As of 1 September 2015, lorries that don't have safety measures to protect cyclists won't be allowed on London's roads. This is fantastic news, as lorries are disproportionately involved in fatal collisions — though they make up just 4% of London's traffic, HGVs were involved in the deaths of nine of 14 cyclists in 2013, and five of the 13 who died in 2014.
HGVs will be required to have sideguards, to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels during a collision, and Class V and Class VI mirrors to give drivers a better view of cyclists (and pedestrians). It's a 24/7 ban on unsafe lorries, enforceable by police, DVLA and the Industrial HGV Taskforce. Violators will be fined up to £1,000 and vehicle operators will be referred to whoever's responsible for issuing their licence.
Boris Johnson said:
"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. Such vehicles are not welcome in the capital and the Safer Lorry Scheme will see them effectively banned from our streets."
It's a move that has cross party support, too, with Labour's Val Shawcross agreeing:
"Stricter safety standards for lorries could make all the difference for cyclists, as well as reassuring lorry drivers that their vehicles are as safe as possible. Anything which helps to reduce accidents and fatalities on our roads should be warmly welcomed. Whilst the promotion and enforcement of these new rules will be important I hope that hauliers and HGV drivers will take a proactive approach and embrace these new safety standards before they come into effect in September."