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MPA calls for greater commitment to VRU safety

Vulnerable road user

Mineral Products Association urges more public and private sector action on vulnerable road user safety

FOLLOWING recent tragic cyclist and pedestrian fatalities, the Mineral Products Association (MPA) has once again called for a greater public and private sector commitment to vulnerable road user safety. 

It says many in the construction supply chain have been working to improve the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users, and in recent years its own member companies and other organizations have invested and demonstrated their commitment to CLOCS, the ground-breaking road safety initiative from the construction industry.

CLOCS recognizes that all parts of industry have a key role to play in improving road safety. Suppliers and their hauliers should ensure drivers receive targeted training and fit HGVs with additional safety equipment beyond legal requirements.

Moreover, contractors should ensure delivery sites have good access and safe unloading facilities, and clients should make adherence to CLOCS a procurement requirement.

According to the MPA, the advantages of CLOCS are that it involves a wide range of stakeholders, is both practical and forward-looking, and provides a standard that can be used anywhere. No-one needs to design a new standard or procedure to minimize collisions between HGVs and vulnerable road users, CLOCS is the template and will evolve. 

Emphasizing the need for full construction industry commitment to CLOCS and road safety, MPA chief executive Nigel Jackson said: ‘If we want practical solutions for road safety, and particularly for the most vulnerable of road users, government should insist that all public sector construction contracts require suppliers to be CLOCS compliant.

‘Contractors and private sector construction clients, many of whom are clearly committed to on-site safety, should operate in the same manner outside the site gate, in accordance with CLOCS, and insist that their suppliers do too. There is a need for all major infrastructure developers responsible for spending significant sums of public money to be equally committed, not just some.’ 

Mr Jackson also called for a more positive industry approach to the London Mayor’s planned Direct Vision Standard (DVS), saying: ‘It’s absolutely clear that too many people are being killed and injured on the roads, particularly in London but also elsewhere.

‘Given that for every pedestrian killed there are another 11 seriously injured, and for every cyclist killed there are another 33 seriously injured, there are a lot of people narrowly escaping death every year due to the excellence of our emergency and medical services, and often sheer luck.’

Mr Jackson continued: ‘The London Mayor’s Direct Vision Standard aims to apply the positive experience of CLOCS to all HGVs operating in London and the initiative should be supported by everyone in the industry. Based on our experience of both CLOCS implementation and the London DVS preparation, there remains a disappointing lack of commitment in both the public and private sectors.

‘The CLOCS website (www.clocs.org.uk) shows the businesses and organizations who are committed and, by inference, those who are not. But commitment is only part of the story and action on the ground is key, and the supply chain as a whole needs to raise its game collectively if we are to avoid being judged by the worst offenders.’

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