Monday, 23 February 2015

Met’s new Merc to help drive cycle safety . . .

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Met’s new Merc to help drive cycle safety

Cited at:
http://transportoperator.co.uk/2015/01/29/mets-new-merc-to-help-drive-cycle-safety/


The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has taken delivery of a new Mercedes-Benz Actros, supplied by Sparshatts of Kent, which will be deployed as part of its cycle safety programme, Exchanging Places.

The award-winning safety scheme aims to address collisions involving HGVs, the most common cause of death and serious injury to cyclists. It allows cyclists to sit in the driver’s seat of a lorry, and see for themselves how difficult it can be to see cyclists riding close to the vehicle. This is complemented by advice from experienced traffic police officers on how such collisions occur, and how best to avoid them.

Thanks to support from Mercedes-Benz and continued Transport for London (TfL) funding, the new vehicle will cost the MPS nothing except fuel, and meets or exceeds all emissions and safety standards. While the truck has been fitted with police livery and blue lights for promotional purposes, it will only be driven by trained police drivers, and not used for patrols or enforcement.

The Exchanging Places scheme has seen participation from more than 15,000 cyclists since 2007. It is run by the Cycle Safety Team, part of the MPS Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC). The growing popularity of the programme led to a need for a dedicated vehicle in addition to those donated by hauliers in support of the project. Mercedes-Benz was the winning bidder amongst manufacturers invited to bid for provision of the vehicle, which is on a one-year lease.

Police sergeant Simon Castle, Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “We are grateful to Mercedes-Benz and Sparshatts of Kent for supplying us with this vehicle, which is perfect for our Exchanging Places programme. The feedback from these events is overwhelmingly positive with 97 per cent of cyclists saying they would change their riding as a result of sitting in the driver’s seat, and 99 per cent would recommend it to a friend.

“I urge cyclists to watch the Exchanging Places film on the MPS Youtube website and also arrange to attend an Exchanging Places event. It is invaluable and a potential life saver.”

Andrew Sparshatt, Sparshatts of Kent dealer principal, added: “Safety is at the very top of the agenda for the Mercedes-Benz Trucks business here in the UK, so Sparshatts of Kent is delighted to be supporting the Exchanging Places scheme.

“This admirable initiative addresses a major issue for the truck industry, particularly in urban areas – that of cyclist safety. It is an area in which Mercedes-Benz is already doing a lot of work in partnership with the industry, through its Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (CLOCS) programme.

“The Actros looks stunning in its Metropolitan Police livery and will, I feel sure, be an invaluable aid to Sgt Simon Castle and his colleagues in helping them to increase awareness among cyclists of what heavy goods vehicle drivers can – and more importantly cannot – see from their cabs.”








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