MEPs welcome safer lorry designs
On 15 April 2014, MEPs voted in support of new cab designs for lorries which will improve all-round visibility by removing blind spots which endanger pedestrians and cyclists.
Demand has grown for improved visibility from the lorry cab following numerous accidents claiming the lives of pedestrians and cyclists. The report voted through Parliament on 15 April introduces new regulations to protect vulnerable road users.
Mr Van Orden responded:
'This is good news for road users - both on foot and behind the wheel. Lorry designs have left cyclists and pedestrians vulnerable to accidents for too long and caused too many deaths. I believe this vote is a vital step forwards in addressing the problem'.
During votes on the report, MEPs also called for the European Commission to complete a review by 2016 on the cross border circulation of longer and higher 60 tonne lorries - so called 'mega-trucks'. Countries such as Finland and Sweden have already been using the trucks for several years and there is mounting pressure to allow them to travel between European countries.
Conservatives voted in favour of countries being able to form bilateral agreements for mega-trucks to cross their borders. However, they made it clear that they are against mega-trucks crossing into the UK.
Mr Van Orden explained:
'Conservatives are against bigger lorries on our roads. But the vote was not about this - it was about making sure every country can make that decision for itself according to its own infrastructure.
Whilst we will continue to stand against mega-trucks in the UK, we shouldn't stop other countries from deciding on this for themselves. In the end this is about keeping decisions at home and helping our British businesses to continue their trade with Europe'.
- The vote on the report 'Road transport: maximum authorised dimensions and weights for certain road vehicles' (Rapporteur Jörg Leichtfried MEP) took place in Strasbourg on 15 April 2014.
- Details on the legislation can be found on the following link: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/popups/ficheprocedure.do?reference=2013/0105(COD)&l=en