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Safer lorry designs - not higher speeds on dual carriageways

28 November 2014
Increasing the speed limit for HGVs from 50 to 60 miles per hour is merely changing the law to accommodate the 82 percent of lorry drivers who already break the speed limit, say campaigners, and leaves other road users dangerously exposed.

Freight on Rail Manager Philippa Edmunds said:

“Lorries are already involved in an unacceptably high level of deaths on the road – over four times more fatalities than cars in 2012. The answer is to push ahead for safer lorry designs, not give way to even higher speeds.”
 
On Monday 1 December, UK Transport Undersecretary Robert Goodwill has the chance to pledge UK support for new designs of lorry cabs, including reduced blind spots and a crumple zone to ensure cyclists and pedestrians don’t get knocked under the wheels in the event of a collision. But there is opposition from truck manufacturers.
 
Philippa continued:

“Nominally, our Government is supportive of making lorries safer for other road users. However, Volvo and Renault are trying to delay these vital changes in lorry design. We hope that on Monday Mr Goodwill takes the lead on ensuring these designs are introduced as soon as possible in order to save lives.”

ENDS
 
For further information please contact Chloë Darlington at Campaign for Better Transport, on 020 7566 6495 / 07984 773 468 or chloe.darlington@bettertransport.org.uk
 
 
Notes to Editors

1.     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).

2.     DfT Free flow vehicle speed statistics: 2013

3.     Source: Traffic statistics table TRA0104, Accident statistics Table RAS 30017, both DfT

4.     Campaigners call for action on safer lorry designs: http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/better-transport/lorries-action

5.     The Trialogue meeting in Brussels on Monday concerning revision of weights and dimensions directive 96/53/EC will decide whether safer lorry designs should be introduced now, or delayed for 12 years.

6.     Volvo and Renault are lobbying their respective governments to delay the introduction of safer lorry designs.

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