Lorries in London would be required to have a new side window so drivers can better see pedestrians and cyclists, under proposals unveiled by the Mayor.
The plan to improve visibility for lorry drivers would help cut the dangerous blind spots which have caused a significant number of deaths on the capital’s roads.
Under the proposals, existing and new lorries would be required to fit a new window in the lower half of the passenger-side cab door at a cost of £1,000- £1,500 per lorry. The only exceptions would be a handful of lorries where retrofitting is not physically possible.
In S4 ‘Blind-spot minimisation’, the FORS Silver standard requires all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight to have front, side and rear blind-spots completely eliminated or minimised through a combination of fully operational direct and indirect vision aids and driver audible alerts. Fitment of a window in the lower half of the passenger-side cab door would meet the requirement to eliminate side blind-spots.
The Mayor has launched a consultation in principle on the new plans, to build on the success of the Safer Lorry Scheme.
The consultation asks Londoners whether they support the principle of the scheme and what would be the best way to enforce the new windows – whether through an extension to the Safer Lorry Scheme, or higher charges for non-compliant lorries under the congestion charge or Low Emission Zone regulations. It also asks whether the restrictions should be full-time, part-time or route-specific.
Implementation of any measures will involve close working with stakeholder groups, including the industry and Government, and the development of a legally enforceable “direct vision standard”. There would be further public and stakeholder consultation before any decision on implementation is made, and time for operators to make the necessary changes to their lorries.
The consultation on side windows ends on 4 March. For more information and to respond go to consultations.tfl.gov.uk/roads/safer-lorries