Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-05-09-Speech-3-118"

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". – Mr President, first of all, I want to congratulate the rapporteur, Paolo Costa, on his excellent and timely work on this compromise package that he has managed to achieve. His work will ensure the most rapid adoption of this proposal and that is important, because the sooner it is put in place, the more lives will be saved. This is an example of how we can improve legislation already in place. All new HGVs must be fitted with blind-spot mirrors from 1 January of this year, but this proposal goes further and will ensure that all HGVs registered before 1 January 2000 will have to comply with the same regulation no later than 31 March 2009. Obviously, I would have preferred it if this regulation applied to all heavy goods vehicles on European roads but, by the time it comes into force, it will cover all heavy goods vehicles that are nine years old or older. That represents a large percentage of those vehicles on the roads and it will increase as each year goes by. Equally, I would have preferred it if class 6 mirrors were included, but I believe that Commissioner Barrot has made a commitment to study further the case for the retrofitting of class 6 mirrors – at least that is what the Irish Permanent Representation tells me. Of course it is up to any individual country to enforce higher standards and any individual lorry driver or transport company can voluntarily fit these mirrors to their HGVs right now, as we speak. Indeed, as individual MEPs, I think we can try to influence haulage associations in our own home countries to retrofit their fleets as soon as possible. In the final analysis, no lorry driver wants to be involved in an accident, especially one that is avoidable. Finally, on a personal level, I am especially pleased with this report as two years ago I put down an amendment to the Vatanen report on road safety to ask for the retrofitting of these mirrors and have continuously lobbied transport ministers, road haulage associations and the Commission to bring forward this proposal. As I said earlier, this is good legislation because it will significantly cut down on injuries to cyclists and pedestrians caused by HGVs and it will save hundreds of lives each year."@en1

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