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Safer lorries in London : identifying the casualties associated with side guard rails and mirror exemptions. Report prepared for Tranport for London TfL, Delivery Planning - Road Safety, Surface Strategy and Planning.
20141504 ST [electronic version only]
Robinson, R. & Cuerden, R.
Crowthorne, Berkshire, Transport Research Laboratory TRL, 2014, 59 p., 13 ref.; Published Project Report ; PPR 683 - ISSN 0968-4093 / ISBN 978-1-910377-14-7

Samenvatting Lorries weighing more than 3.5 tonnes that are sold and used in Europe must meet minimum legislative safety requirements and these standards have evolved over time. However, certain lorry types are exempt from meeting the side guard and external field of view mirror requirements. This study has used a number of data sources to identify and investigate the number of pedal cycle and pedestrian casualties in London that were involved in collisions with lorries without certain items of safety equipment installed. The main objectives of the study were to: • Identify the number of vehicles that currently do not have class V and class VI mirrors and the number of vehicles exempt from the fitment of side guards. • Identify the number of collisions involving cyclists and pedestrians with these vehicles. • Identify the possible safety benefits of ending exemptions to the fitment of side guards and to retro-fit class V and class VI mirrors to all Lorries in London. Further analysis has also considered the possible benefits of fitting smoother, improved side guards or alternative technologies to these vehicles. Mirrors are designed to prevent collisions from occurring by improving the drivers' field of view and reducing blind spots. Class V mirrors increase the field of view on the near side (passenger side) of the cab and Class VI mirrors increase the field of view available to the driver immediately in front of the cab. Side guards are typically lightweight structures that are intended to fill the gap between the front and rear axles of goods vehicles with a gross vehicle weight greater than 3.5 tonnes. They are intended to reduce injury severity by preventing pedestrians and cyclists from being run-over by the rear wheels of the vehicle. They can consist of rails, panels, items of lorry equipment or a combination of these, but the lower surface must be at most 550mm from the ground. The groups of vehicles without these items of safety equipment as analysed in this report are: • Class V mirrors are not present on pre 2000 registered vehicles. • Class VI mirrors are not present on pre 2007 registered vehicles. • Exempt from side guard fitment if the vehicle body type was Tipper, Refuse disposal, Skip loader, Concrete mixer. Analysis of London's Low Emission Zone monitoring camera data showed that the population of vehicles operating in London is considerably younger than the national fleet. This sample indicated that 10% of lorries operating in London are exempt from fitting side guards, 30% are not fitted with class VI mirrors and 5% are not fitted with class V mirrors. DVLA registration data and DVLA taxation data indicate that between 4,885 and 14,894 vehicles are registered in London and the South East that are exempt from side guards. This estimate has not been able to identify how many vehicles may have installed side guards even though they are not required to do so. There could also be between 19,423 and 37,476 vehicles that do not have class VI mirrors installed; and between 2,625 to 6,984 that do not have class V mirrors installed. Data for all collisions involving lorries in London between 2008 and 2012 that resulted in a fatal or serious injury to a pedal cyclist or pedestrian were supplied by TfL. The collision data included descriptions of vehicle type, vehicle manoeuvres and impact points and this allowed collisions to be grouped by common characteristics or features of the collision that were pertinent to the different types of safety equipment. The data was analysed to identify the population of casualties that could be affected by each of the options defined below. The effectiveness of the class V and class VI mirrors are reliant upon driver behaviour as the mirrors must be correctly positioned and used by the driver. The effectiveness of side guards is linked to the exact impact location on the side of the vehicle and the specific mechanics of the collision. Information about the effectiveness of each of the options was taken from previous research and applied to the populations identified in the collision data. The specific casualty reduction options considered in the study are: • Option 1: Mirror scenario 1; all lorries not currently required to be fitted with class VI mirrors will be required to install such mirrors. • Option 2: Mirror scenario 2; all lorries not currently required to fit either class V or VI mirrors will install both types. • Option 3: Side guards scenario 1; lorries which are exempt from fitting side guards will be required to retro-fit basic side guards. • Option 4: Side guards scenario 2; all lorries to be fitted with improved side guards. For the analysis it is assumed that these will be flat panel side guards with the same strength and ground clearance requirements as current side guards. Additional benefits could be achieved by reducing the ground clearance requirement and these have also been considered (as an additional Option 4+, where this includes left turn collisions too). • Option 5: Possible future countermeasures. This option considers other potential technologies/vehicle designs that are currently under development. Table 1 summarises the estimated number of casualties that could be affected in a five year period by each of the options described, based on the type of collision and effectiveness identified from the literature. (Author/publisher)
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