Authorities in Hamburg have approved the installation of turning assistant systems in all heavy commercial vehicles and lorries after a successful a six-month pilot of three available systems. The assistant system comes amid rising numbers of fatal accidents involving lorries turning right and cyclists, according to statistics by Hamburg Ministry of the Interior and Sport. A total of 2,525 cyclists were involved in accidents in 2018 (February 2019) – a rise of almost 9 per cent over 2017.
Senate’s initiative for more safety
A tender for a corresponding framework agreement with the manufacturers of turn-off assistance systems, launched in late 2019, has been successfully completed. The aim is to equip all lorries trucks in Hamburg with the turn-off assistants. Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics, Transport and Innovation, said: “This will increase safety and can prevent further turning accidents. But let’s not fool ourselves: Hamburg is not an island, but an international logistics hub. We cannot tell other countries to use the turn-off assistant systems. That makes it all the more important that we move forward. As pioneers, we want to set a good example and thus encourage many other responsible parties to join us.”
Lorries weighing over 7.5 tons will be retrofitted with turn-off assistants by Hamburg’s authorities and public companies. Some municipal companies such as Stadtreinigung have already purchased new vehicles with turn-off assistant systems. The police and fire departments intend to start retrofitting existing vehicles in early 2020. Urban and public companies have around 2,000 lorries with a gross vehicle weight of over 3.5 tons, which will be gradually equipped with turn-off assist systems. In future, sales of vehicles with turn-off assistants will be mandatory.
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