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MEPs Back Safer Lorry Design

Call for Safe Lorry Design

Members of the European Parliament (MEP’s) have approved rules for safer lorry designs in the EU.

The approved new rules will make big lorries safer for other road users and more fuel-efficient. The safer design will improve drivers’ vision by reducing blind spots under the front windscreen and beside the cab. Cab fronts will be less damaging to cyclists and pedestrians in the event of a collision and would push them away from the wheels of the lorry. The safer design will also include a more aerodynamic shape at the front, to improve fuel-efficiency.

Andrew Gilligan, London Mayor Boris Johnson's cycling commissioner, said: "Inadequate HGV designs are a major factor in the deaths and injuries of pedestrians and cyclists.

"This is a very important day for cyclists and pedestrians across Europe and I'm glad that we have been able to play a part in bringing it about."

British cycling policy advisor and former Olympic champion cyclist Chris Boardman said: “Lorries are involved in almost one in five cycle fatalities in Britain and part of the problem is dangerous cab designs.

"I hope the Department for Transport moves quickly to ensure that we have more fit-for-purpose lorries on Britain’s roads.”

If the new design features are approved by the 28 member states’ governments they will become compulsory for manufacturers seven years after the new EU directive takes effect.

The proposal, which was backed by 570 MEPS and has been welcomed by politicians, safety groups and cyclists.

British Liberal Democrat Phil Bennion MEP who has strongly campaigned for this issue called the vote a "victory for all the campaigners in the UK who have worked so hard to bring about these life-saving changes to lorry design".
He said he was confident the changes would get government approval later this year, after the May European elections.

The European Cyclists' Federation says heavy goods vehicles are involved in 18% of fatal accidents on Europe's roads, which cost thousands of lives in the EU every year. The approved safer design is expected to reduce the number of fatalities and accidents caused by lorries.


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