The event was set up give cyclists the opportunity to see the world from the perspective of a heavy goods vehicle driver, experience the limitations of a HGV driver’s sightline and learn how to avoid being in the driver’s blind spot.
Police officer Justin Bennett, Traffic Management Unit, said: “We have been given a lot positive feedback from members of the public. People are appreciative, as we give useful, hopefully life-saving information.”
Patrick Long, Climate Change and Sustainable Travel Officer, Directorate of Environmental Services, Kingston said: “It’s an ongoing project, that we have had in other parts of Kingson previously.”
“Most deaths are caused by left turns from HGV vehicles and unfortunately the drivers can’t see. We’re doing pretty well in terms of education, but it’s inevitable that accidents occur through human error.”
Levels of cycling have been following a growing trend in recent years. Government statistics show cycling levels across the UK are 15% greater than 2000, and 17% greater than in 1994. In a measure of vehicle kilometres, cycling made up 0.9% of road traffic in 2000 and 1.0% in 2010.
The ‘Stand out from the crowd’ campaign aims to educate cyclists in wearing high visibility garments and using good lights so they can be easily seen by other road users. In recent years the majority of cyclist fatalities in London have been caused by collisions with HGV’s. Following the launch of the ‘Exchanging Places’ initiative, this type of accident dropped to 40 per cent of London’s overall cyclist fatalities in 2010.
Councillor Simon James, Executive Member for Transport commented: “We pride ourselves in Kingston for being one of London’s biking boroughs and are always keen to get more people cycling, more safely and more often. ‘Exchanging Places’ is an excellent opportunity for cyclists of all abilities to learn how to be more safety conscious when out and about, so we look forward to another successful event.”