Road Safety News
 

London Mayor sets out measures to rid Capital of dangerous lorries

Friday 30th September 2016

Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, has announced ‘ground-breaking proposals’ for a new safety standard designed to remove the most dangerous heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) from the Capital’s roads.

Launched today (30 Sept) and described as ‘a world first’, Transport for London’s (TfL) Direct Vision Standard will use a ‘star rating’ from 0 to 5 stars to assess HGVs based on the level of direct vision the driver has from the cab.

Under the plans, which will be put out for consultation in the near future, the most dangerous ‘off-road’ HGVs (rated zero) will be banned from London’s streets by January 2020. By 2024, only HGVs meeting 3 stars or above – ‘good rating’ in the new Standard - will be allowed on London’s roads.

HGVs were involved in 22.5% of pedestrian fatalities and 58% of cyclist fatalities on London’s roads in 2014 and 2015, despite only making 4% of the miles driven in the Capital. The Direct Vision Standard press announcement says the restriction of a driver’s field of direct vision by vehicle design contributed to many of these fatalities.

It is estimated there are currently around 35,000 zero star-rated ‘off-road’ HGVs operating on London’s roads, and these vehicles were involved in around 70% of cyclist fatalities involving HGVs in the last three years.

Sadiq Khan said: “I’m not prepared to stand by and let dangerous lorries continue to cause further heartbreak and tragedy on London’s roads.

“The evidence is clear – HGVs have been directly involved in over half of cycling fatalities over the last two years, and we must take bold action to make our roads safer for both cyclists and pedestrians.    

“I’m determined to ensure the most dangerous zero star-rated lorries are removed from our roads completely by 2020.

“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.

“By continuing to work closely with industry, using TfL and public sector procurement and announcing our plans now, I’m confident that many of our lorries will now be upgraded well before the ban comes into place, and the benefits of a new era of modernised and safer HGVs felt by all road users across London.”

Leon Daniels, managing director of Surface Transport at TfL, said: “Lorries designed in the 1970s and for use in a quarry have no place on the streets of a 21st century city."

 

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I am behind the Mayor in his drive to see more trucks with better vision on the capital's streets. However, there are stumbling blocks.

Truck design is a case of form following function: the rearmost truck in the picture accompanying the article has a short front overhang and a lot of ground clearance in order to provide the off-road performance its duties necessitate.

The one near the camera is much lower to the ground with a large overhang, and reduced ground clearance. This features will result in a dramatically reduced ramp approach angle, thus severely compromising off-road ability. The trick will be to combine the best elements of both designs, and it has yet to be done as far as I am aware.
David, Suffolk

Agree (1) | Disagree (0)
+1

Was it really the lorries that were 'dangerous' or was it some of the drivers thereof and/or the nearby cyclists that were careless or reckless? One might as well say that all motorised vehicles in London are 'dangerous' and should be banned, based on the fact that there are records of them having collided with vulnerable road users.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (11) | Disagree (4)
+7