How to stop HGVs killing people
How do we stop HGVs serving the construction industry killing people on Welsh streets? Sign up to CLOCS
Whilst safety within the construction site hoardings has improved – every year, beyond the hoardings, hundreds of pedestrians and cyclists are being killed or seriously injured in collisions with construction HGVs. CLOCS, the Construction Logistics and Communities Safety, is for planners, construction clients, principal contractors and their fleet operations who want to ensure the safest construction vehicle journeys.
518 people were killed or seriously injured in collisions involving HGVs from all sectors on GB roads in 2017 – that's two every working day. 121 of those people died within 30 days of the collision. At £2m average insurance pay-out for survivors with serious injuries, the financial cost is huge – but dwarfed by the trauma to the casualty, family, driver and company involved.
Wales, just like every UK region and nation, needs to take action to protect its businesses and communities from potential harm from construction vehicle journeys – particularly as the Welsh Government is committed to the Active Travel Act to improve public health, air quality, carbon emissions and congestion particularly in urban areas. As more people walk and cycle in their daily routine, and more construction vehicle journeys are needed to deliver the housing and infrastructure our communities need, more people will be killed or seriously injured unless positive action is taken by planners, construction clients, principal contractors and their fleet operations to prevent harm.
Since the launch of the CLOCS Standard in December 2013, the construction industry has taken ownership of work-related road risk beyond legal requirements. Over 350 construction clients, principal contractors and fleet operators are now CLOCS Champions, demonstrating their CSR credentials and publicly committed to implement and promote the national CLOCS Standard by signing a Memorandum of Understanding and co-investing £600 to help drive widespread awareness and adoption, best practice guidance, and constructive monitoring.
Every Welsh planning authority should follow RTPI's guidance to require Construction Logistics Plans before consent. Every construction client should follow SEWSCAP, the Welsh construction framework and other English frameworks to require projects procured through them to meet the national CLOCS Standard. Principal contractors need to ensure their site conditions and commercial conditions enable their fleet operators to service their sites safely and efficiently, and to address serious HGV collisions with the same seriousness as they do on site injuries and deaths.
Wales should follow Manchester and London in making a public commitment and co-invest to accelerate harm reduction. In a formal launch on Friday 18th October 2019, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, announced a CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Community Safety) strategy for the city, echoing London's strategy and success.
Cardiff should be next, but why not all of Wales? None of it is hard and all of it makes sense and all of it is best practice. Contractors, hauliers, HGV operators can all become CLOCS champions. When sites meet the CLOCS Standard by having the right ground conditions, last mile routing and trained gate teams to ensure the HGVs have the right safety equipment, qualified drivers and run by good companies that report, investigate and prevent collisions, then collisions and complaints halve. Some London councils reported 47% within two years of requiring CLOCS – that would save 250 lives every year just by adopting good industry practice.
CEWales is backing CLOCS. To find out more about CLOCS and what benefits it provides a planning authority, construction client, principal contractor and fleet operators, go to www.CLOCS.org.uk or read the 2-page executive summary of the national CLOCS Standard: https://www.clocs.org.uk/page/clocs-standard