Tuesday 17 October 2017

New road safety campaign highlights ‘Blind Spots’ around trucks for cyclists

The RSA said that since proximity mirrors became mandatory in 2010, the number of cyclists killed by large heavy goods vehicles has halved.
The RSA said that since proximity mirrors became mandatory in 2010, the number of cyclists killed by large heavy goods vehicles has halved.
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

A new campaign targeting cyclists and truck drivers aims to highlight the existence of the ‘Blind Spots’ around trucks.

On Bike Safety Week, the Road Safety Authority, along with the Gardai has launched the campaign to warn cyclists that if they can’t see the driver, the driver cannot see them.

Due to their size and design, truck drivers have blind spots when their vision is limited by their vehicle’s size and design -  typically the area immediately in front as well as behind and to the left of the truck.

The RSA said that since proximity mirrors became mandatory in 2010, the number of cyclists killed by large heavy goods vehicles has halved.

However in all, 54 road users – cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists – were killed by collisions involving trucks in urban areas between 2007 and 2015. Two cyclists were killed in the last year.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said this is one of the reasons why this particular campaign is being held

“We have seen two cyclists tragically lose their lives on our roads so far this year. This is one of the reasons why we are having this particular campaign and this focus on cyclists safety,” he said.

“Cycling is very safe – we now know that 10,000 cyclists come in and out of our city centre each day which shows just how popular it has become and how effective it is for people to be able to get around our country and our cities quickly.”

“It’s also extremely important to emphasis the message of safety and that is why the road safety authority are launching their campaign this week. The message is very simple – if you can’t see the driver they can’t see you,” he said.

The Minister said the attitude of people on our roads is what makes “a huge difference” in making roads safer.

Meanwhile he dismissed speculation that he is looking at registration plates for cyclists in a bid to improve road safety.

Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority said cyclists need to be aware of the existence of the ‘Danger Zone’ on trucks and should never ride along the kerb side of a truck, especially if it is turning left. Truck drivers too need to be aware of the fact that the mirrors on their cabs will not always give them a total view of any cyclists that may be riding alongside or behind the vehicle.

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