LCC thinks that UK Govt will miss deadline for fitting blind-spot mirrors to LGV/HGV/lorries
12.04.08 by Buffalo Bill
Cycle concern at lorry rule delay
The new rules could save hundreds of cyclists’ lives across Europe
Lives could be lost if the government delays the introduction of new European safety rules for lorries, cycle safety campaigners have said. The EU law requiring most HGVs to be fitted with “blind-spot” mirrors should be in force by the end of next March. The London Cycling Campaign thinks ministers will miss the deadline because they have not yet agreed a timetable for implementing the law.
The Department for Transport said it would ensure vehicles comply on time. The EU says the directive, which will apply to all lorries registered since 2000, will save up to 1,300 lives across Europe over the next 14 years. The campaigners also want thousands of lorries, registered before 2000, to be included. However, the DfT says many older vehicles cannot bear the weight of the new mirrors.
I think this might be a bit of non-story, and I am not sure where it has been picked up from, presumably a London Cycling Campaign press release. But as you might remember, when questioned by Emily Thornberry MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group for a BBC London TV show about the problem of London cyclists killed by HGV/LGV/lorries, Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick was evasive when asked why HMG were dragging its feet over the European legislation. Having not been enthusiastic about the prospect of the legislation, it is entirely plausible that the Department for Transport have found more ‘important’ things to do than implement it. If it is true, then I think it might be time for a letter-writing campaign. I will find out more as soon as I can.
I am sure that, like me, readers will be astonished to read that the DfT thinks that the older lorries ‘cannot bear the weight of the new mirrors’. I can’t believe that this is really what the DfT said. I mean, the definition of a LGV/HGV/lorry is a vehicle with a maximum gross weight in excess of 7.5 tonnes, isn’t it? How could a mirror cause a weight problem? This must be a misprint.
You can find a whole lot more information (including statistics) and comment on the HGV/cyclist thing by going to the contents page of this site.