This is one of the more original things i have seen coming from the police – you can trade in your cycling FPNs if you follow the instructions below and turn up for a cycling safety session designed to illustrate how hard it is for lorries to see you in the inside. There is also an unsettling video here of the view from a lorry cab as you cycle up the inside. Police text follows:
>>The Metropolitan Police Service and City of London Police are to strike a bargain with cyclists given fixed penalty notices last week and the start of this week in Islington, Southwark and the City. They will cancel tickets issued with a voucher in exchange for attendance at a cycle safety event.
The two police services will take the popular cycle safety event, 'Exchanging Places', to the streets outside St Paul’s Cathedral on Thursday 26th November to give cyclists the opportunity to learn about riding safely, especially near HGVs.
Traffic officers will be stationed from 12:30hrs to 18.00hrs ready to cancel tickets issued with a voucher and speak about safety. They will encourage cyclists to sit inside a truck's cab to experience first hand the limited visibility that HGV drivers have on their nearside.
Anyone is welcome to attend the event but cyclists who wish to have their tickets cancelled must bring the ticket and voucher and not pay the ticket in the meantime. We will only cancel unpaid tickets issued with a voucher between 16th – 26th November.
Ch Insp Graham Horwood, from the MPS Traffic Unit, said: "Having your ticket cancelled is a great incentive for cyclists to come along to this event but everyone is welcome. Far too often cyclists are killed or seriously injured in collisions with trucks. The frustrating and tragic thing is that they can be prevented through awareness on the part of both cyclists and HGV drivers. If you cycle or drive a truck do come and join us.
We’re also reminding cyclists that bright working lights are not only a legal requirement but a must for staying safe. Any cyclists without working lights on the front and the rear of their bike will be liable to a £30 fixed penalty notice.”
So far this year a total of eleven cyclists have died on London's roads, eight of those involved collisions with heavy goods vehicles and seven out of the eight people killed were women.
Four trucks will be present at the event, provided by MAN trucks, Cemex and Keltbray Group. These are modern vehicles, fitted with all the mirrors and visibility aids required by current legislation, and are being used to demonstrate that even with these aids the size of these vehicles does cause blind spots.
The Keltbray Group and Cemex trucks are fitted with a proximity alarm system which is activated when the left turn indicator is operated by the driver. Four sensors fitted to the nearside of the vehicle detect any movement, such as a cyclist, close to the vehicle. If movement is detected an audio alarm sounds in the cab, alerting the driver.
Inside one of the trucks a DVD showing the dangers of riding on the nearside of an HGV will be playing. This video can be found on the website of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Insp Dave Aspinall, head of the force's Roads Policing Unit, City of London Police, said: "Making sure the City's roads are safe is one of the areas that our community has highlighted as being a priority. Events like this, which offer cyclists practical advice on driving on the Capital's busy roads, help make everyone safer."
The operation, supported by Transport for London (TfL) and the London Cycling Campaign, is one of the many safety awareness events held by the MPS throughout the year. In the last year we have held 16 events, most significantly speaking to around 1,000 cyclists on January 20th and on May 20th inviting around 400 cyclists into the cabs.
Smaller events held include bringing 'Exchanging Places' to hospital cyclists at St Guys and St Thomas' and Kings College. Traffic officers also regularly give presentations to businesses to their cycle user groups and speak to HGV drivers and HGV companies about the problem.