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Safer lorry scheme begins in London
Operators of large vehicles in London now face prosecution if side guard and mirror regulations are breached.
Introduced to protect vulnerable road users from heavy vehicles in London where casualties remain high, the Safer Lorry Scheme affects larger vehicles over 3.5 tonnes in weight, which must be fitted with side guards to prevent run-under and mirrors to improve driver visibility to the front and sides of the vehicle.
The use of such equipment to protect pedestrians and cyclists on London’s tight and busy streets is nothing new and operators of such vehicles have had sufficient time to prepare for the regulations and do their bit to improving road safety in the capital. Offenders now face fines of up to £1000 if a vehicle is operated illegally in the Low Emission Zone.
The UK’s Freight Transport Association (FTA), which represents the country’s haulage industry, isn’t in favour of the approach however. Whilst supporting measures to reduce casualties amongst London’s vulnerable road users, the FTA believes there are better ways of achieving it.
Commenting on the new ruling, the FTA’s Natalie Chapman said: “FTA is pleased that there are exemptions and concessions for vehicles where this equipment is either not possible or not legal. However, in principle we believe that this kind of blunt regulatory tool is not the best way to improve cyclist safety.
“We still think that the money and effort invested in this scheme would have been better spent on increased enforcement against the small proportion of lorries that don’t comply with existing regulations. There are better ways to achieve safer roads for all users.”