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A proposal championed by the UK to bring updated mirror standards to the haulage industry across the EU has been made official by a recent vote at the European Commission. From July 2016, all newly registered HGVs over 3.5 tonnes will have to have upgraded mirrors designed to improve road safety. At the rate HGV registrations are renewed, the transition from old to new should be completed very quickly. Within the next 18 months, virtually every lorry driver in the UK will be working with the new mirrors.

Current standards in the UK require a 2-metre field of vision on the passenger side a commercial vehicle, adjacent to the cab. From July 2016, the new requirement is for 4.5 metres. Because the requirement is performance-based, equipment owners will not have to completely replace older mirrors if they do not want to. Class V and VI mirrors can be combined to provide the appropriate amount of coverage under the new rules.

A Reasonable Approach

The original mirror proposal was developed by the Department for Transport as a means of further reducing the number of accidents between lorries and cyclists. While most proposals in this regard have been met with resistance from the haulage and transport industries, this one was welcomed by organisations such as the FTA and RHA. According to the FTA’s Christopher Snelling, the mirror upgrade represents a reasonable approach to increasing safety in a way that does not disrupt business or burden haulage companies with undue financial pressures.

Last year there were 115 deaths among cyclists who were involved in an accident with at least one HGV. It is hoped the new mirrors will reduce that number significantly. However, new mirrors alone will not prevent all collisions between HGVs and cyclists. Groups such as the FTA are pressing the government to work on additional solutions that include things like traffic-free cycle links and improved junctions that keep HGVs and cyclists separate from each other.

More Training Also Helps

We have seen a number of training programmes developed in major cities over the last few years, including several programmes in London that enable lorry drivers and cyclists to switch places. Such training gives drivers and riders a new perspective about what the other one sees in traffic. We believe this kind of training is imperative.

In addition, companies like ours have a responsibility to train the new lorry driver to be as safe as possible. Professional drivers have a lot to pay attention to – from traffic control devices to cyclists to other motorists – and quality training can teach them how to pay better attention. We include comprehensive driver safety in all of the training programmes we offer.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a lorry driver, we welcome your inquiries. We are the UK’s largest provider of commercial driver training and an approved provider of Driver CPC training as well. We maintain dozens of facilities all across the UK with new classes forming regularly.


  1. Commercial Motor – https://www.commercialmotor.com/news/improved-mirrors-to-be-mandatory-from-july


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