Will HGV sensors protect cyclists?
Recently an influential group of MPs said hauliers should be encouraged to fit new sensors to their fleet to protect cyclists. The Transport Select Committee (TSC) described a 15% rise in cyclist deaths as “unacceptable” and said that the government needs to find ways for HGV drivers and operators to adopt sensors. Their figures suggest that HGVs are involved in 20% of collisions where cyclists are killed.
However, the recent report by the Department of Transport on road traffic accidents shows that the number of severe casualties for drivers and passengers of both buses and HGVs has fallen significantly since 2000. The figure for HGVs went from 3597 in 2000, to 1578 in 2010. For buses and coaches it dropped from 10,088 to 6288. Out of 281,401 total severities cause by road accidents in Great Britain in 2010, only 15,077 (5.4%) involved by buses, coaches, and HGVs.
VOSA enforcement of tachograph laws, drivers hours and the working time directive for HGV drivers combined with professional training may be contributory factors in this welcomed trend.
Two wheel vehicles are extremely vulnerable and understandably motorcyclists are required by law to wear a helmet and complete Compulsory Basic Training before they are allowed on the road. The 15% rise in cyclist deaths is unacceptable and measures to reduce it should include education and training to ride on the road.
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Posted on: 31.07.2012