Watch your blindspot
The Metropolitan Police Service’s Cycle Safety Team is today launching its new Mercedes-Benz truck, to be used for their award winning cycle safety programme.
The ‘Exchanging Places’ programme addresses the most common cause of serious injury and death to cyclists – collisions involving a HGV. The programme gives cyclists the opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat of a HGV to see for themselves how difficult it can be to see a cyclist riding close to the truck.
Thanks to the generous support of Mercedes-Benz and the continued funding from Transport for London (TfL), the Mercedes-Benz Actros – fitted with police livery and blue lights for promotion purposes – vehicle will be used for demonstrating the issues around cyclist and pedestrian safety.
More than 15,000 cyclists have taken part in the programme since 2007, and due to the phenomenal and growing success of the programme there was a need for a dedicated vehicle – Mercedes-Benz were the winning bidder after manufacturers were invited to bid for the provision of a suitable vehicle on a one-year lease.
Police Sergeant Simon Castle, Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “We are grateful to Mercedes-Benz and Sparshatts of Kent for supplying us with this vehicle, which is perfect for our Exchanging Places programme. The feedback from these events is overwhelmingly positive with 97% of cyclists saying they would change their riding as a result of sitting in the driver’s seat, and 99% would recommend it to a friend.”
The RTPC is supporting the Mayor and TfL’s Cycle Safety Action Plan and runs regular Exchanging Places events across the capital throughout the year. They also work with the providers of truck driver training to ensure cycle safety is addressed as a priority.