At an Exchanging Places event hosted by the City of London on Tuesday 12 September, the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) and HGV manufacturer Dennis Eagle launched a new initiative to reduce the number of cyclists and pedestrians killed or seriously injured in collisions with lorries. Such collisions account for around half of all the cyclist deaths each year in the capital, with construction industry lorries the main vehicle type involved.
The new Lorry Safety Project, run by LCC, provides advice and support to lorry operators on reducing risks to people walking and cycling as well as advising people how to stay safe when cycling near lorries. The event was timed to occur the day before Cycle to Work Day, when thousands of Londoners are expected to try commuting by bike.
Tom Bogdanowicz, LCC’s road danger reduction expert, said: “Many more people will experience the pleasure and convenience of cycling to work tomorrow. Our new Lorry Safety Project provides simple and clear advice on how to stay safe when cycling near lorries during their commute. We are also highlighting how best practice in the industry can be rolled out and made even better to make our roads safer for everyone, such as through the CLOCS lorry safety procedures.”
Traditional advice to cyclists focuses on the dangers of overtaking a lorry in the narrow gap on the nearside when it may be turning left. However, Bogdanowicz focused on another risk that is often overlooked.
“People often think that a lorry moving to the right poses no risk and then cycle into the space created. They aren’t aware that the vehicle is actually making space to take a sharp left and find themselves heading straight into danger. With a few simple steps, cyclists can avoid this and other risks.”
LCC has long advocated that a type of lorry design that maximises the ability of drivers to see people around them should be adopted as standard, and has won a promise from Mayor Sadiq Khan to make such Direct Vision lorries “the norm” on London’s streets. Dennis Eagle is leading the way with its new Direct Vision construction industry vehicle, which members of the public got a chance to see and experience at the Exchanging Places event.
Lee Rowland, Sales and Marketing Manager, Dennis Eagle, said: “Thanks to our Elite 6 cab, the Dennis Eagle tipper offers more direct visibility than standard construction tippers. Narrowed ‘A’ and ‘B’ pillars aid peripheral vision to give an unobscured view and prevent traffic disappearing from sight while longer, panoramic windows give enhanced over-the-shoulder visibility at junctions.
“The cab is also positioned closer to the road, giving drivers a better sense of the vehicle’s proportions and, importantly, more visibility of cyclists. With roads getting busier, it is essential that vehicles are designed to ensure maximum safety and the work of the Lorry Safety Project in equipping cyclists with the knowledge and skills to stay safe during their commute will play an important part in further minimising the risk of accidents on urban roads.”
For more information on LCC’s new Lorry Safety Project: http://lorrysafety.lcc.org.uk/