Cyclists turn truckers in safety bid

Cyclists turn truckers in safety bid

Cyclists will turn truckers in a scheme aimed at helping riders appreciate how little truck drivers can see from their vehicles.

Collisions with lorries are the biggest cause of serious injuries or death among cyclists, figures show.

As part of the Exchanging Places initiative, riders will be offered the chance to get into the cab of a Mercedes-Benz Actros lorry to see the road from a trucker's perspective.

The vehicle will only be driven by fully-qualified police drivers, with the cyclists able to appreciate first-hand how little a lorry driver can actually see around them when they are out on the roads.

The truck, in full police livery, has been supplied by Sparshatts of Kent with support from Mercedes-Benz UK, and will not be used for enforcement.

Some 99% of cyclists who have taken part in the scheme say they would recommend it to fellow riders, said police sergeant Simon Castle, of roads and policing command.

And 97% of cyclists said they would change how they ride in future as a result of the experience, Sgt Castle added.

He urges cyclists to book a place on the scheme and watch the Exchanging Places film on the Metropolitan Police's YouTube page.

Sparshatts of Kent dealer principal Andrew Sparshatt said cyclist safety is a major issue for the haulage industry, especially in built-up areas.

He hopes the initiative will help increase awareness of how unsighted lorry drivers are.

Copyright Press Association 2015