Owners and riders in London, and those taking horseboxes to Olympia this year, could face large fines if they don’t comply with new rules being introduced to make London’s roads safer.
The Safer Lorry Scheme has been launched by Transport for London (TfL) to reduce the number of cyclists’ deaths in the capital.
The scheme will operate on every road in all of Greater London’s 32 boroughs and the City of London, except for motorways.
From 1 September 2015 all vehicles from 3.5 tonnes upwards will have to be fitted with Class V and Class V1 mirrors. These help the driver see the blind spots under the nearside door and directly in front of the vehicle.
The mirrors can be bought at around £90-£100 each but then the horsebox owner will have to pay for fitting.
“This will affect those with lorries of 3.5 tonnes and over that either live in, or move through, the current London Low Emission Zone, excluding motorways. This is essentially the area within the M25,” said Jon Phillips of the Organisation of Horsebox and Trailer Owners (OHTO).
The scheme also requires lorries to be fitted with sideguards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision.
But Jon Philips said this is not likely to affect horseboxes owners as their vehicles are already fitted with side pockets and have a low ground clearance.
The scheme will be enforced by London police and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and will be in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Drivers found to be in charge of a non-compliant vehicle may get a £50 fixed penalty notice; this can rise to £1,000 if challenged.
“We know that a large number of cyclist deaths and serious injuries involve a relatively small number of trucks and lorries that are not fitted with basic safety equipment,” said London Mayor Boris Johnson.
“Such vehicles are not welcome in the capital and the Safer Lorry Scheme will see them effectively banned from our streets. The lives of thousands of cyclists and pedestrians will be much safer as a result and I urge all operators of HGVs to get on board and make it a success.”