From autumn 2023, trucks circulating in parts of the Italian city of Milan are to be equipped with sensors that alert drivers to the presence of cyclists or pedestrians in close proximity, particularly in blind spot scenarios where risks are heightened, such as on turns. This decision stems from ongoing safety concerns in Milan, as a result of fatal accidents involving vulnerable road users over the past few months. According to a study by IULM University, cycling in Milan has declined by 20% in the past 6 months. This has prompted consideration of potential measures to reverse this trend.
The mandatory implementation of sensors and adherence of stickers on lorries applies to Milan’s “Area B”, which encompasses a substantial portion of the urban area. Area B is an extensive Low Emission Zone (LEZ) that prohibits entry to the most polluting vehicles. Trucks navigating these streets must prominently display a sticker at the eye level of cyclists and pedestrians to serve as a warning about a truck's blind spots. The compulsory sensors will be required from December 2024, although before then truck drivers do have to demonstrate that an order has been placed for these.
Commenting on this groundbreaking measure in Italy, Milan’s Councillor for Mobility Arianna Censi stated: "For the first time in Italy, Milan is introducing the mandatory installation of blind spot sensors for heavy vehicles to protect pedestrians, cyclists, and all vulnerable road users." Despite the city's commitment to transformative projects, such as modelling Milan on Paris as a 30km/h City, the shift towards a more active, sustainable mobility paradigm is being impeded by persistently high accident rates. In the course of 2023, Milan has witnessed various demonstrations by associations and citizens advocating for increased safety, including a flash mob in Piazzale Loreto in February 2023. While ambitious projects are ongoing, the current accident figures are hindering the smooth transition towards a genuinely sustainable mobility model.
Original article published by rivistabc.com on 4 October 2023.
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