HGV SAFETY CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED
THE London Cycling Campaign, the CTC – the national cyclists’ organisation - and RoadPeace - the charity for road crash victims - have jointly welcomed Transport for London’s new “Share the Road” awareness campaign. This informs lorry drivers and cyclists of what to do to minimise the risks of being hit by HGVs.
All three groups said far more needs to be done, by local and national government, the police and hauliers, to address what is a serious problem.
They want government to:
- Enforcing the law against careless and negligent driving
- Improve the level of training for all HGV drivers
- Introducing life-saving mirrors on all lorries as has been done in Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands
- Exclude the most dangerous HGVs from busy city roads
- Increasing in the number of freight consolidation centres where large lorries can transfer goods to smaller vehicles for delivery in urban areas
In 2004, HGV’s were involved in two per cent of cyclist casualties in Britain. But were involved in 22 per cent of cyclist fatalities. It’s worse in large cities. In London, between 1999 and 2004, 56 per cent of cyclist fatalities involved HGVs.
Charlie Lloyd of the London Cycling Campaign said: “Lives are being lost needlessly, because drivers are not looking in the right place at the right time – we need urgent action to ensure more careful driving, and a requirement to fit effective mirrors on all lorries.”
Roger Geffen of CTC said: “The number of collisions between cyclists and HGVs is mercifully small, but when they do occur, there is a high risk that they will prove fatal.
Cynthia Barlow of RoadPeace said: The number of cyclists killed by lorries each year is absolutely unacceptable. These deaths do not need to happen. If lorry operators provided appropriate focused training for drivers, and the appropriate design and engineering solutions for the lorries, we could prevent the tragedy of so many deaths and serious injuries.
•THE death of six-year-old schoolgirl Samantha Castledine, killed by a lorry while she was cycling to school in Lowestoft with a family member this week, added additional poignancy to the HGV safety campaign. According to the BBC, the lorry struck the girl while she was waiting to cross the A12 Yarmouth Road. She was taken to hospital where she died.
The lorry driver and his adult son, a passenger in the cab, were also taken to hospital where they were treated for shock.