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Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimate she has made of the number of lorries which will be required to comply with European legislation on the retro-fitting of safety mirrors; and how many lorries will be exempt because they were registered before 2000; (201820)

(2) for what reasons the Government do not plan to require older lorries with suitable cabs to have additional safety mirrors fitted;

(3) what the Government's timetable is to implement European legislation on retro-fitting of safety mirrors to lorries registered in the UK before 2000 in order to meet the deadline of March 2009 stipulated in the relevant Directive.

There are approximately 419,000 currently registered goods vehicles and 161,000 of these are exempt from the retro-fit requirement because the cab-height is too low for the mirrors to be installed. Around 157,000 vehicles will be upgraded by the retro-fit requirement and the remaining 100,000 are exempt because they were registered prior to 2000.

The Council of Ministers considered an earlier introduction date than 1 January 2000 for the new requirements but concluded that the cost of converting older vehicles would be disproportionate to their remaining life. The Government are therefore implementing the European directive for vehicles registered from this date.

We are in the process of transposing, the retro-fit directive for existing heavy goods vehicles. This will be enforced from 31 March 2009.