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Eight year wait for safer lorry cabs

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Representatives of EU Member States have agreed to delay the introduction of safer lorry cabins for eight years.
18 cyclists die a year in the UK in lorry crashes
18 cyclists die a year in the UK in lorry crashes

Representatives of EU Member States today reached an agreement on changing the regulations of weights and dimensions of lorry cabins.

The provisional agreement sets a delay of eight years before redesigned lorry cabs can be driven on Europe’s roads, even though design changes could save hundreds of lives and billions of litres of diesel fuel every year.

UK and European Parliament support

Under the Commission’s original proposal, the maximum allowed length of lorry cabs would be extended, enabling lorry makers to introduce life-saving designs such as larger windscreens to reduce blind-spots, straight away if they choose to, without being forced to do so. The European Parliament voted to allow the safer designs immediately.

CTC is glad the UK government supported the European Parliament's position, even though there was insufficient backing from other member states to prevent the delay. 

CTC and seven other organisations sent a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, urging him to oppose any delay and over 700 CTC supporters emailed the Transport Secretary. 

Lorry lobby

The call for a long delay was led by France and Sweden in an effort to shield national lorry makers Renault and Volvo, and was adopted despite opposition from other countries including the UK, Germany and Denmark.

Even though UK support was not enough to prevent the delay of new regulations, we would like to thank everyone who wrote to the Transport Secretary urging him to support safer lorry designs

Rhia Weston
Road Safety Campaigner
CTC, the national cycling charity

The delay includes a five year moratorium on introducing the new law and a three year transposition period. 

Roughly 18 cyclists die a year in the UK in collisions with lorries.

This means that in the time it will take for safer lorry cabs to be introduced, 144 cyclists might be avoidably killed on UK roads.

Across the EU, 4250 people die a year in lorry-related incidents. 

The agreement will now be presented to European ministers for their approval at the Transport Council on 5 June.

William Todts, senior policy officer at the European Federation for Transport and Environment, said “Calling for a delay to an enabling law, which would make Europe’s lorries safer and cleaner, is absurd because it prevents those who are ready to do the right thing. The French, Swedish and any other governments supporting this delay are putting the interests of their manufacturers’ above the well-being of pedestrians and cyclists whose lives could be saved.”

“Europe’s transport ministers must reject any delay of safer, cleaner lorries. It is unthinkable that they could put their signatures to a document which will effectively mean more preventable deaths on Europe’s roads, higher fuel bills and more climate changing emissions,” Todts concluded.
 

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Alan1968's picture

"Roughly 18 cyclists die a year in the UK in collisions with lorries.

This means that in the time it will take for safer lorry cabs to be introduced, 144 cyclists might be avoidably killed on UK roads.

Across the EU, 4250 people die a year in lorry-related incidents. "

FACTS:
EU 4250 of which in the UK 18 per year - guess which country is respected as having some of the best trained drivers in the world?

How many of these 18 accidents per year are due to poor cab design?

The additional and larger mirrors already fitted actually obscure vision at certain angles, in some cases they can now obscure a whole car at certain angles!

As a class 1 and PCV driver and licence holder, RSA Certificate in Road National Road Haulage Operations and cyclist for over 30 years, this constant anti-lorry attitude of the CTC shows a complete lack of understanding of what the real problems are.

Of the accidents that I have read about, there are in many cases additional facts to consider, including drivers not of UK origin (ie maybe of those countries with lower standards producing the 4250 deaths across europe), using mobile phones, in breach of drivers hours regulations, driving without due care and attention etc, how many accidents is cause of death considered to be poor cab design?

Lorries are a fact of life, its how we efficiently transport everything, new trucks cost money, developing new trucks costs money, driver training costs money, my own training as a driver consists of the following:

Motorcycle training - test part one
test part two

Car - lessons - test

PCV - lessons - theory test
practical test

HGV - theory test
lessons class 2 practical test
lessons class 1 practical test
driver CPC

Total cost of all the above at current prices est £7,500

Training as a cyclist: Cycling Proficiency aged 11 - £?

Wake up folks, stop the arrogant cyclists own the road, are you as a consumer prepared to pay the extra for the millions developing new trucks or wake up and consider the dangers of a situation you ride into for much less?

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