The sensors are just one of a number of additional safety measures over and above legislation that CEMEX has added to its vehicles, making it a pioneer in the field of road safety, in particular cyclist safety.
CEMEX UK owns a fleet of 417 large vehicles which transport cement, aggregates, and readymixed concrete. In 3 years the company has made significant investment in an on-going programme of fitting safety features. All 417 vehicles are fitted with rear signage on the nearside corner and additional nearside mirrors which aid visibility all around the vehicle. Proximity sensors and under run safety bars, if appropriate, are also being added.
"There has been a big increase in the number of cyclists on our roads, particularly in London with the introduction of the Cycle Hire Scheme and the Cycle Superhighways. It is therefore, of critical importance that companies with lorries do everything they can to help their drivers be more aware of where cyclists are in relation to their lorries when they are out and about, and understand how best to protect vulnerable road users from avoidable, preventable collisions.
“We call on all companies with lorries to follow the CEMEX lead" comments Cynthia Barlow, Chair, Roadpeace
In 2004 following a number of incidents, CEMEX launched investigations into the driver’s field of vision which revealed that there was a high risk of incidents at road junctions, when cyclists, who wanted to go straight on but were on the nearside, of a vehicle turning left.
The nearside proximity sensors help both the driver and the cyclist should the cyclist move up the left hand side of the vehicle. The sensors are activated when the vehicle’s left indicator is on and a cyclist moves up the nearside of the vehicle. A voice activated message is triggered to warn the cyclist and an alarm in the cab alerts the driver.
“Our performance in this field reflects the company’s ability to think ahead and go beyond the “call of duty”, set by legislation. For a rigid vehicle, the sensors cost just £450 and all the features, that is the mirrors, signage and if appropriate, under-run safety bars, approximately £800. Even with a large fleet, the time and money invested is worth every penny if it can save just one accident.” says Matt Wild, Vice President, Commercial Cement, Building Products and Logistics.
As a leader in cyclist safety, CEMEX has been chosen by London Metropolitan Police to support their “Exchanging Places” programme. Cyclists, at a central London venue, are invited to get into the cab of the vehicle to see the road from the driver’s perspective and learn about the areas around a vehicle where a driver may not see a cyclist.
In addition showing cyclists the safety features, serves to highlight the potential dangers and create awareness. To date CEMEX has taken part in 23 events in London with an on-going programme of events outside the capital.