Lorries involved in rising percentage of fatal crashes.
Lorries are involved in a increasing percentage of fatal traffic accidents on Britain's roads. New analysis has shown that last year HGVs were implicated in more than half of fatal motorway accidents and one-in-five fatal accidents on A-roads, continuing negative trends over the last five years.
Philippa Edmunds, spokesperson for Campaign for Better Transport said
"This new research shows lorries are involved in a high percentage of the most serious accidents on our roads and that year-on-year the problem is getting worse. The Government should be taking steps to reduce the dangers posed by lorries. They must start by abandoning wrong-headed initiatives to allow longer lorries and higher speed limits for HGVs on single carriageways."
The assessment of official statistics, carried out by the Metropolitan Transport Research Unit (MTRU) for Campaign for Better Transport, showed that the ratio of fatal road accidents involving Heavy Good Vehicles (HGVs) compared with those involving other vehicle types has been climbing year on year:
Philippa Edmunds continued
"There are signs that lorry safety could get worse. Not content with trials of longer trailers and proposals for higher speed limits, the industry is pushing for double articulated mega-trucks to be allowed on UK roads. Research shows these can worsen road safety, congestion and pollution. The UK needs to make clear that it will oppose European plans for these huge lorries to be allowed to cross national borders. If they don't, the UK will come under pressure from the road haulage industry to allow these 82ft monsters onto UK roads on competition grounds.”
Notes to editors
2. Campaign for Better Transport has called on Government to take steps to reduce the number of accidents involving heavy lorries:
3. The UK is currently trialing the use of longer HGVs. On 18 October, Campaign for Better Transport and the Local Authority Technical Advisers’ Group wrote to the Secretary of State for Transport urging him to introduce designated HGV routes within towns and cities to protect pavements and property, reduce the risks to more vulnerable road users and ease the financial burden on local authorities. Drawing on new research, the letter points to the Government’s own tests which showed that the new longer lorries, which are up to 18.55m long, have a greater tail swing, increased driver blind spots and inferior manoeuvrability.
4. In November 2012, Government consulted on its plans to increase the speed limit for 7.5 tonne HGVs traveling on single carriageways from 40mph to 45mph or 50mph. It has yet to publish the outcome of the consultation.
5. The European Parliament is currently discussing proposals to allow mega trucks up to 25 metres long, and up to 60 tonnes in weight to cross national borders. This is part of controversial proposed amendments to the EU Weights and Measures Directive which proponents hope to see adopted in April 2014.
6. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).