Ban on unsafe lorries comes into effect

A ban on unsafe lorries has come into effect in London from today (1 September 2015).

HGVs without safety equipment to protect cyclists and pedestrians are banned throughout Greater London under Britain’s first ‘Safer Lorry Scheme’.

As of this morning, vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes entering London must be fitted with sideguards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision, along with Class V and Class VI mirrors to give the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson (pictured) said: “We are ahead of any other part of the UK in closing the legal loopholes that allowed many HGVs to operate without basic safety equipment, and I am delighted that over the 18 months since we announced the Safer Lorry Scheme the vast majority of operators have got the message and fitted safety equipment to their vehicles in anticipation of the ban.

“We have, from this morning, begun vigorous enforcement action against the laggards. A very disproportionate share of cyclist deaths and serious injuries are caused by lorries, and today’s scheme will undoubtedly save lives.

“But this big step forward is only one element of my work to protect cyclists and pedestrians from lorries. I announce today that I propose to require further safety modifications to all HGVs in London, including the retrofitting of bigger side windows to further reduce the driver blind spots that contribute to so many tragic accidents.”

Bigger side windows, in the lower panel of the cab door, give the driver direct vision of any cyclist who may be alongside them, and can be fitted to most lorries for around £1,000.

In January the Mayor will consult on the principle of the scheme and the best way to enforce the new windows – whether through the Safer Lorry Scheme, the Low Emission Zone regulations or changes to the congestion charge. This consultation will be complete and a decision taken before the Mayoral election.

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