December 13 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Lorries not fitted with basic safety equipment to protect cyclists could be handed hefty fines, under new measures proposed by Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
The Safer Lorry Charge aims to decrease the number of accidents involving cyclists in the capital.
A consultation on the proposal will begin early next year.
Between 2008 and 2012, HGVs were involved in 53 per cent of London cyclist deaths despite making up only 4 per cent of the traffic. They have been involved in four of the six cyclist deaths in London so far this year.
The fee is one a number of measures announced by Mr Johnson and Transport Minister Stephen Hammond today.
The pair announced a joint Transport for London (TfL) and Department for Transport (DfT) Industrial HGV Task Force of additional police officers and Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) staff to enforce the regulations against construction HGVs and a review by the DfT of national exemptions allowing some vehicles to operate without side-guards.
Mr Johnson, said: “I have long been worried that a large number of cyclist deaths involve a relatively small number of problem lorries which are not fitted with safety equipment.
“In my cycling vision in March, I said that no lorry should be allowed in London unless it is fitted with equipment to protect cyclists.
“After a lot of work behind the scenes, we have today taken the first steps to make this a reality.”
Under national legislation, many HGVs are fitted with sidebars or low skirts which protect cyclists from being dragged underneath the vehicle and crushed.
However, construction lorries, tipper trucks, waste vehicles, cement mixers and certain other forms of HGV are exempt from these and other safety requirements.
Of the nine cyclist deaths involving HGVs in 2011, seven involved construction lorries.
The proposed London Safer Lorry Charge is partly modelled on the London Low Emission Zone, which charges up to £200 a day for commercial vehicles that do not meet tough emission standards. Anyone who fails to pay the charge faces an even higher penalty. The proposed charge would not cover buses, smaller commercial vehicles, cars or motorbikes.