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Proper HGV driver training can go a long way toward preventing dangerous collisions between large commercial vehicles and cyclists. However, training will not prevent every accident, as evidenced by a terrible collision last year that left a 25-year-old London man with extensive injuries. Now that man is calling for ‘Boris bikes’ in the capital to be fitted with safety sensors.

Boris bikes are bicycles scattered around London that can be rented by any passer-by. The public cycling scheme made popular by London mayor Boris Johnson was implemented as a means of reducing traffic congestion and air pollution. The scheme has added 10,000 bikes to the streets of London.

Cyclist Dag Lindberg is one of the vocal backers of the Cycle Alert system after almost losing his life in an accident in April of last year. The system involves sensors installed on the bikes that can interact with receivers inside the cabs of HGVs. If a fitted bike and HGV get too close, a warning alarm sounds inside the truck. This alerts the driver to the potential danger outside. Mr Lindberg said the Cycle Alert system would have prevented his accident from happening.

Critics say Cycle Alert is not financially viable due to the need for every bike and commercial vehicle operating in London to be fitted with equipment. They propose a different solution that requires only equipment on HGVs. Transport for London seems to favour this approach. It is now in the testing phase of a new camera system dubbed ‘Cycle Eye’.

Training for Both

Technology is something that should certainly be employed to help reduce the number of accidents between HGVs and cyclists. Nevertheless, technology alone will not solve the problem. Better training for both drivers and cyclists is a necessary part of the equation not to be ignored. Safety is a mindset that requires cooperation from everyone on the road regardless of the vehicle being operated.

We are doing our part by offering comprehensive HGV driver training at more than 45 locations around the UK. We instruct our students on the importance of safety as it relates to bike riders in congested areas. We go over the need to be careful when turning left as well as other strategies aimed at reducing accidents.

At the HGV Training Centre, we believe there is no substitute for high-quality training. That is why we also believe remedial training is just as important as the initial training one needs to earn a commercial driver’s licence. We provide remedial training to companies of all sizes throughout the transport and haulage industries. Our fleet driver training programmes keep drivers up to date on current rules and regulations while also helping them brush up on their driving skills.

Only time will tell whether all 10,000 Boris bikes are fitted with the Cycle Alert system or not. In the meantime, we will continue our mission to provide top quality driver training to individual drivers and fleet managers. It is what we do best.

Sources:

  1. London Evening Standard – https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/model-almost-killed-by-hgv-calls-for-boris-bikes-to-be-fitted-with-safety-sensors-9604183.html

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