BRAKE AND POLICE JOIN FORCES TO TACKLE ‘BLIND SPOT’ CYCLIST CASUALTIES IN WEST YORKSHIRE







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: February 3, 2012
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National charity Brake is teaming up with the Metropolitan Police to raise awareness among truck operators, drivers, and cyclists in West Yorkshire to tackle ‘blind-spot’ casualties. An interactive workshop and blind spots demonstration will take place in Leeds on Tuesday 7 February, organised by Brake’s Fleet Safety Forum and sponsored by Brigade Electronics.

The workshop will outline ways commercial vehicle operators and other professionals can reduce risks posed to cyclists and other vulnerable road users by vehicle blind spots. It willinclude a live demonstration of the Metropolitan Police’s Exchanging Places initiative, an award winning programme that allows cyclists to see the blind spots around large vehicles. Chief Inspector Ian Vincent, from the Metropolitan Police Partnership Unit, will be explaining how the programme works.

The event is part of Brake’s Cycle for Life campaign, which aims to make roads safer for cyclists. Brake is appealing to HGV operators to fit the latest blind spot devices to all their vehicles, to minimise the dangers they pose. Workshop sponsorBrigade Electronics will provide a live demonstration of their blind-spot devices at the workshop.

The workshop will also include advice from fleet safety expert Dr Will Murray of Interactive Driving Systems, and a best practice case study from Joan Pearce of Allied Bakeries, demonstrating how the company successfully put in place a policy about reversing safely.

Fleet operators in the region can order a free e-guidance sheet on blind spots, and find out about the Fleet Safety Forum, which offers guidance to companies on many fleet safety issues, by emailing fleetsafetyforum@brake.org.uk.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, says: “It’s crucial we make our roads safer for people to walk and cycle, so we’re pleased to be working with Metropolitan Police and fleet operators in the region to achieve this. While some trucks have the latest devices fitted so drivers can see what’s happening around them, there are still many trucks on our roads that pose an unacceptably high risk to people on foot and bicycle. We’re calling on all truck operators to ensure their vehicles and drivers are as safe as possible, to help prevent more families going through the heartbreak of a death or injury on the roads.”

Chief Inspector Ian Vincent of the Metropolitan Police says: “We are delighted to work alongside Brake to raise awareness about the dangers of vehicle blind spots and the risks they pose to cyclists. Statistics show that many of the more serious collisions occur on the nearside of large vehicles whilst they are turning left. Our message is don’t take that risk, don’t go down the nearside of a large vehicle, take 10 seconds to hang back. This workshop aims to demonstrate to both cyclists and HGV drivers what the risks are, in order to reduce these needless tragedies.”

Emily Randall of Brigade Electronics, says: “It is vitally important that more is done to raise awareness of the dangers of truck blind spots for cyclists and pedestrians, which is why we are delighted to be involved in this event. Many trucks on the roads still pose a very high risk to pedestrians and cyclists, and we are urging truck operators not only to educate their drivers on the issue, but also to take advantage of the latest technology to ensure their vehicles are safe.”