Veolia Environmental Services improves cycle safety with help from FORS
FORS accredited Veolia Environmental Services has successfully introduced a joint initiative with Lambeth Council and Cycle Training (UK). The initiative, involving 150 vehicles in Lambeth, is aimed at reducing conflict and raising awareness between cyclists and HGV drivers.
Aims and objectives
Veolia is proactively tackling the issue of cycle safety by participating in a number of initiatives designed to reduce accidents and improve safety.
Benefits and impacts
Gary Clark, Regional Transport Manager for Veolia, says "In 2008 we worked directly with Lambeth Council and Cycle Training (UK) to train our drivers through a cycle awareness programme. The highlight of the programme was a practical cycle training session where our drivers had the chance to see the road from a cyclists' point of view."
"The campaign also offered cyclists the opportunity to climb into the cab of an HGV to get a driver's perspective."
Gary Clark continued, "By undergoing training where you are put in the shoes of another road user, you gain a mutual understanding and respect for the conditions each other operate in. It is only through exercises like this, that truck drivers and cyclists truly understand the risk they pose to each other and what they need to do to minimise risks."
Lambeth Council and Veolia received the 2009 'Best Workplace Cycling Initiative' from the London Cycling Campaign for the initiative. Gary Clark added, "The scheme has been expanded to other London Boroughs with both Camden and Westminster now running similar programmes with Veolia."
Veolia is also participating in TfL's current HGV technology study. They are testing a system called VT Live, where cameras transmit images to the cab to help eliminate blind spots, particularly when making a left turn with cyclists close by.
"Ensuring the safety of our vehicles, drivers and general public has become our number one priority at Veolia." Gary Clark, Regional Transport Manager
Mr Clark commented "We're fully focused on health and safety and if we can reduce risks in any way then that's a positive move in the right direction. Being involved in the TfL HGV Technology Trial has been a great chance for us to demonstrate our commitment to improving cycle safety in London. Through the trial, we have experimented with new systems that can make the life of the driver easier and the life of as cyclist safer. We have also worked with Transport for London (TfL) on the design of a sticker to go on the back of our refuse vehicles warning cyclists of the dangers of passing the vehicle on the nearside."
The findings, results and recommendations from the HGV technology study will be announced at the HGV Cycle Safety Technology demonstration day on 21 September.
As a FORS accredited company, Veolia have taken advantage of the safety workshops offered as a benefit of FORS accreditation. The workshops cover many aspects of road safety, including vulnerable road users, driver fitness, policy and legislation.
[HGV displaying Cyclists warning sign and cyclist stopped at distance behind vehicle]
"Safety is and will always be the top priority for our operation. FORS has allowed us to access a range of free exclusive benefits that have helped us raise the bar. Accreditation has assisted us in monitoring, managing and improving our safety record. I would definitely recommended FORS accreditation to any transport manager or operator" said Gary Clark.