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Health and Safety progress for cyclists

17th March 2015

Viridor is proud to announce that its commercial fleet in the London area has been fitted with advanced safety technology as part of their commitment to road safety.

Over fifty rigid vehicles from the Canning Town and Iver South depots have been fitted with a number of special features which have been designed to minimize any potential hazards with other road users, especially cyclists.

Vehicles have been fitted with side guard bars to block off open areas on the underside of the vehicle. These lateral prevention systems are designed to prevent other road users or vehicles getting trapped in the space underneath the vehicle.

In addition, side-scan systems have been fitted that are triggered by other road users being present alongside the vehicle. These road users could potentially be in the blind spot of one of the six mirrors installed in the vehicles. The ultra-sonic sensor generates a bleeping noise from within the cab, alerting the driver to the presence of other road users down the near side of the vehicle.

External warning devices have also been installed on the vehicles to warn of a planned left hand turn. When the left hand turn signal is activated, a verbal warning announcement is repeatedly made outside of the cab, directed at other road users, to optimize awareness and ensure that a safe turn is completed.

This investment has cost over one thousand pounds per vehicle across the fleet and is in addition to ongoing measures which Viridor has deployed over recent years. These have included near side view cameras, cycle safety vision windows fitted into passenger doors, cycle safety awareness stickers on the rear of vehicles and a Fresnel lens on the passenger side window. Viridor are also trialing all-round cameras on two vehicles to assess whether this leads to a significant reduction in potential incidents.

Transport for London’s road safety report, “Casualties In Greater London During 2013” published June 2014, declared 4,623 casualties involving a cyclist during that year. That’s seventeen percent of all casualties reported on London’s roads. Further to this, twenty-two percent of serious injuries and eleven percent of fatalities involved cyclists.

The report clearly shows an increase in the rate of cyclist casualties on London’s roads, but it’s also important to note that this will have been affected by the dramatic rise in popularity of cycling as a method of transport. Compared to 2000/01, in 2013/14 there was a one hundred and ninety-six percent increase in the volume of cyclists.

Viridor remains committed to health and safety for all road users, and recognizes that cyclists are especially vulnerable. The measures taken to upgrade the London fleet will help to provide a safer environment for everyone. Viridor continues to work closely with Transport for London to reduce the number of incidents and casualties on London’s roads.

Graham Warren, Southern Regional Managing Director for Viridor, said;

“Viridor takes its responsibility towards health and safety very seriously, not just for our own employees, but also those we work with, our partners and the communities we support. Investing in this upgraded equipment for our fleet of rigid vehicles generally working within the M25 is an important step in helping to ensure our roads are a safer place for everyone. We will continue to work closely in partnership with Transport for London and other organisations to set ourselves the challenge to change where opportunities lie ahead.”

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