Specialised haulage vehicles could be among those to be included in an exemption from the cyclist safety rules, Safer Lorries Scheme, which is being introduced in London to try and reduce the number of accidents and injuries involving cyclists in the capital.
Rather than identifying cyclists themselves as the problem, the scheme is focusing on haulage vehicles, and particularly on the driver’s visibility of small vehicles like bicycles in the immediate vicinity of his lorry.
TfL’s suggestions include additional mirrors to improve this field of vision, and reduce any blind spots that cyclists might not be aware of.
However, the Freight Transport Association has warned that the measures may be “the simplistic solution” and fail to take into account the complexities of the real-world situation on the roads.
In particular, the inclusion of the additional safety mirrors on some vehicles may in itself breach existing regulations, especially if those mirrors were positioned at a height that could be dangerous to pedestrians and passers-by.
As such, smaller vehicles and specialised haulage vehicles could be exempted from the rules, if they are not suited to the addition of more mirrors – and the FTA is calling for this intelligent approach to be used throughout any new legislation.
Head of urban logistics policy Christopher Snelling summed this up by saying: “There is no one magic solution to safety on our roads.”