CEMEX leading the way on cyclist safety
CEMEX UK have fitted their 300th vehicle with nearside proximity sensors to help cyclists and pedestrians stay safe around their vehicles. The sensors are just one of a number of additional safety measures over and above legislation that CEMEX have added to their vehicles, making the company a pioneer in the field of road safety, in particular cyclist safety.
In three years the company has made significant investment in an ongoing programme of fitting safety features to its fleet of 417 large vehicles. All of the vehicles are fitted with rear signage on the nearside corner and additional nearside mirrors which aid visibility all around the vehicle. Proximity sensors and under-run safety bars, if appropriate, are also being added.
Calling on all companies with lorries to follow CEMEX’s lead, Cynthia Barlow, chair of Roadpeace, said: ‘There has been a big increase in the number of cyclists on our roads, particularly in London with the introduction of the Cycle Hire Scheme and the Cycle Superhighways.
‘It is, therefore, of critical importance that companies with lorries do everything they can to help their drivers be more aware of where cyclists are in relation to their lorries when they are out and about, and understand how best to protect vulnerable road users from avoidable, preventable collisions.’
In 2004, following a number of incidents, CEMEX launched investigations into the driver’s field of vision, which revealed that there was a high risk of incidents at road junctions when cyclists who wanted to go straight on were on the nearside of a vehicle turning left.
The nearside proximity sensors help both the driver and the cyclist should the cyclist move up the left-hand side of the vehicle. The sensors are activated when the vehicle’s left indicator is on. If a cyclist moves up the nearside of the vehicle, a voice-activated message is triggered to warn the cyclist and an alarm in the cab alerts the driver.
‘Our performance in this field reflects the company’s ability to think ahead and go beyond the ‘call of duty’ set by legislation,’ said Matt Wild, vice-president Commercial Cement, Building Products and Logistics. ‘Even with a large fleet, the time and money invested is worth every penny if it can save just one accident.’
As a leader in cyclist safety, CEMEX have been chosen by London Metropolitan Police to support their ‘Exchanging Places’ programme, where cyclists are invited to get into the cab of the vehicle to see the road from the driver’s perspective and learn about the areas around a vehicle where a driver may not see a cyclist. To date, CEMEX have taken part in 23 events in London with an ongoing programme of events outside the capital.