The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has proposed banning thousands of lorries which have low levels of visibility from the streets of London. This will come as welcome news to many of those who use their bikes to get around the capital. As specialist personal injury solicitors, we represent clients who have suffered injury in a Road Traffic Accident, as a pedestrian, a cyclist or a passenger or driver in a vehicle. Cyclists are among the most vulnerable road users, and we understand the importance of improving cycling safety on the roads.
The Mayor has proposed a safety rating system for lorries, ranging from zero through to five stars, based on the level of the driver’s vision from the cab of vehicle. Only lorries with a rating of at least three stars would be allowed to come into London by 2024. At the present time, 35,000 lorries would score zero on the proposed scale and would be banned by 2020 under the Mayor’s current plans.
The statistics relating to the involvement of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) in collisions with cyclists and pedestrians make stark reading. According to Transport for London, 9 cyclists and 66 pedestrians were killed in the capital last year and in the past 2 years, HGVs were involved in 23% of pedestrian fatalities and a startling 58% of cyclists’ deaths in London. This is despite the fact that HGVs account for just 4% of the miles driven in the City of London.
Many of the clients who come to us for specialist advice have suffered life altering injuries as a result of a collision, for example spinal injury or catastrophic brain injury. We also represent the families of those who have sadly died from their injuries as a result of a Road Traffic Accident and work to ensure that their dependants are financially secure.
Of course, the Mayor’s proposals, while welcome, will only play a part in improving cycling safety in London. Further measures are needed, for example, better training and education for drivers and cyclists and improved segregation of traffic. However, the lack of visibility in some HGV vehicles is clearly a significant problem and it is very welcome news indeed that the Mayor is trying to tackle the issue to improve the safety of Londoners who are just trying to get across the city by bike.