Road safety campaigners have urged government to ensure stringent standards are demanded on new longer lorry cabs amid concerns that lobbying from HGV manufactures may prompt some European countries to go against recommendations.
A group of organisations representing cyclists, pedestrians and sustainable transport have written to the transport secretary asking for early adoption of measures to allow improvements to cab design, making it easier for lorry drivers to see pedestrians and cyclists.
Last month, the European Parliament voted to make safety a fundamental part of changes to lorry dimensions, which allow additional length on lorry cabs.
The next stage is for the Council of Ministers to approve the Directive at its June meeting. However, the campaigners said they were acting now because of a Financial Times report thatsaid Swedish and French Governments were seeking a 10 year delay to the new safety requirments.
Cycling charity CTC road safety campaigner Rhia Weston said: “The way lorries are currently designed is dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists. MEPs have voted for changes that would make it much easier for drivers to see them, preventing collisions and saving lives. We need the Government to stand up to industry delaying tactics and get safer, greener lorries on our roads as soon as possible.”
See Me Save Me campaign founder Kate Cairns said: “If the Swedes and French get their way, their irresponsible delaying tactics would make it impossible for other manufacturers to redesign safe cabs for another 10 years. This will unnecessarily stifle innovation which we know will save lives.”