On 01 September 2015 the Safer Lorry Scheme came into operation in London.  McMillan Williams Solicitors Limited specialist Solicitor and Qualified Transport Manager, Malcolm Haddow, explains what this means to operators of goods vehicles who enter the London Low Emission Zone.

As a result of the number of cyclist deaths being associated with trucks and lorries in excess of 3.5T, Transport for London have brought in the Safer Lorry Scheme to get all vehicles built after 01 January 1983 to have minimum levels of safety equipment fitted to them if they wish to operate within London.

There are two main requirements:

  • Side guards to be fitted to both sides of the vehicles of a type and size sufficient to prevent cyclists or pedestrians going underneath the vehicle in the event of a collision;
  • Mirrors of class V or VI (that are not less than 2 metres from the ground regardless of adjustment) to give drivers a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around their vehicle.

Most modern vehicles may already be compliant, or may require minimum modifications to make them compliant.  The scheme has been predominately aimed at bringing older vehicles up to modern standards as well as those used in the construction industry since these typically lack the protection elements due to the type of work they are used for.

There are a number of exemptions to vehicles, whereby the ability to fit the modifications is not possible, or they are subject to special use, such as Fire Brigade or Ambulance.  It is anticipated that most goods vehicles will fall within the scope of the scheme and the need to comply is paramount to avoid financial, criminal and Traffic Commissioner sanctions

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Any vehicle being used in the London Low Emission Zone which falls within the scheme and is not compliant will be subject to an on the spot £50 penalty as well as up to £1,000 fine per offence at a Magistrates Court.  There is also an intention to report the owners of non-compliant vehicles to the Traffic Commissioner for England & Wales for possible further sanctions.

How McMillan Williams Solicitors Limited can help

McMillan Williams Solicitors Limited have a great deal of experience assisting transport companies with a variety of matters.  We can typically help with:

  • Representation before the Traffic Commissioner for England & Wales at Public Inquiries
  • Representation at Magistrates Court on driver’s hours offences
  • Assisting those forming a Transport Company
  • Assisting those Transport Companies that are struggling
  • Assisting Transport Companies with debt collection and contract disputes
  • Assisting Transport Companies with drafting contracts or terms and conditions

Our specialist solicitors recognise the need to provide pro-active, accurate and fast advice, we know that the regulations around the use of freight transport vehicles can be a minefield and McMillan Williams Solicitors Limited have the ability to provide you with the assistance you need.

At McMillan Williams Solicitors Limited we have a team of solicitors dedicated to helping YOUR transport business, so whether you have issues with drivers hours, the new Safer Lorry Scheme or have been summoned to a Public Inquiry, we can assist on tel: 0203 551 8500 or you can email us at enquiries@mwsolicitors.co.uk.

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