Suffolk cyclists and pedestrians will be delighted to hear that new regulations on lorry design were adopted by the European Parliament on Tuesday with a huge majority.
Inadequate HGV design has been implicated as a significant factor in the deaths and injuries of pedestrians and cyclists. Lorries are involved in almost one in five cycle fatalities in Britain.
Under changes pushed by Liberal Democrat MEPs, the design of lorry cabs are set to be changed. Crucially they will have larger windows to the front and side – which will increase the driver’s field of vision and reduce blind spots. New vehicles would also have a crumple zone and a rounder front, with the intention of reducing the severity of injuries to vulnerable road users – in a collision the design would allow a cyclist or pedestrian to be deflected away from the lorry rather than being dragged beneath it.It is thought the proposal could help prevent dozens of fatal accidents each year.
Although the vote was 606 – 54, embarrassingly, more MEPs from the UK than any other country voted against adopting these new rules and half of the 12 were from UKIP , including UKIP leader Nigel Farage. Another vote against was from the BNP’s Nick Griffin.
A full list of nay-sayers can be found here.
“This vote show how divorced UKIP MEPs are from any activity except that of claiming expenses, ” says LibDem Transport spokesman Caroline Page.
“I have twice been very nearly killed by a lorry when cycling. In both cases, poor visibility from the cab was the key issue. I am sure that lorry drivers will welcome these proposals as fervently as cyclists and pedestrians.
Lorry drivers don’t want to become killers, any more than cyclists want to be killed. How hard is that for UKIP to understand?”