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Truck with 55 safety features wins European award

With safety on the roads a growing concern, particularly with regards to HGVs, Royal Mail has been awarded for a truck safety initiative that looks after both the needs of the driver and all other road users too.

The Royal Mail Network’s concept truck with no less than 55 safety features, including a lighting system, sensors and cameras around both the truck and trailer, won the EuroTra Safety and Innovation Award 209.

Every year EuroTra (European Transport Training Association) selects the company that has made the greatest efforts to increase traffic safety and to improve the driver’s working environment.

Judges were impressed with the company for, amongst other things, highlighting the need for safer working procedures and showing concrete ways of making the drivers’ safety environment safer as well as increasing safety for all other road users.

Royal Mail Network launched efforts to actively reduce the number of serious accidents among its drivers and highlight the need for better overall safety in the transport sector.

A study showed that more than half of all accidents leading to injury occur when people move around the vehicle or manoeuvre the load. The efforts resulted in a concept truck, which will be used for a year in Royal Mail Network’s daily operations for testing and evaluation.

Carl Johan Almqvist, Volvo Trucks’ traffic and product safety director said: “The driver is at the centre of all our safety efforts. Besides building safe trucks that make the driver’s work easier, we want to take action at all levels to help improve the driver’s work environment.

“EuroTra makes an important contribution by highlighting and rewarding safety innovations, and we are eager to support these efforts.”

Road safety involving cyclists and HGVs has been in the news this year due to the number of incidents in London. The total number of cyclists killed in the capital so far this year by HGVs is eight, and six have been women.

After the last fatal collision in August LCC campaigns manager Tom Bogdanowicz said: "We want lorries to be safe, and to have a full set of safety mirrors (six). We also want drivers to be fully equipped and informed in order to avoid collisions in the future.

London Mayor Boris Johnson’s recent decision to disband specialist lorry safety unit the Commercial Vehicle Education Unit (CVEU), was also criticised by campaigners after he claimed that the voluntary scheme for haulage companies, the Freight Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS), provides adequate protection for cyclists and other vulnerable road users.