London mayor Sadiq Khan has launched a consultation on proposals that could result in bans for HGVs that do not provide drivers with adequate visibility of pedestrians and cyclists near the vehicle.
Khan argues that there are a disproportionate number of fatalities involving HGVs and pedestrians and cyclists. He is proposing a five star rating system to define how much an HGV driver can see directly from the vehicle’s cab, rather than through mirrors or other equipment.
The aim is to give regulators, manufacturers, operators and contractors an objective standard by which to rate and improve the safety of HGVs.
The Mayor also plans to use the standard as the basis for introducing a ban or other restriction on zero star-rated HGVs from London’s streets by 2020.
In addition, only those HGVs achieving three stars or above would be allowed on London’s streets by 2024.
Transport for London has released a consultation document: click here to download it.
Khan argues that there is a wealth of evidence showing that HGV cabs designed to enable drivers to see more of their surroundings directly through their windows, as opposed to indirectly through mirrors or monitors, significantly reduces the risk of fatal or serious collisions.
And he has made it clear that this is the first phase of a series of consultations aimed at addressing the issue of dangerous HGVs in London.
“There will be further consultations on detailed proposals before any ban or other restrictions come into force.”
The FTA has reacted with concern about the consultation paper.
FTA’s head of national and regional policy Christopher Snelling said: “Direct vision is clearly a benefit in safety and FTA has advised operators for many years to procure vehicles with the best possible sightlines. However, there are limits to the benefits, which means regulating in this way may not be the best answer to improving safety on our roads.
“Research for Transport for London (TfL) has shown that no amount of direct vision would help in most cyclist incidents. Technology may prove a better route to minimising casualties as quickly as possible. “
The consultation runs until 18th April. click here to find out more.