FTA warns London Lorry operators on Safer Lorry Scheme

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The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is advising operators across London to prepare early for Transport for London’s Safer Lorry Scheme, which goes live on 1 September.

The scheme will require all HGVs over 3.5 tonnes operating in the city to be fitted with sideguards, and kerb view and front mirrors. The scheme will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The enforcement area is the entire London Low Emission Zone and operators breaching the rules face £50 fixed penalties or £1,000 court fines.

However, FTA head of engineering Andy Mair said that with these vehicles exempt from existing construction regulations, they will not be checked as part of an annual testing examination. As such, he believes operators may only realise that they have incorrectly installed sideguards following enforcement action and fines under the new Safer Lorry Scheme.

“Dimension and installation requirements are extremely complex and operators who have to retro-fit their trucks to comply with the scheme need to be confident that sideguards have been put on correctly,” said Mair.

Police, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and the joint DfT/TfL-funded Industrial HGV Taskforce, will enforce the scheme, and the relevant Traffic Commissioner will refer those who do not comply for investigation.

“The FTA strongly advises operators to check their vehicle types against the exempted vehicle list on TfL’s website, and if they have vehicles which require sideguards and mirrors to be fitted, ensure they have these correctly installed,” said Mair. “To be assured that the safety devices have been installed to the correct requirements, help is on hand from the FTA’s Vehicle Inspection Service engineers who can carry out compliance inspections to ensure the complex fitment requirements are met.”

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