UK commercial vehicle operators are responding to calls for road safety improvements by investing in new vehicles and driver training, according to new research by RAC.
The research, carried out by RAC Truck Rescue among businesses that operate trucks, suggests firms are invested heavily in safety features to make their vehicles safer.
A third (33%) of businesses interviewed for the RAC study said they have fitted cameras to cover blind spots on trucks, to improve driver visibility.
32% have added specialist safety bars to the sides of vehicles to prevent road users such as cyclists or pedestrians from being pulled underneath.
In addition, almost a third (29%) said they would be investing in new vehicles with better visibility, and 31% said they have provided safety awareness training for their drivers.
In January Boris Johnson, mayor of London, proposed that lower side windows should be mandatory for all commercial vehicles entering the capital, to improve visibility for drivers and reduce dangerous blind spots.
However, with the proposed new modifications costing between £1k -£1.5k per lorry, the RAC is “concerned about the financial impact on businesses running trucks and other commercial vehicles”, and is calling for recognition for improvements already made by commercial vehicle operators”.
Matt Dallaway, RAC truck rescue spokesman, said: “It’s clear to us that HGV operators are working to make their vehicles safer by adopting a range of new measures and modifications. They recognise this is not just important for London, but across the whole of the UK.
“The suggestion by the mayor of London doesn’t seem to take this into consideration and what we would like is clarity on whether businesses that have taken significant measures will be exempt, or at least given support of some kind to compensate for the investment already made.”