New Rules Drag Lorries Into 21st Century

Lorries To Be More Environmentally Friendly

The European Commission has proposed new rules that would create a generation of lorries with superior environmental and safety credentials. But how? Today's lorries – like most modern vehicles - must be built within parameters, e.g. length of cabin. However, the current requirements were set thirty years ago when environmental efficiency and road safety were less prominent issues. The new rules would therefore enable manufacturers to build lorries that satisfy the needs of twenty-first century motorists. As such, their cabins would be longer to create space for curvaceous fronts rather than the current flat concepts. Furthermore, aerodynamic flaps could be fitted to the rears of trailers without breaching length requirements. The European Commission claims these rules would reduce the running costs of typical long-distance lorries over 100,000km by €5,000. These would also produce 7 to 10% less greenhouse gas than current equivalents.

European Transport Commissioner Comments

European Commission Vice-President and Transport Commissioner, Siim Kallas, said: “a brick is the least aerodynamic shape you can imagine - that's why we need to improve the shape of the lorries on our roads”. He continued: “These changes make road transport cleaner and safer. They will reduce hauliers' fuel bills and give European manufacturers a head-start in designing the truck of the future - a greener truck for the global market.”

New Lorries To Improve Road Safety

The proposed rules would make lorries safer too. Why? Because their curved noses – as well as improving fuel efficiency and cutting carbon emissions - would incorporate crumple zones to disperse energy during collisions. These would benefit both lorry drivers and those within the smaller vehicles they collide with. Pedestrians and cyclists should benefit too. As such, those struck by lorries with curved fronts would have a reasonable chance of being brushed to the side away from the vehicles. Those hit by today's lorries, in contrast, have a higher probability of being thrown backwards then driven over. The new rules would also give drivers a better view of the road courtesy of larger windscreens. These steps might significantly reduce lorry-related fatalities/injuries.

Road Safety Expert Comments

The European Federation of Road Traffic Victims President, Jeannot Mersch, said: “lorries have an infamous reputation when it comes to road safety, and rightly so. Currently, a frontal crash with a lorry is like hitting a brick wall”. The President added: “Design changes to the nose of the lorry cab will help to reduce severe injuries and save hundreds of lives each year. These improvements should be mandated for all lorries as soon as possible.”

Well it won't stop lorry drivers thinking they own the roads and pulling out when they feel like and speeding along making life hell for a car driver. They should have enforced speed limits and have to stay in the left-hand lane on motorways.

a typical comment from a car driver trucks have speed limiters 56 mph max 99% of food stuffs are moved by road so if all the trucks where kept in the left hand lane on motorways there deliveries would be late then more moaning i don't think fancy wings and curved cabs will make much difference just another EU money spinner i have had 46 years driving a truck now retired

i think car drivers should go out with a truck driver. and, psv, driver. and then a and then with a fast moving bike then they no a bout driving

Speeding along making life hell for a car drivers i always wondered what i did at work. WE cant speed on motorways because of speed limiters and some companies impose their own lower limit. I never pull out without indicating. And a good driver car and lorry should read the road and the situation ahead and be prepared. ie if you see a lorry close to the vehicle in front he's probably going to pull out to overtake so just move over. And let us get on with our jobs.

Interesting comment I suggest you read the Highway Code and you will find there is an enforced speed limit for all types of vehicle because I am sure you have never broke the speed limit. And no I am not a HGV driver.

Just shows how stupid car drivers are on motorways, stick in the middle lane doing 50 mph and when you try to over take then they will not move over to the inside lane as the legally should, then they speed up to stop you overtaking, so just sit there at 50 and moan when you undertake them because they will not move over, and to top it all you have all the idiots who overtake you just before a junction then put there breaks on, or leave it late and cut you up as you are passing the junction and there are many more examples of idiot car drivers.

Surely longer cabs will mean longer lorries or shorter load decks/trailers. Longer lorries would not be welcome on British roads.

We already have longer lorries on the roads at this time and I don't suppose anybody's noticed.I do think the safety thing would be good as the comment states our lorries are flat fronted not good for aerodynamics, and a curved front would push things out of the way just like the old cow catchers on trains of yonder years

Argument had before? There is only one place for bulk regular and long distance heavy loads that is on an improved rail network which is extended to give pre-Beeching accessibility. In UK we seem to be following the Marples Motorway dogma and era instead of providing objections to EU against continued use of EU LGV's on our restricted and largely non-motorway unsuitable road infrastructure. Nothing will save you from potential for serious injury if you are in your EU micro-box and are hit from any angle and speed by an EU juggernaut, despite so-called safety improvements.

I would endorse Toni B's comments wholeheartedly !

Strikes me you two are trying to put me out of a job. As for my juggernaut I'll do my best to avoid you but if you do the silly things that most car drivers do then i can't guarantee it

I respectfully suggest that Joanna Chaisson does not understand what LGV drivers have to tolerate. They are in fact the gentlemen drivers of the road and are an example to us all. In case you are wondering I am not an LGV driver but in fact a car driver. I have been driving for 35 years and do drive high annual mileages for a living , oh and I also have passed my advanced driving test. Idiot car drivers who complain about LGV drivers do not have a clue !!

I am not a truck driver, and like many regular motorway drivers I can see that the problem is not truck drivers but the laws trucks operate under, particually the law governing trucks to only 56mph, which causes the situation we have all seen when a truck with lets say 28 ton load tries to keep up speed by passing a slower truck pulling 35 ton, the minimal speed difference ensures that both trucks are side by side for miles, this is much more of an inconvenience to car drivers when it happens on a two lane road, or two lane motorway.So I would say to Joanna Chaisson truck drivers are not there to make your life hard they have an important job to do and they don't pull out when they feel like it, they pull out when they have to to maintain forward speed, so if you see a truck in front of you be prepared to use your indicator in good time, then using the mirror bring your speed up to that of any approaching vehicles signal your intentions, and then manoeuvre using the ample power of your car to accelerate briskly past the slower vehicles, not crawling past at a slow constant speed as some drivers do.

Strange how such a topic brings out the look how good I am fraternity and yes I have driven HGV's as they were and routinely covered 40k miles per year in over 46 years of non - "rep" driving. Environment and safety are key issues of the piece being considered, what do the public really think HS2 is for? Likely to free up 200 miles of existing West Coast Main Line for freight and slower trains perhaps with massive savings in energy usage, reduction in road accidents and associated paramedic and hospital costs let alone the human costs?

I think the important thing to really consider would not to focus as much on the style and aerodynamics of the rolling 14 wheeler. Would that really make them safer. IMHO the best way to reduce accidents would be to make it easier for lorry drivers to notice and visibly see the other vehicles around them. Possibly even a culture change to the attitude of some of those lorry drivers who without care for other road users and their own impatience cause accidents.please dont take it wrongly many of you jockeys of the cab are brilliant drivers and it does take a lot of skill and concentration but there are some who are just silly. Its those who are silly that give all you guys a reputation.

I am an HGV driver and have been for more years than I care to remember (more than 20). Before anu of you car drivers criticise HGV drivers, answer me this question honestly: When was the last time you read the Higway Code? and I do mean cover to cover and actually taken in the rules and what signs mean and in particular what the road markings mean (the white lines etc painted on the road) How many of you know that the broken white lines across a motorway slip road actually mean GIVE WAY, not pull out into any gap that you think you can fit into regardless of the 40 ton truck that can't brake in the distance you've just created!We don't set out to cause car drivers inconvenience but we often work 13 - 15 hours a day getting goods that you want/need to the shops and factories. take a moment out of your precious, oh so more important than anyone else's, life to see things from a different view.Take a few minutes to read the Highway Code and reflect on just how bad your driving is!