London is banning dangerous trucks - and that's great news for cyclists. - Grist


Stuff that matters

London calling

London is banning dangerous trucks — and that’s great news for cyclists.

Trucks kill an outsized share of bikers and pedestrians in cities around the world — from New York City to Sydney. They are heavier, and therefore deadlier, than cars, and trucks often ply narrow city streets that aren’t meant to handle them. Now London is doing something about it.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that truck models will be graded based on how much visibility the driver has and how big their blind spots are. Then tens of thousands that have the lowest rankings will be banned from city streets starting in 2020.

Londoners should feel relieved, as trucks — or “lorries,” as John Oliver might call them — “are involved in more than half the cycling deaths on London’s roads, and more than a fifth of pedestrian deaths, despite making up only 4 percent of motor traffic,” according to The Guardian.

London has long been a leader in restricting vehicles: In 2003, it created a congestion charge for cars and trucks entering the city center during business hours. That cut down on traffic, pollution, and deadly accidents. Other cities, from Stockholm to Milan, have since adopted congestion pricing. Now let’s hope cities follow London’s lead again.