Young cyclists alerted to lorry danger

North Yorkshire County Council’s road safety team has been working with hauliers to alert children to the dangers of cycling close to large goods vehicles (LGVs).

Cyclists and pedestrians can be at risk if they are in the blind spot for drivers of LGVs or if they get too close to such a vehicle when it is turning left.

With the growing interest in cycling in the wake of the Tour de France Grand Départ in North Yorkshire and the subsequent annual Tour de Yorkshire, more people are riding in traffic, and novice riders may not be aware of the dangers of riding alongside LGVs.

The road safety team is advising cyclists never to ride alongside an LGV when approaching a junction, particularly when the lorry is turning left. They may be in the driver’s blind spot and may not be seen. There is also a risk because of the turning line of the vehicle’s back wheels. The rear wheels follow a sharper turning angle than the cab and can cut in across a junction or pavement where cyclists or pedestrians may be waiting. This can happen whenever a lorry turns left.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Road Safety, said: “Cyclists should stay back behind any large goods vehicle at a junction and allow the vehicle to make the turn before following, and pedestrians should stand well back from the kerb when a LGV is turning.”

The County Council’s road safety team has taken an initiative by haulier Scania and road safety organisation Road Safety Great Britain to take a theory lesson about the dangers into schools and has added a practical session.

The team worked with Scania (Thirsk) and WS Transportation of Dalton to deliver the theory and practical lessons. Thirsk School provided space in its car park to park an articulated goods vehicle. Children from Sowerby and Thirsk All Saints primary schools attended a theory session with a Scania representative before getting first-hand experience of a large goods vehicle by walking around it, sitting in the cab and riding bikes around it while having the dangers explained by Scania, WS Transportation and the road safety team. The children and their teachers were surprised by how many of them could stand beside the lorry and not be seen by the driver.