The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has welcomed moves by the European Parliament’s transport committee to improve the safety of heavy goods vehicles.
ETSC says that from a safety point of view, enabling the driver to see more of what is going on around the vehicle is critical, and the transport committee has voted overwhelmingly in favour of revised rules on lorry dimensions which will achieve this.
At the moment, the driver eye-level is around two meters above the ground which means cyclists or pedestrians passing directly in front of the vehicle are invisible. ETSC says that lowering the eye-level and enlarging the windows and mirrors will help to eradicate this problem, and having a rounded front end will help lorries deflect cars and pedestrians, rather than running over them.
Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the ETSC, said: “This vote brings us a step closer to bringing innovations on crumple zones, visibility and pedestrian protection to lorries; it’s great news.”
The ETSC says that around 4,300 people died in collisions involving lorries in 2011, and points to a study carried out for the European Commission which estimates that 500 lives could be saved annually if cabs are made safer.
The proposed rules now need to be agreed with EU member states and are subject to a vote by the European Parliament plenary.
For more information contact Dudley Curtis, ETSC communications manager.
European Transport Safety Council (ETSC)
ETSC is a Brussels-based independent non-profit making organisation dedicated to reducing the numbers of deaths and injuries in transport in Europe.