The Mayor and TfL are on 1 September 2015 launching a Safer Lorry Scheme in collaboration with London Councils and Heathrow Airport. This new scheme will only allow lorries fitted with the basic safety equipment on London's roads.
As a result, most vehicles, which are currently exempt from national legislation and do not need basic safety equipment, will have to be retrofitted. This includes construction vehicles, which have been reported to have been involved in a high number of fatal collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians.
Under the scheme, vehicles over three and a half tonnes, which are currently exempt, will now have to be fitted with Class V and Class VI mirrors, giving the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around their vehicles. The vehicles will also have to be fitted with side guards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of an accident..
The scheme will operate across London at all times and cover the same area as the Low Emission Zone. The scheme will be enforced by the Metropolitan Police Service, City of London Police and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.
The drivers can be issued with a £50 Fixed Penalty Notice if their vehicle is found to be non-compliant. There is also the possibility of a £1000 fine at the Magistrates’ Court.
The Traffic Commissioner will also be notified of companies operating vehicles in breach of the scheme. The Commissioner can call operators to a public inquiry to explain such breaches. This may lead to a more thorough review of the business and its compliance practices.
The Traffic Commissioner has the power to restrict, suspend or revoke an operator’s licences with potentially devastating effects for the business owner. It is recommended that legal advice is sought immediately to ensure the best possible outcome before the Commissioner if a business is found to be in breach.
If you are affected by the scheme, would like advice on a penalty notice or summons, or require advice and representation before the Traffic Commissioner please contact our specialist road transport team on 01616 966 229.