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It could be the beginning of the end for brick-shaped lorry cabs...

Curved cabs could be on the way in.
Apr 16th 2014, 9:07 AM 18,796 48

CURVED CABS FOR lorries should be introduced in Ireland, because they’re more aerodynamic, and better for the environment.

That’s according to An Taisce, The National Trust for Ireland, which is asking Minister Varadkar to support ‘curved cabs’ for new lorries following a European a vote in the European Parliament yesterday.

The vote gives the green light to a design change for lorry cabs that An Taisce said “promises to save hundreds of lives and reduce fuel consumption and emissions”.

curved lorries Source: An Taisce

“The vote marks the beginning of the end for Europe’s brick-shaped lorry cabs, which are dangerous and inefficient”, said James Nix, policy director with An Taisce.

An Taisce has now written to Minister Varadkar asking him to support the campaign for safer lorries.

Nix said: “As well as saving lives, curving the cab of trucks will cut diesel consumption – reducing fuel bills and emissions”.

If the vote in the European Parliament vote is endorsed by Member States, it will grant lorry-makers more design space for the front end of the cab.

Curved cabs

An Taisce explained that the extra space is to allow the front of the cab to be ‘rounded’ or ‘curved’, making it safer and more aerodynamic.

The extra space also must be used to eliminate blind spots, add a crumple zone, and to make sure pedestrians and cyclists are not knocked underneath the wheels in a collision.

Parliament wants these life-saving features to become mandatory for all new lorries by 2022.

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Safety

Every year 15 per cent of all fatal collisions in Europe – around 4,200 deaths – involve lorries, said An Taisce.

It noted that a number of lorry-makers are opposing these life-saving improvements.

Some lorry-makers are lobbying for the new design to be prohibited until 2025 to stop more innovative competitors being the first to make better lorries.

Member states represented in the European Council will now negotiate with the Parliament on the implementation of safer lorries, and whether they should be mandatory or optional from 2022.

Nix said they hope that Minister Varadkar “will come down in favour of reform, and that Ireland will be a strong, progressive voice at the European level”.

Transport & Environment, a pan-European NGO, commissioned a report on the issue, which can be read here.

Read: Banned: Texting while driving now ‘completely prohibited’>

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Aoife Barry

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