Ludford: London cyclists failed by Brussels and Boris
London Liberal Democrat MEP Sarah Ludford is protesting against a European Commission research report which claims there is not enough evidence to justify fitting blind-spot sensors or cameras on big lorries (HGVs) to protect cyclists.
Sarah Ludford works with the ‘See me Save me’ campaign inspired by the death of Eilidh Cairns who was knocked off her bike and killed by a lorry in Notting Hill in 2009, and which aims to eliminate blind spots. As part of the campaign Sarah supported a European Parliament Written Declaration (similar to an Early Day Motion) calling for blind-spot technology such as sensors and cameras to be fitted on HGVs.
EU legislation already requires big lorries to have blind-spot mirrors (including retro-fitting on older ones) but campaigners want it revised to require further safety equipment. However, the EU report concludes that such a revision will only be worthwhile once further evidence is available.
"I'm appalled that 16 cyclists died on London's roads last year. We must stop these tragedies occurring due to lorry drivers failing to see them. Compared to a lost life, the costs of fitting HGVs with sensors and cameras is negligible."
"It's tragically ironic that while sensors are fitted on many vehicles to help drivers avoid paint scratches when parking, saving lives is not seen as important enough."
"The lack of a sense of urgency in Brussels is disgraceful. It's outrageous that they take a year to produce a study which then claims an absence of data to assess the cost-effectiveness of new safety features. The answer is better research."
“London's Mayor Boris Johnson is also guilty of complacent foot-dragging. He agreed to review dangerous junctions only under pressure from LibDem Assembly leader Caroline Pidgeon, and he needs to install some real protective measures such as 20mph speed limits and cycle lanes segregated by physical barriers, not just paint."
Note to editors:
The Commission report as well as the research study by the Transport Research Laboratory on which it is based can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/topics/vehicles/blind_spot_mirrors/index_en.htm
The See Me Save campaign website is http://www.seemesaveme.com/