Safer Lorry Scheme ‘A Vital Step Forward’ For London Cyclists

Legal Experts Welcome New Road Safety Measures In Capital

01.09.2015

Specialist serious injury lawyers have revealed their hopes that the new Safer Lorry Scheme in London will prove to be a “vital step forward” in improving safety for capital’s cyclists.

Launched today (September 1st) by the Mayor of London and Transport for London, in collaboration with London Councils and Heathrow Airport, the Safer Lorry Scheme is designed to ensure that only lorries fitted with basic safety equipment are allowed to drive in the city.

In order to meet the criteria, vehicles over 3.5 tonnes will be required to be fitted with Class V and Class VI mirrors giving the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around their vehicles. They will also need side guards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision.

Any vehicles which do not meet the criteria will need to be retrofitted, including construction vehicles.

The scheme will operate for 24 hours a day and will cover the same area as the Low Emission Zone, while a failure to comply could lead to penalty notices, fines and a referral to the Traffic Commissioner – who could suspend operator licenses.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist serious injury lawyers, who represent injured victims and the families of those killed in road traffic collisions of all kinds, have revealed their hopes that the scheme will particularly prevent further cycling deaths in London. Eight riders have been killed in the capital so far this year.

Expert Opinion
“ It is good to see that Transport for London has taken the lead in both recognising the issue and taking material steps to understand some of the changes that are needed to make roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians. There has been a hugely worrying number of deaths and serious injuries on roads in the capital in recent years, with many sadly involving vulnerable cyclists and larger vehicles.

“It has been clear for some time that definitive action would be key to reducing the risks faced by road users and pedestrians in London and we are hopeful that the Safer Lorry Scheme will prove to be a vital step forward on the issue.

“The scheme will mean there is strict criteria in place regarding the vehicles which are able to enter the capital, with only those with adequate safety equipment being eligible. Such changes could make a huge difference to road safety in London and we hope that this scheme ultimately proves to be a major success.

“All road users should put their safety and the safety of others around them first – and hopefully this will be a good step in the right direction.”
Colin Ettinger, Partner