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Transport for London (TfL) teamed up with the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and others on 2 June (2015) to give London cyclists a first-hand look at lorry driving. The event was included in the FTA’s Managing Freight London Conference sponsored by TfL and hosted by the Metropolitan Police.

‘Exchanging Places’, as the programme is known, is part of an ongoing effort among stakeholders to reduce accidents between lorries and cyclists in London. During the conference, cyclists were invited to climb into the cab of an HGV in order to get a driver’s perspective. Those who took advantage of the offer saw what a driver sees and, more importantly, what he/she does not see by looking in mirrors and through the windscreen.

Similar events have already seen the participation of some 18,000 cyclists across the UK. According to UK Haulier, 97% of those who have gone through the programme have said they will change their riding habits and encourage other cyclists to participate. Exchanging Places sessions are held throughout the year at various locations.

Education efforts go in both directions, also enabling HGV drivers to get the cyclists view by putting them on bicycles and having them ride alongside HGVs. Regardless of who is exchanging places though, the point is the same: helping both HGV drivers and cyclists better understand what the other is seeing and thinking while travelling down congested city streets. Officials say they have been successful in their efforts thus far. They say the Exchanging Places programme is making both cycling and lorry driving safer in the capital.

Never Too Much Training

At the HGV Training Centre, we are big believers in giving drivers and cyclists as much training as possible. We are especially pleased that the Exchanging Places programme is putting cyclists in the driver’s seat of a lorry for a better view. Too often, the responsibility for safety is placed solely on the shoulders of the HGV driver despite the fact that his/her vehicle is so much harder to stop or quickly manoeuvre to avoid an accident.

We believe that improving road safety is a responsibility shared by multiple stakeholders – it is not the sole responsibility of haulage companies and their drivers. Everyone needs to work together including operators, drivers, cyclists, police, city planners, government officials, insurance companies, and equipment manufacturers. We cannot eliminate all of the risks, but we can do better when everyone works together rather than assigning blame.

We are doing our part at the HGV Training Centre by teaching our students everything they need to know about highway safety. We also deal with the unique circumstances of busy urban driving as well. As we often say, there is no such thing as too much training. The more training our students receive prior to beginning work, the safer they will be.

If you would like to learn more about lorry driving or earning your commercial driving licence, we would be happy to answer your questions.


UK Haulier – http://www.ukhaulier.co.uk/news/road-transport/events/cyclists-get-hgv-drivers-eye-view-at-fta-conference/


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