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TFL launches award-winning safety initiative


Posted on 15/05/2013 by Wayne Brophy FCILT

A new procurement programme by Transport for London (TfL), is being praised for enhancing safety throughout the city. The ‘safer lorries’ initiative, launched in April, aims to safeguard cyclists throughout the metropolis by allowing only the best-trained motorists and safest lorries to serve the network. Safety observance, preventative measures and defensive driving will help streamline procurement for TfL. Additionally, enhanced driver skills and new equipment on lorries, like high-visibility mirrors, will help make London’s roads a safer place for non-motorised traffic.

Under TfL’s new regulations, contractors and drivers working for the organisation must have a bronze accreditation in the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS). The safety courses include two modules – one which focuses on driving theory, while the other centres around practical knowledge as it applies to urban driving. As part of the exercises, motorists have to take to bikes and experience the same vulnerability that London cyclists feel on a day-to-day basis. In this way, haulage contractors are taught to respect and protect all road sharers, ranging from other drivers to pedestrians and especially cyclists in the city.

Additionally, FORS teaches fleet operators best practice for coping with difficult traffic situations, road safety and vehicle management. The subsidised, voluntary programme is an effective way for businesses to improve safety standards, reduce company-wide environmental impact and trim costs. The scheme gives companies a competitive advantage, as well as the opportunity to take part in a groundbreaking TfL project and save lives throughout the bustling capital.

The ‘safer lorries’ programme, in conjunction with FORS, has been granted the accolade of ‘best London cycling initiative’ in the London Cycling Awards. ‘Safer lorries’ has been hailed as a crucial step towards creating a ‘culture of safety’ in London. Many road safety and cycling organisations believe it has potential to significantly reduce the number of bikers injured or killed by lorries.

Not only is the initiative changing the way haulage operators view their responsibilities, it’s also transforming and enhancing procurement procedures in London – where the industry thrives.

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