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Improving Heavy Goods Vehicle Safety

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20% of collisions which kill a cyclist are with an HGV.  This increases significantly in London. 

There are many blind spots around an HGV, particularly on the inside of the HGV.  Even with all the required mirrors, there are still blind spots.  Cyclists need to be aware of positioning themselves so they are seen but the burden is on the HGV driver to ensure they check their blind spots and drive carefully in built up areas.  We are working hard to improve safety on HGVs so that blind spots are significantly reduced and safety equipment is in place to reduce the severity of injuries should collisions occur. 

Our manifesto says: changes to the HGV test and Certificate of Professional Competence to make cyclist safety a core part of driver education and assessment. Retro-fitting of all HGVs, without exception, with mirrors to eliminate blind spots, the scrapping of the loopholes which allow construction related lorries to operate without side bars. The suspension of the DfT trial of longer articulated HGVs until the proper safety assessments have been carried out.

What we have done

  • We lobbied the Department for Transport (DfT) for the longer lorry trial to be suspended after they confirmed they hadn’t specifically considered cyclists’ safety in their assessment
  • We joined the Action on Lorry Danger group with other cycling organisations, victim support charities and pedestrian organisations – to jointly lobby for safety improvements on HGVs. 

What we are doing

  • We are supporting Transport for London’s (TfL) calls to the DfT for cycle awareness training to be a mandatory part of the Certificate of Professional Competence
  • Through Action on Lorry Danger, we are calling for TfL and the DfT to require that all large development projects adopt the Crossrail safety standards, requiring all vehicles to their sites to have side bars, the correct number of mirrors, driver training on cyclists and sensors. 
  • We are calling for the Department for Transport to remove the exemption on off-road HGVs on having sidebars.  We believe all HGVs which travel on the road at any time should always have sidebars. 
  • We are calling on TfL to ensure the Freight Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS) holds a database of all sensors with their pros and cons and costs so that companies  can see which will be best for their fleets, and to require that sensors are fitted for bronze FORS recognition.

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