Preachy one folks, .
The road haulage industry is making a considerable effort to reduce the number of accidents involving more vulnerable road users – ie you and me. This is largely in response to the magnificent efforts of a lady called Cynthia Barlow who’s daughter was killed by one of Cemex’s trucks whilst she was on her bike. Mrs Barlow campaigned long and hard , going to the lengths of buying shares in the company to get her into the AGM so that she could push for increased safety measures to be taken. As a result, Cemex initially, and now the haulage industry in general are pushing more and more safety features on their vehicles to help keep us safer on the road. These range from the simple cyclist warning stickers that are now ubiquitous on the rear of trucks and buses , through to extra mirrors which help the driver see what’s down by the kerb or in front of the vehicle. Most hauliers now include cyclist awareness in their driver training as part of the driver competency qualification. Some like CEMEX have gone further and now have radar systems on the kerbside of their vehicles to alert the driver to our presence. It is difficult for the truck driver to see what is low down and in close proximity to their cabs.
What’s the point of this post? Well , as a transport manager of 15 years, and a cyclist of 30, I’ve a foot in both camps. Yes there are some crap truck drivers out there with the wrong attitude. There are also cyclists who don’t help. I don’t count any of the Arancionero in this group but as we’ve a lot of new comers I think some basic self help points might be in order.
When at junctions , if a truck is in the right hand lane signalling left , don’t assume he’s a prat who doesn’t know where he’s going. He’ll be taking a swing to make the tight turn and you’re about to jump into his blind spot. Once the cab is partly turned , his mirrors are useless as they’re pointing at the side of his trailer , he’s lost you.
If you go up the kerbside at the lights , get ahead of him and make eye contact so he knows you’re there. If he doesn’t see you he won’t feel you until he’s run over you.
Don’t – and this one winds me up because it gets us all a bad rep – jump red lights. especially when wearing 1250 kit as it’s too easy to get bad publicity and makes us all targets.
Stay safe and inside the law people. Sermon over