London bans lorries without safety equipment
The move was announced today by the Mayor of London and London Councils - the representative body for the 32 London Boroughs and the City of London.
By working together, the ban can be effectively enforced on every street in London.
This could come into effect as early as September.
The proposed ban will require every vehicle in London over 3.5 tonnes - a disproportionate cause of cyclist and pedestrian deaths - to be fitted with sideguards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels. It will also require them to be fitted with mirrors giving the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around their vehicles. It will be enforced by CCTV cameras and on-street checks, subject to approval by the Department for Transport.
Neither I nor the boroughs have the power to ban lorries without safety equipment on our own. It was for that reason that I proposed to use a power I do have, to levy a hefty charge on lorries without such equipment. But I am pleased to say that after negotiations with London Councils, we can now combine our powers to propose a simple and comprehensive ban.
Mayor of London
Currently most freight vehicles must already feature mirrors and sideguards, but many construction vehicles are exempt from these regulations. The new restrictions would include the construction industry, whose vehicles were involved in 7 of the 9 cyclists' deaths in 2013.
Long term approach
However, CTC has suggested a more radical long term approach to the danger posed by large vehicles in city centres. Over time, the Mayor should be aiming to remove these vehicles altogether, with loads shifted onto smaller, electric vehicles with lower cabs to eliminate lorry drivers' so-called 'blind-spots'. Such a move would reduce air pollution (which kills thousands in London every year), noise levels, as well as being safer for pedestrians and cyclists alike.
Furthermore, major roads should be designed with high quality segregated infrastructure, so that cyclists and lorries are separated at junctions, where nearly all of these collisions occur.