UK truckers are responding to calls for greater road safety with investment in new vehicles, customisation and driver training, according to new research by RAC Truck Rescue.
In January the Mayor of London Boris Johnson proposed that lower side windows should be mandatory for all commercial vehicles entering the capital, in a move to improve visibility for lorry drivers and cut dangerous blind spots.
However research carried out by RAC Truck Rescue* among businesses that operate trucks revealed that firms have invested heavily in safety features on their vehicles in a bid to make them safer on the roads.
According to the research a third (33%) of businesses say they have fitted cameras to cover blind spots on trucks so that drivers have better visibility, while 32% have specialist safety bars to the sides of their vehicles to prevent other road users such as cyclists or pedestrians from being accidently pulled underneath.
In addition, almost a third (29%) said they would invest in new vehicles with better visibility and 31% say they have provided safety awareness training for their truck drivers.
With the proposed new modifications from the Mayor of London costing £1,000 - £1,500 per lorry to fit the window panel, there is concern about the financial impact on businesses running trucks and other commercial vehicles.
RAC Truck Rescue spokesman Matt Dallaway said the survey results suggest HGV operators and logistics firms are working to make their vehicles, and drivers, better prepared for the dangers of city driving in the UK.
Dallaway said: “It’s clear to us through the relationships we have with HGV operators and our customers, that they are working to make their vehicles safer by adopting a range of new measures and modifications. They recognise this is not just important for London where Boris Johnson has proposed his idea, but across the whole of the UK.
“For example a third tell us they have invested in cameras to cover blind spots, so does this mean they will face having to pay out more on top of that to comply with the new proposal?
“The suggestion by the Mayor of London doesn’t seem to take this into consideration and what we would like is clarity on whether businesses that have taken significant measures will be exempt, or at least given support of some kind to compensate for the investment already made.”