Sunday, 23 August 2015

Higher safety standards needed for lorries in London

Lorries in London pose an unacceptable risk to cyclists and pedestrians. A range of practical measures have been identified to improve safety through better design, operation and regulation. We must insist adoption of these measures as a high priority for the mayor and TfL.

Higher standards

The Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (CLOCS) standards were developed to reduce the high numbers of cyclists being killed by lorries from the construction industry. They note:

There is a particular issue in London and between 2008 and 2013, 55 per cent of cycling fatalities involved a vehicle over 3.5 tonnes, despite these vehicles representing just 4 per cent of the road miles travelled in the capital.

Analysis of the cycling figures found that a disproportionate number of the vehicles involved were construction related.
This year five of the seven lorries which killed cyclists were tipper trucks operated by the construction industry (the other two lorries were supplying the  retail industry).

While construction industry lorries pose a particularly high risk to vulnerable road users, in order to eliminate lorry deaths there will need to be safety improvements to all lorries on London's roads.

These standards, or equivalent, should be rolled out to cover coaches and lorries outside the construction industry. Compliance with these standards should also be made a mandatory requirement for companies working on public sector contracts in London

Confidential reporting of dangerous practice

Many industries use confidential reporting systems to improve their safety record - in fact the construction industry already has confidential reporting for structural safety. Following a concerted campaign the confidential reporting scheme CIRAS is being made available to bus drivers in London.

A confidential reporting scheme should be extended to all HGV drivers and become a mandatory part of the CLOCS standards for fleet operators. It should also be made available to drivers whether or not their employer wants to take part as the worst operators should not be able to avoid the measures which would make them accountable and prevent accidents.

Action needed to improve the safety of all lorries in the UK

The CTC are campaigning for improvements at a national level and you can read about their campaign for higher lorry standards and stronger enforcement nationally here.