The decision to end licensing restrictions on running longer semi-trailers (LSTs) should prompt hauliers to invest in increased safety technology, according to Brigade Electronics.

The government announced earlier this month it was introducing legislation to permit longer lorries up to 18.55 metres following an 11-year road trial.

Emily Hardy, marketing manager at Brigade Electronics, said: “To Brigade, the continuing number of deaths involving HGVs and vulnerable road users is simply shocking.

“As we see larger lorries hitting the UK’s streets, fleet operators must take a fresh look at their camera and sensor technology.

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“Older iterations of sensors were less intelligent and could create false alerts arising from the articulation of the trailer, so it was not practical to have the technology fitted to them.”

The decision to allow LSTs on the roads was welcomed by the haulage industry, but the Campaign for Better Transport (CfBT) described it as “a deeply retrograde step” and warned people’s safety was being put at risk.

Norman Baker, CfBT director of external affairs said: “There is already a significant problem with lorries causing damage to pavements, street furniture and parked cars, not to mention the danger to other road users and pedestrians.

“Rather than longer, heavier lorries the government should be investing in rail freight as a safer, cleaner and more efficient alternative with just one freight train capable of removing up to 129 lorries from our roads.”