Cyclists offered chance to exchange places with lorry drivers

Roger Mills BOROUGH NEWS, NEWS Leave a Comment

Cyclists will be able to swop their saddle for the driver’s seat of a juggernaut to see how dangerous it is to get too close to large vehicles during a Met Police road safety demonstration in Sutton town Centre’s Trinity Square on Monday, 22 August from 11am – 2pm.

Cyclists and pedestrians will be invited to climb into the cab of the nine tonne ‘arctic tractor’ to receive a few minutes’ advice from a specialist traffic police officer.

Although the vehicle has several mirrors and meets European standards, members of the public will be able see for themselves the extent of the driver’s restricted vision and inability to see cyclists or pedestrians when they get too close to the vehicle.

met-police-arctic-lorry-1_origSafer Neighbourhoods Inspector Kathy Morteo said: “The driver has limited vision to see anyone riding up the inside or trying to cross the road in front of it. I hope people realise from this demonstration how difficult this road safety issue is and how awareness is key.

“We urge cyclists and pedestrians not to get too close to large vehicles on our busy roads,” she said.

The Met Police initiative is called Exchanging Places and was launched in 2007. It won a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in 2013 for its success in promoting safer cycling.

Officers from Sutton’s Safer Transport Team will be on hand to do bicycle marking to identify bikes should they become lost or stolen and to help them to be returned to their rightful owners.

The event has been planned by the Safer Sutton Partnership Service, which is based at Sutton Police Station and manages the borough’s community safety services. The vehicle is being supplied by the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command.