LCC reiterates demands for improved lorry safety

Latest fatal collision means action needs to be taken

by Kevin Emery   September 18, 2009  

road.cc news

A lorry was in a fatal collision with a cyclist in London on Wednesday morning. The incident at the junction of Whitechapel Road and Vallance Road was the eighth fatal collision involving HGVs and cyclists in London this year.

The 26-year-old woman was taken to Royal London Hospital but was later pronounced dead. The driver of the lorry was uninjured. Witnesses said the cyclist became trapped between the lorry and railings at the height of morning rush hour.

The latest fatal collision has caused the LCC to reiterate its demand for improved lorry safety.

Campaigns manager Tom Bogdanowicz said, "The number of cyclist deaths involving lorries has grown in recent years. This cannot be allowed to continue: action needs to be taken without delay.”

More than two-thirds of cyclist deaths in London in 2009 involve lorries, and Mr Bogdanowich is demanding urgent measures be taken to reduce the dangers.

He 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.

“All lorry drivers should be given cycle-awareness training, as already practised in some London boroughs, and we also more information circulated for cyclists, particularly those who are just taking up cycling, about the dangers of lorries.”

The LCC would also like warning stickers on the back of all lorries saying ‘Beware of passing this vehicle on the inside, and lorry operators tendering for public sector contracts to be signed up to the Freight Operators Recognition Scheme (a Transport for London scheme that sets standards for lorry operators that include safety and training).

They have also argued for more lorries used in towns to have better visibility at the bottom of the drivers cab (as is the case with many refuse lorries and lorries used at airports), and recently provided information about HGV safety to the Minister of Transport responsible for cycling, draw his attention to the pioneering work with lorry drivers in Lambeth to help improve awareness of cycle users and recommended an expansion of the programme.

A spokesperson for TfL said: “We are doing a number of initiatives to help prevent collisions involving cyclists and lorries. We have produced a five minute short film for HGV drivers and cyclists which was done in July and was distributed by safety officers.

“We also hope to get 5000 more Fresnal Lenses, which improve HGV visibility, and we are in discussions with the Dft to trial cycle safety Trixi Mirrors. There has been an increase in the number of cyclists in London, and a 21% reduction in the number of cyclists killed and injured. However there is still more to do."