FTA warns operators to comply with Safer Lorry Scheme

Following the introduction of the new Safer Lorry Scheme in London the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has urged operators to make sure their vehicles comply or they risk being fined.  The Scheme will be enforced by the Metropolitan Police Service, City of London Police and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.

According to Transport for London (TfL) heavy goods vehicles are involved in a disproportionate number of fatal collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians who, along with motorcyclists, are classed as the most vulnerable road users.

The new scheme, which operates around-the-clock, seven days a week, and covers the same area as the Low Emission Zone, will require all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with sideguards, kerb view and front mirrors.  Operators breaching the rules face £50 fixed penalties or £1,000 court fines.  Those who don’t comply will also be referred for investigation by the relevant Traffic Commissioner.

FTA confirms that many newer vehicles already have the required mirrors and sideguards and some operators have already fitted them voluntarily.  There are exemptions to the scheme, which has been introduced with the aim of improving safety for pedestrians and cyclists by giving lorry drivers a better view around their vehicles.

The Association also advises that details of the exemptions can be found on the Transport for London website – https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/freight/safer-lorry-scheme

Natalie Chapman, FTA’s Head of Policy for London, said: “FTA is pleased that there are exemptions and concessions for vehicles where this equipment is either not possible or not legal.  However, in principle we believe that this kind of blunt regulatory tool is not the best way to improve cyclist safety.

“We still think that the money and effort invested in this scheme would have been better spent on increased enforcement against the small proportion of lorries that don't comply with existing regulations.  There are better ways to achieve safer roads for all users.”

FTA’s Member Advice Centre has already received many calls about the new regulations from operators who want to ensure their vehicles are compliant and check which ones are exempt.