New rules proposed by City Hall this week will require HGVs operating in London to be fitted with additional side windows to help cut the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed and injured on the capital’s streets.
The vehicles are disproportionately involved in fatal collisions with other road users and according to official figures were involved in seven of the nine cyclist fatalities which occurred last year.“The danger caused by HGVs to other road users is unacceptable and we have to reduce it.”
London’s councils and Transport for London have already introduced tough new rules requiring HGV owners to fit safety mirrors and bars while the Met has been working to remove unsafe vehicles from the roads by increasing the number of roadside inspections.
Now Mayor Boris Johnson has unveiled new rules which would require all existing and new lorries to be fitted with extra windows in their doors and so eliminate ‘blind spots’ which prevent drivers from seeing other road users.
City Hall says it will cost owners between £1,000 and £1,500 per vehicle to comply with the new rules, which are subject to a public consultation.
Mayor Johnson said: “The danger caused by HGVs to other road users is unacceptable and we have to reduce it.
“Nine cyclists were killed in London last year, the second-lowest number ever and by far the lowest ever per journey. But seven of those nine cyclist deaths involved lorries and that is why we have to press on to the next stage.
“The cost per lorry is modest. The benefit to Londoners’ safety will be significant.”
The proposals have been welcomed by Caroline Pidgeon, a Liberal Democrat member of the London Assembly and the party’s candidate in this May’s mayoral election.
Ms Pidgeon said: “These are welcome steps but we need to go much further – that’s why I’m proposing a peak-time ban for HGVs in central London with greater use of consolidation centres and the River Thames to shift heavy lorries off London’s roads.”