonstrate some new concept vehicles. Low-entry cabs and extra glass panels aplenty, the event’s ‘cycle-friendly’ vehicles displayed what could potentially be massive leap towards reducing HGV road risk.
Between 2008 and 2013, 55 per cent of cyclist fatalities in London involved a heavy goods vehicle, even though HGVs make up only 4% of the traffic through London.
The 15 vehicles presented at the demonstration event were designed under the industry-backed Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety scheme (CLOCS), of which eighty organisations have already signed up to be CLOCS Champions, including (of course) Crossrail.
Pictured is the Mercedes Econic which I had the treat of sitting in at the London Bike Show the other week. The purpose built low-level cab means that the driver’s eye level is not much higher than that of a pedestrian’s, enabling the driver increased visibility.
Proving that there are also body modifications that can be made with existing HGV cab bodies, were the array of additional windows – ‘bus style’ – on the notorious near-side.
Playfully written across under-run side guards were the words “how low can we go” as CLOCS make attempts to see how low they can get their under-run bars without causing operational problems.
Noticeable on these concept CLOCS HGVs was their commitment to installing extra technology on to their vehicles which was a definite nod to its (tech’s) necessity and to embrace technology, like Cycle Alert’s, contribution to the cycle safety mix. Not one of the concept vehicles, with their low entry cabs and extra windows, designed out technology, demonstrating that the industry still has to commit to implementation of tech.
The UK’s first Safer Lorry Scheme will begin operating in London in September, with lorries that do not have basic safety equipment banned from the road. At this point in time, the ‘basic safety equipment’ consist of Class V and VI mirrors and under-run guards.
I can confident that the requirements of the Safer Lorry Scheme should extend beyond this, to cover essential in-vehicle safety technologies and we will keep pushing for this!
More pictures can be found on our Facebook page.