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Vice-President and Commissioner for Transport
Safer and More Environmental Lorries
Statement on "Safer and More Environmental Lorries" at the EC Midday briefing /Brussels
15 April 2013
We all know that cycling is good for your health and good for the environment.
But being a cyclist next to a big lorry at a road junction can be very dangerous. When he turns right (or left in the UK) he might not see you.
That's while better sideways visibility is one of the elements of our new rules for safe and green lorries.
A brick is about the least aerodynamic object you can imagine. And so we are going to improve the shape of the lorries on our roads.
- It will make road transport cleaner and safer.
- It will reduce haulier's fuel bills by as much as 10%
- And it will give European manufactures a head start in designing the greener trucks that the global market will demand in the future.
In more detail,
Lorries have can have a rounded cabin at the front and aerodynamic flaps at the back.
In financial terms that will save 5,000 Euros a year in fuel costs for a typical long distance lorry covering 100,000 Km.
In environmental terms, it will save more than 7.8 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
In human terms it will help to save the lives of 300-500 pedestrians and cyclists each year.
European lorry manufactures are leaders in the world market. Together with the road freight transport companies, they employ more than 6 million people. The sector is a major investor in research and development. There are 6.5 million lorries on Europe's roads. At least one million regularly travel long distance and could take advantage of these new measures for aerodynamic reasons. That will support European job creation and economic growth. But all vehicles can benefit from the new measures from a safety point of view.
Finally, there's good news for the state of our roads. The proposals include high tech weighing systems which will be more consistently applied from country to country. And fewer overweight lorries means few potholes for us all to drive into.