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New technology is key to reducing accidents involving buses and HGVs, says TfL

15 July 2014 #Bus and Coach #News #Policy #Top Stories #Truck #Van

Transport for London’s (TfL) latest strategy to reduce serious and fatal accidents on the road has identified new technology and training for buses, heavy goods vehicles and their drivers as essential.

The first Pedestrian Safety Action Plan outlines how TfL aims to protect all vulnerable road users – cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. It also explains how it has devised six commitments designed to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on London’s roads by 40%, by 2020.

The plan follows a consultation held lastspring to reduce the number of deaths and serious injury caused by HGVs, buses and coaches, which are considered to be disproportionately high compared to other forms of transport.

The newest initiative is the introduction of a digital speed limit map for London, to encourage the development of next generation in-vehicle technology designed to limit speed which, TfL believes, will become a benefit for commercial vehicle fleets.

This scheme will tie into the Intelligent Speed Adaptation trial planned for London’s buses in 2015 prompting the bus driver to adhere to speed limits across London.

Another trial earmarked for this summer is the inclusion of collision detection devices on buses, with similar systems being trialled by Transdev in York and FirstBus in Bristol, as TfL looks to understand how optical- and radar-led technologies can reduce the number of collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said, “This plan enshrines the raft of actions that are being taken to improve pedestrian safety in the capital. With buses kitted out with the latest gizmos to reduce collisions, this is all about prioritising the safety of the most vulnerable road users.

“The publication of a speed limit map for London is also a great example of how the capital is leading the way in helping vehicle technology to move forward and encouraging innovation in the digital sphere.”

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, added, “London has been at the forefront of many technical innovations and it is right that we continue to find new ways of making our roads safer.”

TfL and London Boroughs will be enforcing some of the recommendations made in the Safer Lorry Scheme, including ensuring all drivers are adequately trained to use Class VI mirrors, and are using all the safety measures deemed as essential.

Sir Peter Hendy, Transport Commissioner, added, “Although we are taking the lead to make roads safer, we cannot achieve these commitments alone. 95% of London’s streets are the responsibility of boroughs and there are many other partners involved which we rely on to realise our shared ambitions for a safer city.”

The plan will see TfL and the Mayor of London continuing to push the European Commission to mandate design changes to truck cabs, to improve visibility, and the installation of collision prevention devices on all commercial vehicles.

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