The Transport Committee has called for the mandatory roll-out of TfL’s Safer Lorry Scheme across the UK.
London’s Safer Lorry Scheme was introduced in September 2015 in an effort to make HGVs driving in the capital safer for pedestrians and cyclists. It is enforced by the Metropolitan Police, City of London Police and the DVSA. Under the scheme, vehicles over 3.5 tonnes are required to:
- be fitted with Class V and Class VI mirrors giving the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around their vehicles, and
- be fitted with side guards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision.
The recommendation to extend its reach UK-wide was made in the Road Traffic Law Enforcement report published last week. The committee also recommended that the government considers tougher penalties for HGV driving offences, a reduction in the 60mph speed limit, the restriction of HGVs during rush hour and greater monitoring of foreign-registered trucks.
The committee used the latest road safety statistics to back its recommendations. UK road fatalities rose by 4% in 2014. It stated its concern at an increase in cyclist injuries, up 8.2% in 2014, which outstripped the rise in cycle traffic, up 3.8% in 2014.
Organisations including CTC are particularly concerned that the risk of serious injury or death from cycling is increasing rather than decreasing, and that the risks to VRU appear to have increased as enforcement has declined.
The risk per mile travelled of a serious cycling injury has now increased each year since 2007 and the risk of cycling remains higher in the UK than in other European countries, including Netherlands and Denmark where cycling use is ten times higher than in the UK.
Referring to statistics that showed HGVs are over-represented in fatal collisions involving cyclists, The Transport Committee recommended the DfT assesses the effect of TfL’s Safer Lorry Scheme and lobbies the EU to make it mandatory across Europe if it reduces cyclist and pedestrian casualties.
The committee said London cyclists and pedestrians could benefit from HGVs being restricted in central London during peak hours – a move also supported as part of London Cycling Campaign’s End Lorry Danger campaign – and recommended the DfT evaluate the effect of such policies on cyclists, pedestrians and operators to ensure a balanced strategy.
To view the full report please visit here