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Leigh Day welcomes London mayor's proposals to reduce lorry danger in the capital

Leigh Day has added its voice to a consultation from the London mayor to tackle the disproportionately high number of cyclist and pedestrian fatalities following collisions with Heavy Goods Vehicles

Cyclists and pedestirans

20 March 2017

Law firm Leigh Day has added its voice to a consultation from the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, into adopting a Direct Vision Standard (DVS) to tackle the disproportionately high number of cyclist and pedestrian fatalities following collisions with Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) in the capital.

The introduction of ‘direct vision’ HGVs was outlined in the Mayor’s manifesto, and on 30 September 2016 he announced his ambition to introduce the world’s first Direct Vision Standard for HGVs.

According to the Mayor’s office: “A wealth of evidence shows that HGV cabs designed to enable drivers to see more of their surroundings directly through their windows, as opposed to indirectly through mirrors or monitors, significantly reduces the risk of fatal or serious collisions.

“This Standard will use a simple zero to five-star rating system to define how much an HGV driver can see directly from each vehicle’s cab, rather than through mirrors or other equipment. It will give regulators, manufacturers, operators and contractors an objective standard by which to rate and improve the safety of HGVs.”

In their response, the Action on Lorry Danger campaign which includes Leigh Day and other cycling and road safety organisations, have called on the mayor to introduce the strictest standards to ensure the highest ratings for all HGVs.

The Action on Lorry Danger submission states: “We very much welcome TfL's commissioning and use of evidence to inform its proposals for reducing lorry danger via the introduction of DVS star ratings for HGVs.

"We welcome the Mayor's proposal to use GLA procurement power to influence road safety in London. TfL's existing initiative on Work-Related Road Risk (WRRR) requirements has been an effective model for this since February 2012 and we ask the Mayor to encourage other public sector organisations such as London Boroughs, Network Rail, the National Health Service, Highways England, and the Ministry of Defence to follow this lead.

“We emphasise that, additionally, good quality law enforcement will be required to effectively address lorry danger.”

According to the consultation the Mayor intends to use the standard as the basis for introducing a ban or other restriction on the most dangerous or zero star-rated HGVs from London’s streets by 2020.

In addition, only those HGVs achieving three stars or above – a good level of direct vision – would be allowed on London’s streets by 2024.

Rachel Botterill from the cycling team at Leigh Day said: “The Mayor’s plans are bold because they are life-saving. We very much welcome a direct vision standard as from our experience, the issue of poor vision from the cab of a HGV is very often cited as a cause of serious and fatal incidents in cases involving lorries and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians in London.”

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