TfL figures obtained by Freightinthecity show that compliance with the London Safer Lorry Scheme (SLS) have remained consistently high since its launch in autumn 2015.
In the period where data is available – from September 2015 to March 2017 – out of 25,325 HGVs stopped, only 2.1% (531) were found to be in breach of the SLS requirements.
The SLS requires all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with sideguards and close-proximity mirrors (Class V and Class IV) in a bid to improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians on the capital’s busy roads.
It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, across the entire London Low Emission Zone and is enforced by the police, the DVSA and the Industrial HGV Taskforce through intelligence-led, predominantly targeted checks.
Those operators found flouting the rules face £50 fixed penalties or up to £1,000 at a magistrates’ court. They will also be flagged up to their regional traffic commissioner for investigation.
Steve Burton, director of enforcement and on-street operations at TfL, said: “We worked closely with the freight industry before we launched the Safer Lorry Scheme and as a result the vast majority of operators made sure they complied before it began.
“We will continue to use our targeted enforcement approach against the industry’s irresponsible minority to reduce road danger on London’s roads for all.”
In March last year, the government’s Transport Committee recommended that the impact of the SLS was explored with a view to rolling such a scheme out across the whole of the UK.
The industry is also awaiting a decision from TfL’s consultation into the introduction of a Direct Vision Standard in the capital, which would rate lorries from zero to five on the basis of how much a driver can see from their cab.
Zero-rate trucks are expected to be banned from London by 2020.