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via: LD- (flickr)

Free Road Safety Courses for Cyclists and Drivers Aim to Minimise the Human Impact of Collisions

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We all know that cycling is great for both your health, and the environment. But many prospective cyclists are dissuaded from taking to the pedals due to concerns around road safety, and road safety is a two way street…
Brighton and Hove City Council run a whole series of road safety courses which aim to minimise the risk that people face when travelling by bicycle and by car.
On offer to locals are a selection of cycle training courses, all of which are currently free due to the successful bid and subsequent provision of funding from the Access Fund – an initiative which aims at promoting sustainable travel. The Department for Transport is subsidising this initiative to encourage more people to cycle and improve road safety. By providing these subsidised training courses it is hoped that more people will choose cycling as a preferred mode of transport for local journeys.

The council’s cycle training providers teach according to the UK’s national standard for cycle training. They have a lot of experience teaching people who have never ridden a bicycle before. There is a maximum of six people per group with two instructors. Cycle training providers will ensure that every one of the city’s trainees will get the required attention to make sure they get the best training possible.

via: Elsie esq. (flickr)
via: Elsie esq. (flickr)

The Safer Urban Driving CPC course, for professional drivers (in car or van), aims to tackle the issue of road safety from the other side of the street, by educating vehicle drivers and companies of the risks and costs of unsafe driving in urban environments.

This initiative is being promoted as almost 30 percent of all collisions on Sussex roads involve business drivers. The council wants to ask anyone who drives professionally, or who manages those who do, if they are doing enough to protect their workforce and company on the roads?

The risks of improper conduct on the roads are huge, and as a company owner, you could be held liable for a manslaughter prosecution if an employee is killed while driving for work.

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 came into force in April 2008 to reduce the risk to drivers at work. If you are unaware of the laws regarding driving at work and do not review driving policies on a regular basis you are at risk of prosecution.

In the event of an employee being killed or seriously injured while driving for work, companies or organisations can be convicted if management of reducing that risk was found to be unsatisfactory.

Although the Health and Safety Executive’s guidance is principally aimed at companies with five or more employees, the level of risk does not diminish for smaller firms. Risk may even increase for single operator companies whose owners have to do everything themselves and may be more tired or distracted behind the wheel.

Aside from the legal ramifications, there is the sheer human and financial cost of death and injury on the roads. Average repair bills can cost anywhere between £750 and £4,500 per claim. In the present financial climate, few companies can afford this type of bill.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. The Brighton and Hove City Council works with Sussex Safer Roads Partnership who run the COSTS – Company Operator Safer Transport Scheme – project to give you the tools you need to reduce the road risk faced by your employees.

Through the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership website you can gain a better understanding of the risks and legal requirements that you face as a company owner, and what steps you can take to reduce those risks.

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Love To Ride UK are giving away a prize a day throughout December in an attempt to get more people cycling in Brighton & Hove, but an increase in cyclists on the road needs a subsequent increase in safety and awareness. Many of our roads are not properly designed to be shared by different types of traffic, and the particular dangers of certain carriageways and junctions are unknown to many who take to the roads.

via: Matty Ring (flickr)
via: Matty Ring (flickr)

Exchanging Places Events are aimed at raising awareness relating to, and illustrating blind spots and vehicle workload to cyclists, and are a joint venture between the police, our road safety team, HGV businesses and bus companies. (Day Aggregates/Stagecoach/B&H buses/East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service). Together they’re showing cyclists how they can or can’t be seen from bus drivers’ points of view.

Exchanging Places events are often combined with a week of enforcement beforehand, encouraging cyclists and other road users to minimise their risk on the roads.  Cyclists can sit in the driver’s seat of a  bus or truck and discuss with experienced drivers each others point of view.

Limited supplies of high-vis jackets/rucksack covers for cyclists and blindspot mirrors for drivers are sometimes available.  Just turn up to the event on Friday 8th December on New Rd (11am-3pm) and find out how to best position yourself for safety around large vehicles.

via: neate photos (flickr)
via: neate photos (flickr)
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