Many people tend to see the world in a Manichean way. You’ve got the good guys and the bad guys. That’s as true within the environmental movement as anywhere else. So it is perhaps surprising to see that many environmentalists work together with unusual allies. For example, when it comes to car CO2 standards environmentalists and car drivers have the same interest; cleaner, more efficient cars are good for drivers’ pockets and for the climate. That makes the case for them almost irresistible.
Redesigning lorry cabs to reduce blind spots could save hundreds of cyclists’ and pedestrians’ lives every year, according to a new study by a design research team. It found a ‘direct vision’ lorry concept would increase the driver’s field of view in front and to the sides of the lorry by 50% compared to today’s lorries.
The Danish government has asked EU leaders to consider including transport in the emissions trading system (ETS) when they discuss climate and energy targets at a European Council later this month. Campaigners say such a move would actually be counterproductive to reducing emissions in the sector and do nothing to strengthen the ETS.
Transport & Environment contributed to a European Commission expert group considering the appropriate technical requirements if the maximum length of goods vehicles were to be increased to permit safer and more aerodynamic designs. T&E commissioned this report by Apollo Vehicle Safety to assess: the extent to which the Front Underrun Protection Regulation (UNECE R93) constrains the maximum length of cabs; what the implications would be if it needed amendment; and whether alternative regulatory approaches could allow a length increase without amending R93 or compromising safety.
An 80cm longer cab with a rounded nose, smaller dashboard, expanded glazed areas and a slightly lower driver position could drastically reduce fatal blind spots  around the lorry cab, a new study by the Loughborough Design School  reveals. The ‘Direct Vision’ lorry concept would increase the driver’s field of view in front and to the sides of the lorry by 50% compared to today’s lorry designs and could save hundreds of cyclists’ and pedestrians’ lives.
Lorries are involved in 4,200 fatal accidents in Europe every year. Many of the fatalities are vulnerable road users such as cyclists or pedestrians. Poor driver vision and lorry blind spots are a major cause of accidents. Unlike passenger cars, there are no direct vision requirements for lorries and regulators have instead focused on mirrors to reduce blind spots.
The EU is currently discussing its climate and energy policy for 2030. As part of these discussions German carmakers have been advocating the inclusion of road transport emissions in the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). Some countries like Denmark also support the idea, although for different reasons. This briefing explains why transport’s inclusion in the ETS would delay emissions reductions in transport, undermine more effective climate policies for transport, and weaken the ETS and increase costs.
The European Commission has proposed to allow lorry makers to produce slightly longer cabs on the condition that they are shown to be safer and more aerodynamic. Existing lorry cab designs are dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists because of their flat front and many blind spots. The Commission refrained from setting a specific length limit and wants to define this through comitology (meetings with member states and the Commission). This T&E note looks at the different length options for safer lorries.
Measures that limit the movement of cars in urban areas actually attract public support – if they are understood.
The question of how to tax transit traffic fairly under EU rules is likely to come to the fore after the German transport minister announced a new road toll aimed at non-German vehicles driving on German roads.