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Heavy vehicles transport goods, people and equipment, but operating them can present challenges when it comes to road safety.

Heavy Vehicle

Difficulties For Heavy Vehicles

Bicycle NSW recognises the job of heavy vehicle operators is made more difficult by the size and features of their vehicles.  Difficulties include:

  •  blind-spots that make it impossible for a driver to see people because the vehicle obscures their line of sight
  • reduced manoeuvrability
  • slower rates of vehicle acceleration
  • deceleration due to vehicle mass

Safety Issues

Since 2018 we have written about heavy vehicle safety issues, made submissions to the National Heavy Vehicle Law Review, called for measures that would help keep people safer and reduce difficulties for drivers.  Bicycle NSW and industry advocates for change draw on overseas examples like the Construction Logistics and Community Safety (CLOCS) standard and Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS).

The CLOCS standard was a direct result of collaboration between the construction and fleet sector to address shared issues and reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured in collisions involving heavy vehicles.  FORS operates to ensure heavy vehicle fleet operators meet the CLOCS Standard.

Just like NSW, the UK Government wants more people to walk and cycle, at the same time as construction projects have increased the need for heavy vehicle use.  The great news is that CLOCS and FORS have worked to reduce injuries and fatalities.  They contain behavioural, training, traffic management, vehicle maintenance, audit, reporting, procurement and planning requirements. 

Additional Equipment To Make It Safer

Heavy vehicles can also be made safer to operate are using additional equipment such as:

  •  wide angled mirrors to aid the driver’s view of the road
  • side guards to reduce the severity of injuries if a collision occurs as the vehicle turns
  • by implementing the direct vision standard that changes vehicle design of vehicles to reduce blind-spots for drivers

“We are pleased to partner with SUEZ to share our road safety messages,” said Bicycle NSW General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.

“Their vehicle design, driver training and company focus focuses on keeping people safe,” said Bastien.

Bicycle NSW reminds all riders to leave space when vehicles are turning or reversing as the driver may not be able to see you.

Don’t forget to share this article with riders and drivers, and tag in heavy vehicle companies and operators with high safety standards.

Safety On Spokes

This article is a part of our 2 month Safety on Spokes Campaign where we cover a range of topics to make a better environment for bike riders in NSW.

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