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In the ongoing debate over how to make London streets safer for cyclists riding among commercial traffic, there seems to be no consensus on how to accomplish safety goals. As evidence, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) recently weighed in on Transport for London’s (TfL) latest proposal, saying its unintended consequences could negatively impact both businesses and their drivers.

The new proposals called for a number of things, including requiring every commercial vehicle weighing more than 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with new mirrors and side guards. Yet some of the vehicles, including larger vans and smaller HGVs, would find themselves violating other regulations due to side mirrors having to be positioned on lower cabs. The FTA maintains there would be an added risk of cyclists being struck by the mirrors because of their lower placement.

The FTA plans to respond to TfL in an official letter outlining what they believe to be a better proposal. They believe it is far better to target the construction industry for the new mirrors and side guards rather than applying them uniformly to every commercial vehicle. They also suggest TfL would be better off investing their efforts in improving HGV training and enforcement of current laws and regulations.

If the TfL proposals were eventually adopted, enforcement of the mirror and side guard mandate would be accomplished through a combination of roadside checks and CCTV cameras. Vehicles found out of compliance would be banned from driving in London until the situation is rectified.

They Debate, We Train

There are no easy answers in the pursuit of increasing road safety for cyclists. Therefore, while the various stakeholders debate solutions, the HGV Training Centre will continue to offer industry-leading training for commercial drivers of all stripes. We provide our HGV training classes at more than 45 facilities around the UK.

Our approach to training is one of concentrating only on necessary information and skills, while doing so in a way that is fast-paced and intense. Through the years, we have proven our approach to be successful in helping drivers learn and retain what they need to pass their tests. As an example, our students enjoy a 92% first-time pass rate for the PCV theory test.

If you are considering a career as a commercial driver, the HGV Training Centre can prepare you to operate a full range of vehicles including buses, coaches, articulated lorries, tipper trucks, box trucks, vans, horseboxes and more. We also offer non-commercial training for individuals looking to tow a light trailer or caravan.

Before closing, we want to remind HGV operators that we are now only about seven months away from the CPC deadline. Any HGV drivers who have not completed their CPC training by September 10 of this year could face fines, the loss of their jobs, or both. The HGV Training Centre is here to help by offering ongoing CPC training classes. We urge you to sign up as soon as possible in order to be guaranteed a slot.

Sources:

Logistics Manager — http://www.logisticsmanager.com/Articles/21975/FTA+sets+out+fears+over+TfL+lorry+safety+proposal.html

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