Highgate council drivers to get training to make them more cycle friendly
By poppy_smith | Tuesday, February 12, 2013, 20:36
More than 135 Haringey Council drivers and all its refuse collection lorry drivers will this year take part in a special cycle friendly driver training course.
Drivers of the council's fleet of lorries, buses and vans, as well as waste contractor, Veolia's, heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers, will take part in a one day Safe Urban Driving Course (SUDC) designed to cut the number of cycling deaths and casualties.
Veolia is also working on a research project with the University of East London looking at how better training and safety technology can reduce the number of collisions between heavy goods vehicles ( HGVs) and cyclists.
HGVs especially are responsible for more than 50 per cent of cycling deaths in the capital: in 2011, of 16 cyclist fatalities, 9 were due to collisions with HGVs.
The SUDC course includes on-road drills at junctions, traffic lights and advanced 'stop lines' while a theory module helps drivers understand how to share the road safely with vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists.
The course also helps contribute to achieving a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
Cllr Nilgun Canver, Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: "As a Biking Borough we are committed to improving the safety of cyclists along our roads. Many injuries to cyclists could be avoided if drivers were more aware of how vulnerable they can be in certain circumstances, such as at junctions or left turns. Increasing the awareness of cyclists amongst other road users, particularly HGV drivers, is vital if we are to see a drop in the numbers killed and injured on London's roads."
Veolia's contract manager in Haringey, Jean-Francois Moreau, said:"With so many different road users and especially given the recent surge of new cyclists on the roads since the Olympics, it is more important than ever that our drivers are trained to be fully aware of everything and everyone around them on the roads at all times. We are therefore proud to implement the training in Haringey, especially as we know it has brought huge benefits to our drivers elsewhere in London where it has already taken place."