Safe Drivers and Vehicles

Cherry Allan's picture

Goods vehicles (lorries, HGVs, vans etc)

Lorries pose a disproportionate threat to cyclists. There is a range of measures that should be introduced to reduce the hazard as a matter or urgency...
Goods vehicle
Headline Messages: 
  • Reducing danger and intimidation from lorries is a key issue for improving cycle safety, especially in urban areas.
  • Goods vehicles (excluding light vans) make up only 5% of traffic in Great Britain (GB), but are on average involved in about 18% of cyclists’ road deaths per year. In 2012, goods vehicles were involved in 15% of GB pedestrian fatalities, so they pose a serious threat to them too.
  • Large goods vehicles were involved in 5 of the 14 cyclists’ fatalities in London in 2012.
  • For cyclists, collisions with lorries are far more likely to prove fatal than collisions with cars: in 2012, the cyclist was killed in nearly 25% of serious injury cyclists/goods vehicle collisions; this figure was a little over 2% for cyclists/cars. Equally, lorries were involved in just 1.5% of slight injuries to cyclists, but 19% of cyclists’ fatalities.  
  • Ways to tackle the problem include: maintaining and enforcing safe driving and vehicle standards; training and information for both cyclists and goods vehicle drivers; cycle-friendly vehicles; and road layout, routing and distribution strategies that minimise conflict, and restricting access to busy urban streets at peak times.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 
  • Goods vehicles pose a disproportionate threat to cyclists. Action must be taken by national and local government, hauliers and fleet operators, the police, the Health and Safety Executive and other enforcement agencies, as well as by individual lorry drivers and cyclists themselves.
  • Lorries pose risk to both cyclists and pedestrians, so the focus should be on lorries and lorry drivers, not just on cyclists.  Many of the following measures that would help protect cyclists, would benefit pedestrians too (NB these are not necessarily in priority order given the need for more research into their relative effectiveness – see below):
    • Ensuring that vehicles are safe and that drivers are fit to drive them. This needs to be supported by rigorous enforcement of driving and vehicle standards by the responsible agencies.
    • Cycle awareness training for drivers or, better still, actual cycle training.
    • Training for cyclists to help them interact with goods vehicles as safely as possible.
    • Publicity campaigns for drivers and cyclists alike, highlighting the hazards and how to avoid them.
    • Designing and specifying lorries to provide clear direct vision between the driving position and any pedestrians or cyclists near to the vehicle, including fitting bigger windows. To complement this (or where better direct vision is genuinely impossible to deliver effectively), other safety devices should be specified and fitted, e.g.: sensors and alarms, in-cab cameras; mirrors/lenses; side guards; external warning signs; and intelligent speed adaptation.
  • Road layouts and street furniture (e.g. ‘Trixi’ mirrors) that facilitate safe interaction.
  • Traffic management measures, routing and distribution strategies to mitigate the impact of lorries on places where people cycle or want to cycle. These include banning lorries on busy streets at certain times of the day while permitting night-time deliveries instead; establishing distribution centres on the edge of urban areas where lorries can pass loads onto smaller vehicles for onward delivery; and carrying more freight by rail and water.
  • Promoting freight cycles for goods distribution in urban areas.
  • Procurement policies, especially from public authorities, ensuring that the supply and delivery of goods and services takes the safety of vulnerable road users into account.
  • Research into the efficacy of all the above measures needs to be done, with the Department for Transport (DfT), Transport for London (TfL), other local authorities and operators all collaborating EU-wide, as required.
  • CTC opposes moves to introduce longer and/or heavier lorries on the UK roads.
  • Individual haulage companies and the associations that represent them should develop, publish, maintain and monitor strategies, action plans and fleet management practices that minimise the risks goods vehicles pose to cyclists. Where appropriate, these should be produced jointly with local authorities and enforcement agencies and be based on consultation with cyclists’ representatives.
Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
November 2013
Roger Geffen's picture

Scots MSPs support cycle safety as Minister keeps open 'presumed liability' debate

MSPs from the SNP and Conservative parties join Greens in calling for a positive debate on continental-style 'presumed liability' rules, which also revealed strong cross-party support for investment in cycling and improved cyclists' safety.
The Roadshare Campaign for presumed liability in Scotland

The debate on 'presumed liability' rules (also known as 'stricter liability' or 'no fault liability') was led by Green MSP Alison Johnstone, who is also co-convenor of Holyrood's Cross-Party Group on Cycling.

olivercw's picture

The Roadshare Campaign for presumed liability in Scotland

On Tuesday, 29 October 2013, the Scottish Parliament will debate proposals for 'presumed liability' rules (also known as 'stricter liability'), whereby motorists involved in collisions with cyclists or pedestrians would be presumed liable in a civil law claim against them for damages.
The Roadshare Campaign for presumed liability in Scotland

[N.B. You can now also read the transcript of the debate, as well as CTC's commentary and summary.]

CTC's picture

Trial date for cyclist's FPN challenge

Alex Paxton, the 27 year-old cyclist who is challenging a fixed penalty notice, appeared at Lavender Hill Magistrates Court this afternoon. He pleaded not guilty and a trial date was set for 5th December.
Alex Paxton challenges a Fixed Penalty Notice

Alex Paxton received the FPN when he was unable to stop in a cycle box in Fulham in August.

Earlier this week, his barrister Puneet Rai filed a letter with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) asking them to review whether a prosecution would be in the public interest.

Chris Peck's picture

Longer, better driver training call supported by CTC

A report commissioned by Government into driver training has concluded that young people learning to drive should spend a maximum of 1 year undertaking the process, including 120 hours of practice. CTC supports the proposal, but suggests that cycle training be an integral part of learning to drive.
Learning to drive should include elements of cycle awareness

The report recommends a minimum 1 year period for people to learn to drive, with tighter restrictions on what they are able to do once they have their licence.

This approach, called Graduated Driver Licencing, is designed to stop - or reduce - young people driving at times where they represent the greatest risk, such as at night or when carrying passengers.

CTC's picture

Get a lorry driver's eye view at the Cycle Show - take a listen!

The Cycle Show is busy already on day one. Here at the NEC in Hall 11, Alex from the Apprentice is at large, the press room is buzzing - partly due to the coffee on tap - and the exhibitors are peddling their wares!
'Exchanging Places' at the Cycle Show

We've already met some fascinating people at CTC's stand ... do come and say hello! 

After your visit to us, be sure to have a look at the 'Exchanging Places Event' just a few yards away from us on Stand A50. There's a truck on display fitted with extra mirrors and alarm warning systems to help the driver see vulnerable road users better.

The truck is part of an educational roadshow, brought to the NEC by Murphy and Hochtief, whose guys are keen to offer cyclists the chance to exchange places and view the road with a lorry driver’s eye.

RhiaWeston's picture

Road safety procession to be held on Sat 21st in Birmingham in Hope Fennell's name

This week Hope Fennell would have turned 15 had her short life not been tragically ended in 2011. A procession calling for improved road safety will be held in her name on Saturday 21 September in Birmingham.
13-year-old Hope Fennell was killed whilst crossing a pedestrian crossing

Hope was killed by a lorry as she pushed her bike across a pedestrian crossing in Kings Heath, Birmingham in November 2011. The driver of the lorry, Darren Foster, moved his vehicle off when the lights turned green not knowing that at that moment Hope was in front of the vehicle. Hope died trapped under the lorry’s wheels.

RhiaWeston's picture

Why the Cyclist's Defence Fund is supporting one cyclist’s challenge of a FPN

A few weeks ago, Alex Paxton was issued with a fixed penalty notice (FPN) for failing to stop at a red light, yet all he was doing was positioning himself in front of a car which had illegally occupied the advanced stop box.
ASLs are good for cyclists, but could be better

Alex had intended to position himself in the cyclists’ box in order to turn right, but found that the box had been illegally occupied by a motorist. With concern for his own safety were he to stay in the inside lane and then have to cross three lanes of moving traffic in order to turn right, he decided to position himself ahead of the traffic and ahead of the Advanced Stop Line (ASL).

Cherry Allan's picture

Lorry safety crack down for London welcomed by CTC

A package of measures announced today by Transport Minister Stephen Hammond and London Mayor Boris Johnson to help make cycling conditions safer in the capital is good news, says CTC.
Lorries pose a serious risk to cyclists in urban areas

CTC and other groups have long been calling for a tougher approach on lorries in London and elsewhere, so moves to tackle the disproportionate risk that these vehicles pose to cyclists are particularly welcome.

RhiaWeston's picture

ACPO to revise guidance on enforcement of 20 mph

Transport Minister Norman Baker announced last night during the Parliamentary debate on how to Get Britain Cycling, that the ACPO roads policing lead has agreed to rewrite the ACPO guidance on the enforcement of 20 mph limits.
Suzette Davenport, ACPO roads policing lead, receiving the Road Justice report

This is a necessary move given that evidence presented at the APPCG 's Get Britain Cycling inquiry suggested that the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) promotes a policy of not enforcing 20 mph speed limits.

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