Great job by Lafarge Canada (a very responsible company) to help improve safety for all of us who ride a bike now and then (10% of trips to work in Vancouver).
Lafarge brought a truck and three people to the Bike to Work Week station at Ontario and Terminal (Science World) on Tuesday.
Why??
The company is concerned about safety, and helping people who ride bikes to learn about blind spots.
I spent a few minutes with a Lafarge driver, who put me in the cab and demonstrated that drivers have blind spots and limited visibility spots around them.
Good idea to stay out of those.  Generally, if you can’t see the driver, the driver can’t see you.
And good on Lafarge for making such a big effort to get this message out and help improve safety for us all.

Comments

  1. Great initiative. In North Van Dollarton, Main, Low Level Road and Esplanade are truck routes and bike routes. Many trucks are large – semi trailer trucks, cement trucks, dump trucks with trailers. I never go next to a truck near an intersection. Either stop ahead of the truck or stay behind.
    I don’t know if anybody on a bike has ever been hit by a truck on these routes, but I had two close calls where the trailers of trucks veered into the bike lane in a curve. It’s hard to fault the drivers. It’s a dangerous design to have narrow painted bike lanes on a major truck route. I avoid the route as much as possible, but with only two bridges across Lynn Creek there is no other bike route to the Second Narrows Bridge for many people.

    1. That is why the federal government should require side guards on trucks (like in Europe and other regions), to reduce the likelihood of being run over.

      1. Not only sideguards should be mandatory but advanced driver assistance systems for truck turning and braking. These systems are commercially available. Sideguards are a bit like helmets. They don’t prevent collisions. Advanced driver assistance systems are preventative.

  2. Nice of them to show people where not to be.
    I assume they are in the process of fitting side guards so that people dont get sucked under? Because that’s an actual tangible safety upgrade as opposed to just telling folks to stay out of the way.

  3. The thing is, I’ve had instances where cement trucks put themselves in places they could no longer see me, and then try to turn in a manner that could have been deadly had I not been attentive.
    I shouldn’t have to be that attentive.
    +1 to the fact that there are plenty of technologies on the market which would aid them seeing the world around them. The excuse that ‘they can’t see and therefore aren’t culpable’ falls flat when in fact, they could see, they just choose not to.
    I could put a box over my head and try to bike into traffic and not have good visibility, but by choosing to drive something that has limited visibility, I can’t blame others for not avoiding me. I would be the one culpable.
    If cement trucks (or anything else) has sufficiently significant blind spots as to be dangerous, they need to fix them to make them no longer dangerous.

    1. The advanced assistance systems don’t only show truck drivers what’s in their blind spots, but they brake the truck if there is a pedestrian or cyclist. It turns out that just removing blind spots is not enough. The distances between trucks and people in an urban environment are too small to entirely avoid collisions without brake assistance. Plenty of cars have brake assistance and it’s only a matter of introducing legislation requiring the technology for all new trucks (exempting maybe those in rural areas such as logging trucks).

  4. London is banning such unsafe trucks in a couple of years. It would be great to see companies like Lafarge commit to using safe trucks both with better visability, collision avoidance technology and side guards.

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