European Parliament adopts rules to make lorry cab design safer for pedestrians and cyclists

Today’s vote in the European Parliament sends out a strong signal to incentivize the industry and legislators to pursue the issue of safety related to HGV’s design.

Background information:

  • Heavy Goods Vehicules (HGV) are disproportionally involved in vulnerable road users fatal accident and serious injuries in cities.
  • One of the solutions to improve safety for vulnerable road uses is better HGVs cab design that would enable the driver to see cyclists and pedestrians. Current design affects the safety performance of European lorries. There is no room for crash boxes or crumple zones on cab fronts. The blunt front also leads to a high risk of pedestrians and cyclists being knocked under the wheels and run over in case of collisions. The current design also limits the driver’s field of direct vision; this creates deadly blind spots around the cab.
  • The revision of the Weights and dimensions directive for HGVs tabled by the European Commission in March 2013 offered an opportunity to make roads safer for vulnerable road users in cities, notably cyclists. The proposal stated that HGV manufactures may increase the length of vehicles on the condition that cabs are more aerodynamic and safer.

Polis and TfL alongside a number of Brussels based stakeholders have been supporting the introduction of strong safety requirements in the proposal.

  • A letter signed by Mayors of London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Madrid was sent to Members of European Parliament transport Committee
  • Joint Declaration: Safer, cleaner lorries now!

Next Steps: The main concern is unnecessary delays in bringing forth better cab design through legislation.

  • The European Commission is working on defining the technical requirements for improving aerodynamics and safety. An expert working group that brings together stakeholders is contributing to the work.
  • Member States will now discuss the proposal in Council. There is concern that they might not agree to include mandatory safety requirements in the final proposal.

For more information, please contact Cleo Davies