Data released by Transport for London (TFL) this week shows that nearly three in four lorries stopped by police in London are unsafe or non-compliant.
The City of London Police Commercial Vehicle Unit, which was set up in May as part of efforts to improve road safety in relation to commercial vehicles, stopped 136 lorries in London of which 95 were non-compliant or unsafe.
TfL cited a number of issues with the vehicles, including a lack of insurance, driving with an unsafe load or tyres, failing to properly record driver hours or driving without the appropriate licence.
UK charity Sustrans’ deputy director for London described the findings as ‘shocking’.
This week, Ying Tao, a 26-year-old female cyclist, was killed by a heavy goods vehicle near Bank in London. Her death is the eighth cyclist fatality of 2015, seven of which have involved heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
Tom Jones, head of policy at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “These truly shocking statistics come in the same week that yet another cyclist has tragically lost their life on the city’s roads due to an HGV.
“These findings are worthy of the third world. Decent hauliers will be all too aware of the fly by nights who think it’s acceptable to cut corners and try and ‘get away with it’ when doing so places them if they are sole traders or their drivers if they have a workforce in danger let alone those they come across on the road.
"Calls for improved safety standards for HGV vehicles in cities have been made time and again, yet they are being overlooked by government.
“The safety of cyclists and other road users should be a real priority not an afterthought. That means we need to properly resource rigorous enforcement of existing standards and have urgent moves to revise HGV safety regulations or else we will continue to see this spate of needless and devastating cyclist deaths on London’s roads.”