EU laws to create World's safest trucks

New super-safe truck
25 Apr, 2014 8:30am Joe Finnerty

Radical truck redesign to boost visibility for drivers, cut crash deaths. They're due on UK roads by 2022

Safer, more streamlined lorries could be on UK roads by 2022 if new EU laws are approved. MEPs have backed a draft policy supporting a radical redesign of the existing ‘brick’-shaped vehicles.

Bigger windscreens would remove blind spots and a cab redesign would further improve visibility. A rounded nose and front crumple zone would make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and a sleeker profile would ensure better fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

National governments will now consider the proposed changes, with a decision on them expected after the EU elections in May.

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If approved, the modifications will take at least seven years to become law, allowing haulage companies time to upgrade their fleets.

Currently, operators spend thousands of pounds retro-fitting existing HGVs, but while these make up just three per cent of traffic in the EU, they account for 15 per cent of the fatal accidents.

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is backing the new safety plans, although James Hookham, the FTA’s managing director of membership and policy, said: “It has to be achieved without reducing payload, otherwise more journeys would have to be made – which would result in more congestion and emissions.”

The Department for Transport is also on-board, but wants to see alterations before signing off on the proposals. A spokesman said: “Making HGVs safer is a priority for the Government.”

World's safest lorry?

A prototype (pictured, top) by the Transport & Environment group has helped shape EU proposals for the next generation of HGVs. Here's how it gives road users better protection:

1. Savings: Sleeker shape would allow hauliers to save thousands of pounds in fuel.

2. Comfort: A larger cab size gives drivers more space to stretch out between stints.

3. Visibility: New frontal design allows bigger windscreens, reducing blind spots.

4. Safety: Rounded front end creates a crumple zone to minimise injuries to cyclists and pedestrians.

5. Protection: A crash box can be fitted in the extra nose space, reducing the impact of accidents.

6. Efficiency: Longer nose improves aerodynamics by 12 per cent, saving fuel and cutting emissions.

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If you are a pedestrian get hit by that new truck design at 30 MPH you are still a gonna unless you have your Superman pants on, having bigger windows that gives better visibility yep thats a smart move and very welcome.

Yes at 30mph agreed, but even if the new design allows someone to survive a 12mph impact whereas the old design may have killed them at 10mph then that's still a welcome change that would save at least some lives.

Having the blind spot covered so that the cyclists that do the illegal undertake are protected will help too.

You mean the undertake in the majority of the marked cycle lanes (and hence not illegal)?

Try driving a truck then you can comment

Indeed. Cyclists are learning not to do it now, but there are still a lot of senseless ones on the road. Most T-Junctions don't have the marked cycle lanes and therefore most of these undertakes are illegal as well as being ill-advised.

Not saying it's easy to drive a truck. More that a lot of cyclists are (quite naturally) following the markings put down by councils.
Personally, I prefer to ride further out in the car lanes (fewer potholes, less crap in the road) and overtake trucks on the right hand side when riding.
And the ideal would be to completely separate bikes and motorised vehicles. But until that happens, the OP's cyclist blaming isn't helpful.
(I'm assuming you're one of the good truckers, who doesn't feel the need to drive and phone at the same time, unlike far too many of them)

Just looks like an old Ford Transit pick up lowered. Who knew the old rust bucket was so ahead of its time.

Why not reduce the overall height of the vehicle? That's what causes blind spots, inability to see cyclists etc.

There was a prototype years ago, of a lorry that looked like an airplane pusher, it sat underneath the trailer such that it would be at car/van level.

Without meaning to provoke an argument, undertaking is not illegal. It is, however, ill-advised. You cant get a ticket for undertaking, though you can if you were undertaking carelessly.