Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has proposed bans on HGVs that do not provide adequate visibility.
The ‘Vision Zero’ campaign, Mayor Khan wishes to employ, is based on figures of the number of collisions recorded to pedestrians and cyclists which were caused by Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs). A new five-star system will define how much of the surrounding area the driver will be able to see from the cab of the vehicle, rather than using mirrors or other devices.
The aim is to give manufacturers, operators, contractors & regulators an objective suitable to improve the safety of HGVs. Khan also plans to use this objective for bans to zero-star rated HGVs by 2020 and additionally, HGVs with lower than a three-star rating will not be allowed to drive within the city from 2024.
Mayor Khan made very clear that the evidence is there to support this initiative, arguing that cabs designed for inner city driving result in significantly lower rates of serious or fatal injuries, a direct contrast to the vehicles that use mirrors or monitors to manoeuvre.
Consultations are currently taking place but The FTA (Freight Transport Association) is showing concern. Head of national policy, Chris Snelling argued: “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 whereas technology may prove a better route to minimising casualties as quickly as possible.”
For an overview, visit Transport for London: consultations.tfl.gov.uk
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