Making our roads safer

15-Apr-2014 @ 14:0

Jacqueline Foster Jacqueline Foster

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Conservative MEPs today backed new rules on lorry design to make Britain's roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

The new regulations, approved by the European Parliament in Strasbourg today, aim to improve cab design to increase all-round visibility by removing blind spots which endanger vulnerable road users.

Demand for better visibility from the wheel of trucks have grown following a series of accidents claiming the lives of pedestrians and cyclists – particularly in big cities and including several high-profile cases in London.

Conservative Transport Spokesman Jacqueline Foster said: "Too many cyclists and pedestrians have died on our roads already because the design of trucks left them invisible to the driver.

"These are the most vulnerable people on the road, but they have been overlooked in every sense of the word – with tragic consequences

"This has to stop and I believe today's vote will be key to addressing this tragic problem."

Another part of the approved report calls for the EU Commission to provide a review by 2016 on the cross border circulation of longer and higher 60-tonne trucks – so-called mega-trucks.

Mrs Foster, Conservative MEP for the North West, said longer trucks had been used in countries such Sweden and Finland for several years. Conservatives were in support of countries being able to form bilateral agreements for such lorries to cross their borders.

But she said: "Let us be clear that it is entirely up to individual countries to decide these matters – and it must remain so.

"We will stand firm against any plans to allow mega-trucks onto Britain's roads. We will not let that happen, but we think other countries should be allowed to decide for themselves.

"We were also anxious to ensure that cross-border circulation of higher trucks between the UK and the Republic of Ireland should be allowed to continue – and we have achieved that too.

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