Lorries in London are trialling new safety equipment as part of a pilot scheme aimed at cutting the number of cyclist deaths on the capital’s roads.

The safety equipment includes very low side guards, sensors and low windows. If the pilot scheme is successful then the implementation of better safety equipment for HGVs could be made mandatory.

The current design of lorry cabs means that HGV drivers have limited visibility and extensive blind spots, making it more difficult to spot cyclists. Cyclists are also particularly at risk of being dragged under vehicles which lack side bars.

Over the past four years, HGVs have been involved in over half of London cyclist deaths, yet they only account for around 4% of traffic. In the first two months of 2015 alone, four cyclists were killed by lorries in London.

Head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors, Tom Jones said: “Lorries account for a disproportionately high number of cyclist deaths in London, and that demands immediate action.

“The safety add-ons currently being trialled in London are simple measures which could have been tested and introduced a long time ago, potentially preventing a number of cyclist deaths.

“While it is positive to hear that certain companies are investing in improving the safety of their vehicles, the government cannot, yet again, rely on voluntary action by private companies.

“All our experience as litigators is that employers will talk a good talk but it is only when they face real sanctions that they really get their act together. The government needs to introduce legislation to make the introduction of improved safety equipment mandatory, while also investing financially in improvements to road infrastructure to help drive down the needless and tragic loss of life on London’s roads.”