My response to the FTA statement;
As an HGV driver I understand where the FTA are coming from but their timing and the content of their press release could not have been poorer.
There are several stretches of the truth in the FTA press release, such as 'FTA stated that HGV operators are already doing a lot to improve safety'. NO, SOME maybe, most are not. Take training as an FTA cited example. All HGV and PCV drivers now have to undergo 35 hours of training every 5 years. This is law, what isn't law is the content of this training. In fact, as long as the correct training hours are completed, it can be the same course over and over!
So what does the haulage industry decide to train their drivers? Her is an example list;http://www.jaupt.org.uk/Centre+and+Cour ... =&LGV=true
See any vulnerable road user courses there? Of course not, they exist but you will have to search hard to find them. They are of no profit to the haulage industry.
So yes, the FTA members do undertake training, but not often to the benefit of cyclists. Unless the government make such modules compulsory within the DCPC, this is unlikely to change.
Equipment, actually I agree on some of the FTAs points here. If we have disjointed standards, it is going to be a mish mash. Though it must be said that historically TfL has led the way in improvements in HGV legislation in this country. It is expensive to enter London with a truck which doesn't meet higher emissions standards for example. HGVs do NOT currently have blind spots! It is possible to see all of the danger areas which are commonly outlined IF the driver looks. More mirrors/monitors etc. will not help. The problem is that drivers fail to look in an area where a cyclists might be - back to 'cycle awareness' training.
At present tipper vehicles are exempt from side skirts, there is a good reason for this but I believe that a workable solution could be easily found. This step alone would save lives.
Cyclist of course should (and do) take responsibility for their own safety. None of us collide with a vehicle by choice. I personally rarely travel up the inside of a large vehicle and often hang back rather than follow the pack. This does not take away responsibility from drivers who should never undertake any maneuver without ensuring that there is no conflict with other road users.
In my view, compulsory 'cycle awareness' training would reduce the number of these collisions substantially. So FTA, if you really want to solve this problem......