NLA asks for safer, cleaner vehicles now
“Safer, cleaner lorries now”
In the coming months, the European Union has a once in a generation opportunity to radically change the design of lorries – and make them safer, cleaner and cheaper to run. The European Commission proposal to review the lorry dimensions rules opens the door for redesigned lorry cabs with a fuel-saving aerodynamic front and rear without reducing load capacity. Redesigned lorries would not only be cleaner and more comfortable for drivers, but also much safer, saving hundreds of lives every year.
These changes are good for the wider economy. Lower CO2 emissions translate into much-needed fuel savings and reduce our dependence on oil. Moreover, better safety means lives will be saved and insurance premiums for hauliers would potentially be lower. Safer, cleaner lorries are an opportunity that must not be missed.
But the Commission proposal must be improved before it’s adopted. We call upon the European Parliament and the Member States to support the following changes:
- Swiftly adopt the new framework enabling safer and cleaner lorry design, as well as the implementing regulation needed so that safer, cleaner lorries are on European roads by 2020. Every year of delay means higher emissions, higher fuel bills and avoidable road deaths and severe injuries.
- Put lorry safety at the heart of the new law and ensure new lorry design is safer by requiring:
i. Better direct vision and fewer blind spots at the front, side and rear;
ii. A rounded, deflective front that avoids overruns and deflects pedestrians, cyclists and cars in case of frontal collisions;
iii. A crumple zone to reduce impacts of lorry-to-car crashes;
iv. Improved front, side and rear underrun protection for other road users.
- Improve the driver’s cabin to ensure better safety and comfort of professional drivers
- Reject any calls for a moratorium on better lorry design. lorry makers must be given the chance to redesign their cabs as soon as the law is enacted and must be allowed to freely compete under the new rules.
We believe these four points are essential if we want to make the most of the opportunity offered by lorry redesign and maximise the benefits for Europe’s economy, its environment and its citizens. Europe needs safer, cleaner lorries and it needs them now.
 Review of Directive 96/53: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/kallas/headlines/news/2013/04/doc/com(2013)195_en.pdf