In last week’s blog we talked all about London’s new safer lorry scheme. While we touched on the safety standards for lorry’s driving through the city, we didn’t mention the exciting new road awareness project that’s now up and running – Exchanging Places.
Funded by Transport for London and run by Metropolitan Police, the new Exchanging Places project is set to give cyclists and pedestrians the opportunity to experience life as a HGV driver. Those who volunteer to get involved with the project get to sit in a cab of a HGV – where they can experience the typical views of a HGV driver.
One cyclist, that recently got to take part in the project herself, was shocked to discover she couldn’t spot a cyclist riding 8-10ft away from the vehicle as she sat in the cab.
About her experience in the HGV cab, London cyclist, Phillipa Brown said:
“I found it very useful…. I didn’t realise how you couldn’t see the cyclist from the side view.”
Peter Le Masurier, co-founder of a similar project, Cycle Alert, which is committed to educating cyclists and drivers on safer road use, also recommends other road users step into an LGV vehicle to experience the view.
“LGVs and Public Service Vehicles can be dangerous and intimidating, but some knowledge about how they operate and how their drivers observe the world outside the vehicle, and what to do and not do as a cyclist can help you navigate the roads safely. These events give cyclists the chance to experience the road from a very different vantage point, in what we believe is an important learning experience.”
Raising other road users’ awareness
One reason why the Exchanging Places project is so important is because road safety it as much about raising cyclists’ awareness as it is about improving drivers’ behaviours. Studies have shows that far too many cyclists fail to wear helmets – or follow the Highway Code – putting themselves at risk on Britain’s roads. And while educating drivers and introducing safety technology is important, key road safety principles also need to be highlighted to cyclists.
Vision Techniques – Improving road safety
While the Exchanging Places project is set to make a positive impact on road safety, there are still many things you can do, as a HGV driver, to improve your behaviours on the road. Our cycle safety technology, such as VT TurnSensor, will allow you to have a better view of what’s going on around your vehicle, helping prevent accidents. Our wide range of our cyclist safety technology can be found on the Turnsafe page of our website. You can also find out more about our products by giving us a call on 08452 873 170.
If you, or anyone you know, is interested in attending one of the upcoming Exchanging Places event, check out the Metropolitan Police website for a full list of event times and locations. You can find all the details here.