Saturday, 20 June 2015

HGV cameras to cut cyclist death toll say campaigners . . .


HGV cameras to cut cyclist death toll say campaigners

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HGV cameras to cut cyclist death toll say campaigners

Few freight companies are using new technology to protect cyclists and pedestrians on the roads, according to a new survey.

Just one in five lorry companies have rear-facing cameras on all vehicles, the survey by road safety charity Brake and fleet management and licence-checking organisation Licence Bureau found.

Only 8 per cent have side-facing cameras on all vehicles and only 12 per cent side sensors.

The survey also revealed that hands-free mobile phone kits were mainly available in two thirds of lorry companies and in 80 per cent of car fleets.

The danger that lorries can pose for cyclists has been highlighted in recent months, with five cyclists killed in accidents involving trucks in London.

Brake said that heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) make up only 5 per cent of vehicles on UK roads, yet are involved in 23 per cent of cyclist deaths and 13 per cent of pedestrian deaths.

In 2013, a total of 78 people on foot or bike were killed by HGVs.

Dr Tom Fisher, senior research and communications officer at Brake, said: "Employers whose staff drive for work have a duty of care both to their own employees and other road users.

"While not a panacea, technology can play a big part in helping them improve safety and exercise that duty, so it is disappointing to see that so many are not taking full advantage of new safety technologies on offer."

Les Owen, compliance consultant at Licence Bureau, said: "Surely it is obvious that the cost of a crash makes it sensible to consider fitting some of the safety technology items."

A spokesman for Bristol-based cycling charity Sustrans said: "Although these new technological developments with sensors are very useful, at the end of the day you are still relying on instruments. We believe it is better to reduce the mixing of HGVs and cyclists in the first place. The best way of doing that is to have restrictions on the movement of HGVs during the rush hour, particularly in city centres such as London and Bristol."

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