Swindon based MAN Truck and Bus is at the heart of the Metropolitan Police Services cycle safety awareness campaign.
The Metropolitan Police Service has taken delivery of a new MAN TGX 26.480 6×2 tractor unit to spearhead its Exchanging Places cycle safety and awareness campaign. At a series of events across London, the truck, conspicuous in its full Met Police livery, will be used to demonstrate to cyclists the unique challenges that face truck drivers operating in the Capital.
Leading the Exchanging Places campaign is Sergeant Simon Castle from the Metropolitan Police Service.
“We are extremely grateful to MAN, and Transport for London, for helping us acquire this superb new vehicle. Its sole purpose,” he said, “is to help us promote safer cycling, particularly when sharing the road with trucks – it’s all about truck awareness! We hope the eye-catching Met Police livery will attract the attention of even more Londoners to our Exchanging Places event, and allow us to show precisely the difficulties truck drivers face from their elevated, and isolated, position in the cab.”
Trucks are implicated in the majority of fatalities and serious accidents involving cyclists in London. While just 5% of all traffic in London is made up of heavy commercial vehicles, over 50% of fatalities involve those same trucks.
“Despite the appalling casualty figures, there is cause for optimism,” continued Sergeant Castle, “from over 12,000 cyclists who have attended an Exchanging Places event thus far, 97% stated that they will change their cycling style as a result, with 99% stating they will recommend their friends and family attend a future Exchanging Places event.
“With the new MAN in our tool kit, I anticipate even more cyclists will want to climb aboard and get the driver’s eye view. We will also use the truck to highlight our ‘Three Es’ philosophy – Engineering, Education and Enforcement.”
He added, “I already know the truck has a striking on-road presence from the first time we took it through London. With no police markings from the rear, traffic over-taking quickly applied the brakes when they saw the Battenburg livery on the sides and front!”