ECF press releases

First step to safer HGV/lorry cabs taken today

lorries

The European Parliament has brought forward the possibility of ground breaking lorry/truck safety design with a vote today in the Parliament.

The Transport and Tourism (TRAN) committee voted today on the update of the Weights and Dimensions Directive which governs the size and weight of European lorries.

There were two issues which concerned cyclists
1. Whether or not to allow megatrucks across EU borders
2. To allow an increase in the front of cabs with aerodynamic and safety specifications

ECF have been against the former and for the latter for some time now. With regards to Megatrucks MEPs rejected the original commission proposal to allow Megatrucks and instead the issue will be put back to 2016 when it will be looked at again after a thorough investigation.

MEPs then voted in favour of allowing an increase in the front of the cabs. Not only that but MEPs inserted amendments that some of this space has to be used to decrease blind spots at the front and to the sides of the cab and to increase direct vision.

The current brick shaped cabs are a direct result of the current Directive. There are currently no direct vision specifications for HGVs and trucks in Europe despite them being necessary for motorcars . This could be the first step to making it a requirement that the driver of an HGV can see clearly around the cab.

Other safety amendments include the inclusion of a crumple zone at the font of the cabs and better deflective properties if cyclists or pedestrians are hit by lorries so that they are less likely to be pulled under the wheels.

ECF were part of a grand coalition of cities, European safety and environmental organisations, in asking for safety measures to be a crucial part of this legislation and we are very happy that MEPs have agreed with us that this could be a real breakthrough in getting safer HGV design in Europe.

Now there will be a plenary vote in the European Parliament in April, and then it will be the turn of the Member States who will have to agree later in the year for this to be law.

If this change is negotiated through the Council of Member States we will be able to see safer and more aerodynamic cabs in the future.

For more info contact
Ceri Woolsgrove
Policy Officer
Tel: +32 2 588 00 21

Last Updated March 19, 2014