MEPs set to back life-saving changes to lorry designs
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats
MEPs are set to approve life-saving changes to EU rules on lorry designs tomorrow that could help avoid hundreds of accidents with cyclists and pedestrians.
Current EU length restrictions force lorry manufacturers to design short cab fronts with dangerous blind spots and blunt cabin fronts, increasing the risk of serious accidents.
The new rules will allow these length restrictions to be relaxed in order to design safer and more aerodynamic vehicles, including through rounded cab fronts, crumple zones and improved visibility.
Under an agreement reached in negotiations in Brussels last December, the Commission is set to propose technical details of the safer design requirements by the end of 2016.
These will then have to be adopted by the European Parliament and Council, after which there will be a 3-year moratorium until they come into force.
Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder wrote a letter to UK Transport Minister Robert Goodwill last December urging him to push through the changes and stand up to manufacturers and EU national governments who were pushing for them to be delayed.
"Too many lives have been lost on our roads due to unsafe lorry designs.
"These small changes will make an enormous difference by helping to get rid of the dangerous blind spots that cause so many accidents with pedestrians and cyclists.
"I will now be keeping up the pressure to ensure that these safer designs are proposed and implemented as soon as possible."