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Legal expert urges companies to sign up to road safety scheme
A specialist in road collision injuries has urged companies across the UK to sign up to a new initiative from road safety charity Brake.
Joanna Bailey, a legal expert who for many years has represented victims injured in serious road collisions, said the new voluntary code of practice - "Reflect" - could help to save hundreds of lives.
"The most recent road casualty statistics show that the number of fatal collisions involving HGVs remains highly disproportionate," said Joanna, a partner with Fentons Solicitors LLP. "There were 368 fatalities in collisions involving HGVs in 2008. This equates to 15% of all road casualties in the UK that year. My concern is that large goods vehicles account for just 1.5% of registered vehicles and 5.6% of UK road traffic. Clearly, more care needs to be taken to reduce these devastating numbers and to ensure safety on our roads."
Joanna said fitting retro-reflective markings along the side and rear of HGVs has been proven to be an effective means of reducing the number of accidents involving these vehicles. "Although the Government originally indicated the markings would become mandatory for all newly-registered HGVs from October 2009, the economic climate led to that rule being postponed until July next year," she said.
"The safety merits of the markings are clear, and there is nothing to stop hauliers voluntarily fitting them now. Fitting them only to newly registered vehicles will prevent a significant number of road fatalities each year, so it stands to reason that fitting them voluntarily across a vehicle fleet now could save many more lives," she said.
"These markings will also benefit hauliers. Fitting the markings will help to significantly reduce the number of collisions involving HGVs, minimising expenses, lost hours and loss of vehicles as well as improving safety for all road users," she said.
For more information about the scheme, view the code of practice at http://www.brake.org.uk/Sites/brake/Files/application/pdf/038ee18f-52f9-4b17-ba53-5511c2cbb2b7.pdf
How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims for victims of road traffic collisions.
If you think that you have a case or require further information contact Fentons on 0800 0191 297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.
SOURCE - Brake
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