Trucks and lorries without sideguards and other measures to protect cyclists and pedestrians are banned from London as of today.
According to Transport for London, the vehicles “are disproportionately represented in cyclist fatalities in the capital,” with 9 of the 14 cyclist deaths in London in 2013 involving HGVs.
Under a new Safer Lorry Scheme drawn-up by City Hall, TfL and London’s boroughs, trucks of more than 3.5 tonnes entering or driving within London must be fitted with sideguards to stop cyclists and pedestrians being dragged under the vehicles in the event of a collision, and additional safety mirrors to give drivers a better view of cyclists and pedestrians.
The scheme will apply 24/7 on all roads, except motorways, in the capital and will be enforced by the Met and City of London Police, plus the TfL and Department for Transport-funded Industrial HGV Taskforce. Drivers who breach the rules face a fine of £1000 per offence.
Mayor Boris Johnson said: “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.”
Mr Johnson has also announced proposals to require HGV operators to retrofit bigger side windows which he said would “further reduce the driver blind spots that contribute to so many tragic accidents.”
According to City Hall these winders can be retrofitted “to most lorries for around £1000.”
A consultation on the new requirement will open in January and Mr Johnson’s office says he will ensure a final decision is taken before the Mayoral election.