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UK Government urged to back safer lorry design to reduce road deaths

15 April 2014
Campaign for Better Transport is urging the UK Government to support designs for safer heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) to reduce fatalities from collisions when the European Parliament votes on the issue today (15 April).

The Liberal Democrats, the Mayor of London, various safety campaigners and the Freight Transport Association are all in support of the new safer cab designs, which would reduce road deaths by creating greater driver visibility, fewer blind spots and a crumple zone at the front of the vehicle to prevent pedestrians and cyclists being run over by the front wheels. The UK Government however, has rejected the plans in favour of more research, delaying vital safety improvements still further.

Stephen Joseph, Campaign for Better Transport’s chief executive, said: “The UK Government must back the introduction of safer cab design in lorries as a matter of urgency. HGVs cause a disproportionate number of road fatalities every year and many of these could be avoided with this new design. Delaying the introduction of safer cabs will ultimately result in more people dying from collisions.”

The EU Parliament vote also includes a ban on cross border megatruck traffic. Whilst UK Ministers have previously said they would not allow mega trucks measuring up to 25m and weighing up to 60 tonnes into the UK, Conservative MEPs have tabled an amendment to the EU ruling which would allow cross border  European megatruck traffic, in direct opposition to the UK Government’s official stance.

Stephen Joseph said: “The Government must bring its MEPs into line on the issue of megatrucks. There is no place for these vehicles on UK roads.” 

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. The full Parliament will vote on Tuesday 15 April on the weights and dimensions of HGVs Directive 96/53 which includes provisions for safer cab designs and removes the clause to allow cross border traffic of mega trucks. However, MEP Peter Van Dalen submitted an amendment on behalf of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group which would allow UK Conservatives to re-insert the clause on cross border mega trucks. 

2. Mega trucks are 25 metres (82ft) long and weigh 60 tonnes, that’s three times as long as a double decker bus and equivalent to the weight of 52 cars.  Existing cross border limits for HGVs is 18.75 metres (61.5ft) and 40 tonnes across the EU.

3. See the proposed new cab design here

4. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).