Safe In The Saddle
29 June 2015
Some of London’s cyclists have learned something that may save their lives, following a safety demonstration with a difference.
The joint Crossrail and Costain Skanska (CSJV) event at Crossrail C360 in Mile End, east London, highlighted the dangers of getting too close to trucks and the limited visibility HGV drivers have around their vehicles.
The Exchanging Places event brought together police, cycling safety specialists and haulage companies. Commuting cyclists were invited to break their journeys for a few minutes for a better appreciation of the difficulties facing HGV drivers.
Construction Logistics & Cycle Safety literature was available, and cyclists were able to meet truck drivers and sit in a truck cab, to better understand the view an HGV driver has.
Police were on hand to provide security registration for bicycles, together with an inspection from cycle safety group havebike.
Visitors also received booklets for children on road safety and a CSJV branded water bottle, reflective wrist band and bicycle light.
“Exchanging Places is an initiative that has been put together and promoted by Crossrail,” explained CSJV Community Relations Manager, Martin Griffiths. “Crossrail has a minimum compliance checklist that any vehicles going on to its sites have to meet.
“The lorries we had for the Exchanging Places day obviously fulfilled those criteria. But when members of the public are sitting in the cab looking at the mirrors and listening to the proximity sensor going off [which alerts drivers to the presence of cyclists in their blind spots] they are told very clearly ‘Not all lorries are like this.’”
Cyclists were struck by the problems faced by truck drivers from their driving positions, he said, with one woman en route to work at Hackney council offices so impressed that she vowed to engage Exchanging Places in her borough to highlight road safety to her colleagues.
CSJV staff who attended the event felt it was very worthwhile as a means of improving awareness around safety for cyclists, added Martin.
“To me, it was a major and significant activity that we at C360 could again provide to highlight Crossrail’s Stepping Up work safety initiative.”
Costain Communications Department