Training Session for HGV Drivers
As cyclists we are all well aware of the dangers posed by Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs). In London, for example, over half of all cyclist fatalities are caused by accidents with HGVs, even though they account for only 5% of the traffic. A few months ago Mike McKillen, chairperson of Cyclist.ie, made contact with a major supermarket group and proposed a session to train some of their drivers on how to interact safely with cyclists. This is his report below,
A few weeks ago two cycling skills instructors (UK ‘Bikeability’ standard) from Cyclist.ie held a training session with the logistics manager (a sports’ cyclist) of a major supermarket group and one of his top drivers to drive/cycle in each others places.
The two bike trainers went in the HGV (5-axle semi-trailer) cab (as passengers!) following a route around Clonskeagh Road, Roebuck Rd, N11 south to Brewery rd, Leapordstown roundabout, Stillorgan Business Park, Drummartin link and return to Clonskeagh.
We learned just how large these rigs are and how skilled the driver has to be to ensure that the rear-wheel set does not mount kerbs, build-outs, traffic islands, etc.
At junctions one of the driver’s bugbears is careless drivers advancing beyond the stop-line and thus blocking his swing around into that junction arm. The number of drivers who came to rest well beyond the stop-line at signalised junctions and indeed into ASLs (bike boxes) was quite unacceptable. Why is An Garda not issuing penalty-points for this offense? Then it was a swap-over and the driver came out on a bike with us while we pointed out the different types of cycling infrastructure (ASLs, cycle lanes/tracks/paths). We stopped at a few junctions to monitor vehicle-cyclist interactions and made comments.
All in all a good half-day’s work. This needs to be replicated with all large HGV fleet operators if we are to tackle the unacceptable road traffic accidents involving cyclists.
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