With all the bad news about trucks it's good to see that some contractors take the issue of cycle safety seriously and are prepared to do something about it, however small. The audible warning device Conway is using is a particularly good move - perhaps these should be made compulsory for all HGVs entering London given the high fatality rate amongst cyclists suffering accidents with trucks?
camera initiative helps FM CONWAY drivers take a sideways view of cyclists
Civil engineering, highways maintenance and recycling specialist FM Conway is pioneering a scheme that will see all of its LGVs fitted with cameras to help drivers see cyclists in blind spots.
The Kent-based company is just about to complete a two-month programme of fitting heavy-duty, side-mounted cameras to its 70 LGVs, including a new 11-strong fleet of new tipper trucks.
Fitted to the near-side of a cab, the cameras are linked to the existing rear-view camera screen and will mean that drivers will be able to spot cyclists or motorbikes as they turn left.
The cameras, which are in a waterproof fitting, have built-in infra-red which means they can also be used in low-light conditions
Peter Parle, FM Conway’s transport manager, commented: “With thousands of cycle trips a day in London, every transport manager in charge of large goods vehicles should understand the dangers involved in their vehicles using the same road space as cyclists.
“They must therefore use every tool available to minimise any possible risks. Compulsory driver awareness training can be assisted by fitting audible warning systems that will alert the cyclist of vehicles turning left, while Fresnel lenses and signs encouraging cyclists not to undertake on the inside are also extremely important.
“New technologies, such as side view cameras that cut out the blind spot in lorry mirrors, should be trialled and implemented by responsible hauliers.”
FM Conway has a number of initiatives to promote road safety, and is currently working with the London Borough of Lambeth to promote cycle safety and driver awareness.
Norma Fender, the borough’s Road Danger Reduction Manager, commented: “As the number of cyclists across London increases, it’s great to see positive initiatives like this from FM Conway. Every fortnight over the summer FM Conway supplied us with a large vehicle so that cyclists could see the view from the cab and learn about drivers’ blind spots.
“Cyclists need to know how to ride safely and responsibly and drivers need to be aware of the risks they pose to other road users. Cameras and mirrors can all help but equally as important is education and awareness for both cyclists and drivers.
“We’re also delighted that FM Conway will be training two driver trainers to qualify as cycle trainers to deliver specialist cyclist awareness sessions to all their drivers. This will improve drivers’ understanding of cyclists and help to reduce danger on the roads.”
For more information about FM Conway, visit www.fmconway.co.uk, or follow @FMConwayltd on Twitter.