Release Date: 21 December 2007
Release ID: 1252
The Department for Transport has announced that, throughout December, it will be handing out 4,000 of the revolutionary ‘Fresnel lenses’ free to Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers using Harwich International Port.
Fresnel Lenses, designed to reduce the number of ‘sideswiping’ accidents at roundabouts, aid left-hand drive vehicles by reducing their ‘blind spot’ and helping them to see cars travelling on their inside.
During the Winter of 2006/2007, 40,000 Fresnel lenses were distributed to HGV drivers travelling through Dover. The trial was conducted by the Highways Agency, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and the Immigration Service. Early figures released by the Department for Transport indicate that this has reduced the number of ‘sideswipe’ incidents in the South East from 23 per week to 11.
Derek Turner, the Highways Agency’s Director of Traffic Operations, said:
“These lenses are placed on the passenger-side window, and give the driver a greater view of overtaking vehicles. The early indications are that these have a benefit in reducing ‘sideswiping’ incidents, and we are looking at distributing further lenses at other ports in England.”
Chris Lewis, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, owners of Harwich International Port, commented:
“The increase in goods coming from the Continent has increased the amount of left-hand drive lorries on our roads, and subsequently the amount of ‘sideswiping’ accidents. Harwich International is pleased to be chosen as the next port to receive a batch of free Fresnel lenses for distribution to drivers. We are committed to working with the relevant agencies to ensure that both cars and visiting lorry drivers are safe on our roads.”
The Highways Agency, working in partnership with VOSA, has scooped a prestigious ‘Prince Michael Road Safety Award’ for its campaign to reduce unplanned vehicle delays by minimising the number of accidents involving HGVs.
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