For Immediate Release
Brussels, Belgium – 11th December 2014
The amendments to the Weights and Dimensions of trucks legislation that has been ongoing in Brussels for the past couple of years is finally coming to a close. ECF is disappointed that last night’s negotiations between the Council, Parliament and Commission concluded that safety and environmental design changes to the front of the lorry cab will not be possible before 2022.
The agreement, which still has to be formally agreed by member states on Friday December 12th
and by plenary vote at Parliament, will mean that a manufacturer will be allowed to increase the length of the cab to improve safety and environmental performance. However,
despite the voluntary and enabling nature of the legislation, manufacturers, through heavy lobbying of their respective countries in Council, have succeeded in maintaining the status quo of brick shaped lorry design that has been dominant over the past 20 years.
The box/brick like shape that we currently see at the moment with a driver perched high on top of an engine is the result of the current regulations that restricts the size of the lorry, this gives around 2.35m to the cabs. The restriction of space means that engine, cooling system, driver living space, and safety considerations have all been competing for limited space. ECF has argued that driver direct vision, and a more forgiving impact shape have lost out in these competing areas, meaning that lorries are the most dangerous vehicles on the roads, particularly in urban areas
The European Transport Safety Council
estimate that around 4,200 deaths each year are as a result of collisions with lorries, and that almost a quarter of cycling fatalities are as a result of collision with larger freight vehicles; this despite only constituting around 3% of the EU vehicle fleet. ECF Road safety policy officer Ceri Woolsgrove
said that “This was an excellent opportunity for the industry to show commitment to improving their product safety record in urban areas. An immediate change in lorry design could prevent around 900 deaths per year; unfortunately the delay in safer lorry design will cost lives.”
The agreement also concluded that larger heavier vehicles (megatrucks up to 25 metres and 60 tonnes) will still not be allowed to cross borders. The issue will be revisited after a full report by the Commission on the effects of these vehicles on safety, infrastructure costs and EU freight market.
About the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF)
With over 80 members across nearly 40 countries, the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) unites cyclists’ associations from across the globe, giving them a voice on the international level. Our aim is to get more people cycling more often by influencing policy in favour of cycling.
For more information:
ECF Road Safety Policy Officer
+32 2 588 00 21