Danger from HGVs is often seen as a London-only issue and an urban-only issue but this is not the case. There are more deaths of pedestrians and cyclists across the country than in London. Rural areas provide their own hazards such as quarry, timer and construction operations, which introduce significant numbers of HGVs onto narrow and winding country lanes.
Lichfield, Nairn, Exeter, Bournemouth, Caernarfon, Dunstable, Wakefield, Ballynahinch, Bath – just ten of the many locations across the length and breadth of the UK and Northern Ireland where pedestrians and cyclists have been killed or seriously injured after being involved in a collision with an HGV since January 2015. There is a risk to all of us from HGVs, with consistently more than twice as many pedestrians killed by HGVs than cyclists.
Rural as well as urban
On rural roads,as well as in towns and cities outside London, the risk from HGVs to vulnerable road users is significant. Deaths are disproportionately likely to occur on rural roads: in 2013, these roads carried 53 per cent of traffic, but accounted for around two-thirds of road deaths.
Mile-for-mile, the risk of death on rural roads is around 1.7 times that on urban roads. Around 2 per cent of reported crashes on rural roads are fatal, compared to less than 1 per cent in urban areas.
On rural roads, around 45% of those killed or seriously injured in collisions are vulnerable road users. In addition, an HGV is five times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision on a minor road than other traffic.
CLOCS is a national standard to manage work related road risk (WRRR) of construction vehicles yet uptake and implementation outside London has been far lower than within the capital.
Our long-term plan to improve awareness and adoption of preventative measures and standards such as CLOCS and FORS includes action to:
- Collate a continuous and consistent live record of those individuals killed or seriously injured in collisions with HGVs across the country in order to show the extent and continuing regularity of the problem, to hit home the reason for the campaign, and to remember those who will never come home.
- Reach out to those bereaved and affected by crashes to reassure them that their loved one has not died in vain and to let them know of the work we are doing and the latest improvements in industry, policy and justice systems to prevent further similar deaths.
- Take messages on the CLOCS standard and FORS scheme and examples of good practice and direct vision vehicles to pedestrian groups, cycling groups and communities affected by high levels of construction traffic and give them tools to call for adoption of the standard in their regions.
- Raise awareness of the CLOCS standard and FORS scheme and best practice amongst industry and non-industry audiences in key cities: Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Cambridge, Newcastle, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast.
- Build relationships with local authorities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to develop a positive approach to reducing HGV danger for more vulnerable road users through procurement processes, planning permissions and management of own fleet and service delivery operations.
- Communicate with public bodies and other organisations working in and influencing construction to develop a positive approach to reducing HGV danger for more vulnerable road users through consideration of the CLOCS standard in investment and procurement decisions.
- Collate and present information on the tangible and technical solutions in relation to driver training, vehicle technology, cab design and fleet operations in order to facilitate tangible actions to reduce HGV danger to vulnerable road users.