UK secures EU rule change to make cycling safer
A change in EU law, put forward by the UK government, will require all new lorries to be fitted with improved mirrors in order to reduce blind spots and improve the safety of cyclists.
The relationship between cyclists and lorry drivers has for some while been under close scrutiny with a number of schemes, including the Met Police’s Exchanging Places, looking to improve understanding between the two sets of road users.
The new safety standards were developed by the Department for Transport (DfT) and as a result of a vote on 16 December will be introduced across Europe. For the first time it will be mandatory for all newly registered vehicles in the UK to have the improved mirrors.
In 2014, 115 pedal cyclists were killed or seriously injured on British roads in accidents involving at least one HGV.
Andrew Jones, road safety minister, said: “Safer lorries mean safer cyclists. I am delighted the UK government has got the outcome it wanted.
“This shows we are fighting hard for Britain in Europe, delivering sensible decisions which can make a real impact back home, and giving us the best of both worlds.
“As a result of our actions, Europe will now adopt these improved standards which will save lives.”
The EU vote also saw the adoption of new safety standards for electric vehicles and improved safety and accessibility requirements on buses.
All of the new measures will come into force in July 2016.