London to ban lorries to reduce cycling accidents

London to ban lorries to reduce cycling accidents
December 29 05:43 2016 Print This Article

The city of London will be banning lorries within four years if they do not have adequate visibility to improve cycling safety The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced.

The lorry ban will remove the most dangerous lorries from London’s roads by 2020, to helpreduce the number of cycling accidents and improve the safety of vulnerable road users across the capital city.

In 2015 more than half of all cyclist deaths and a fifth of all pedestrian deaths involved lorries, despite them only making up 4% of all traffic on London’s roads. Between 2011 and 2015 lorries were involved in nearly 20% of all road deaths despite comprising only 5% of all traffic in Great Britain.

SadiqKhan, talking about his decision to introduce the changes said: “I’m not prepared to stand by and let dangerous lorries continue to cause further heartbreak and tragedy on London’s roads.Image result for London to ban lorries to reduce cycling accidents

“Our ground-breaking direct vision standard will be the first of its kind in the world, directly addressing the issue of lethal driver blind spots.

“I’m also proud that TfL will lead by example and will not use any zero-star lorries in its supply change from the new financial year.”

Road safety campaignerssuch as the London Cycling Campaign have long called for action against some types of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), especially high-wheeled construction lorries, which have significant blindspots.

The subject of blind spots in large vehicles such as HGVs has been under fire for quite some time and came particularly into focus in 2013 when Transport for London (TfL) released a video showing the extent of reduced visibility drivers experience whilst in the cab.

The video shows a driver’s view in the side mirror, which appears clear and proceeds to show the side of the lorry, where a large group of cyclists are ‘hidden’ from view.

Cyclists have long been warned not to cycle on the nearside of lorries, however, many cycling accidents happen when lorries have overtaken cyclists and then turn left across the path of the bike due to being unable to see the cyclist in their mirrors and believing the road is clear.

The schemewill give lorries and other HGVs a star-based safety rating from zero to five, based on how well the driver can see people around them when in the cab.The better visibility from the vehicle, the higher the star rating will be.

Any vehicles with a zero-star rating will be banned from entering London by 2020, and by 2024 only vehicles with a star rating of three or higher will be allowed on the city’s roads.

As an encouragement to this initiative, Transport for London and Greater London authority will not enter into any contracts with companies who use zero-starred trucks from the next financial year.

Mr Khan’s plans wereuniversally welcomed by cycling groups and campaigners.  

Personal injury claim specialists, Freeclaim Solicitors, who for many years’ have been helping people involved in cycling accidents across the UK, said they look forward to the initiative being introduced in London.

“Any measure that improves safety on UK roads and reduces cycling accidents is welcomed. Hopefully any success in London could be rolled out across the UK to make cyclists safer nationwide.”

Tom Boddanowicz, Senior Policy Manager at the London Cycling Campaign commented, “Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers and operators of HGVs all stand to gain if modern designs with minimal blind spots become the norm for on-street use – no one wants fatalities and life-changing injuries to continue to happen.”

It is hoped that the initiative will encourage companies who use construction trucks and HGVs to install further mirrors and equipment to give a much clearer view and improve visibility for drivers. This, in turn, should reduce cycling accidents, as well as protect other vulnerable road users such as pedestrians from sustaining fatal or serious, life changing injuries.

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