Inner London is known to be hell for cyclists. Only in November six cyclists have died within two weeks due to an accident with either a lorry or a car. Long time ago mayor Johnson has announced to make London the city for cyclist: safe and enjoyable.
Traffic in London is crazy. That is fact. Many accidents happen and some of them end fatal. It is easy to blame drivers and even easier to blame lorry drivers. In fact, only 5% of London’s traffic is due to Lorries and HGVs, but they are in 50% of fatal accidents involved. To improve safety cycle lanes are planned and built, and from September 2014 on lorries over 3.5 tons have to have a safety equipment to protect cyclists and pedestrians. Without that equipment lorries are banned from London’s streets and have to pay a fine. The Transport Research Laboratory in Bracknell estimates that 50 to 74 per cent of fatal accidents with cyclist could be prevented with this equipment.
Mr Johnson said: “In my cycle vision I said no lorry should be allowed in London unless it is fitted with fitted with equipment to protect the cyclist. Neither I nor the boroughs have the power to ban lorries without safety equipment on our own. It is for that reason that I proposed to use the power I do have to levy a hefty charge on lorries without such equipment. But I’m pleased to say we can combine our powers to propose a simple and comprehensive ban.”
How does this safety equipment look like?
The vehicle itself will look a little different. Instead of a flat nose the nose will be round. In addition a front and side guard will be used so pedestrians and cyclist will not be pulled under the lorry. The windshield therefore will be bigger and facilitates the overview. The blind spots can also be reduced. The new design has also an advantage: fuel saving due to its aerodynamic features. 3 to 5 per cent could be saved.
It is also important that cyclists and pedestrians pay more attention on the roads. It is better to wait 5 seconds to let a lorry pass then just to insist on their right of way.