Mayor welcomes landmark EU vote on lorry safety

18 March 2014

The Mayor has hailed the result of a vote by the European Parliament to allow mandatory safety requirements for new lorries.

The European Parliament’s Transport Committee today (Tuesday 18th March) voted in favour of proposed changes to the vehicle Weights & Dimensions Directive. This would mean lorry cabs can be redesigned to reduce blind spots and thus improve the direct vision of the driver.

The Mayor has been pushing for amendments to the EU directive for some time, and in January the Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan and Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman joined forces with safety campaigners in Brussels to press the European Parliament on the issue.

Today’s amendments would also enable lorries to be fitted with an energy absorbing crash system at the front of the cab and allow for a more rounded cab design in order to divert vulnerable road users to the side of the vehicle in case of collision.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The European Parliament's vote today is clear and far-seeing, just like the lorry cabs we want to bring in. We were not sure of success until the last moment, but it is great news for cyclists and pedestrians and I hope we can now work together with the DfT to bring these changes in as soon as possible.”

Lorry makers will have the possibility to improve designs straight away and the European Parliament’s Transport Committee wants these life-saving features to become mandatory for all new lorries by 2022.

The Mayor and Transport for London now propose to work alongside the Department for Transport to agree a road map in order to ensure all new HGVs have compulsory direct-vision requirements in the shortest possible time.

 

Notes to editors

  1. Today’s vote needs to be confirmed by the plenary of the European Parliament this April before the draft law can be considered by EU member states
  2. More information on the Mayor’s work on this issue can be found here: http://www.london.gov.uk/media/mayor-press-releases/2014/01/mayor-s-deep-concern-at-uk-government-opposition-to-safer-lorry