For professional hauliers whose livelihood relies on navigating the roads safely – often under challenging conditions – any opportunity to build on their driving skills should be taken. One initiative that's been received to much acclaim by cyclists, independent hauliers and larger logistics companies is the Safe Urban Driving course (SUD), which has already been undertaken by more than 1,500 London lorry and van drivers. |
SUD: Promoting Safer London Roads for All
The SUD has been developed to give HGV and PSV (public service vehicle) drivers an insight into what it's like for cyclists on London's busy roads, with a view to promoting greater harmony and safety in an urban environment.
The course covers the more practical aspects of on-road cycling, helping hauliers and other drivers understand the challenges faced by these most vulnerable road users. With training modules that offer a hands-on experience of what it's like to be a cyclist (quite often in vehicles' blind spots or unable to hear/see oncoming traffic), the emphasis is placed on the drivers to be aware and understand the need to share (the roads).
In effect, the training course puts drivers in the real-life position of being a cyclist and helps them to understand, in context, how confronting and potentially dangerous it can be when faced with heavy vehicular traffic.
TfL Initiative, FORS Accredited
An initiative of Transport for London, the course is presented through Fleet Source, TfL's principal training provider. The SUD is FORS accredited (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) and also contributes the hours towards the Driver CPC required by law for new drivers (Cert. of Professional Competence). In addition, the course is a requirement of compliance for several standards, including the Work Related Road Risk (WRRR) and Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (CLOCS). The Details
The Safe Urban Driving course is run over one day, which consists of one 3.5 hour module of classroom learning and the other 3.5 hour module undertaking the practical, real-life experience on the road.
In the classroom participants cover:
• The evolving urban landscape, with relation to increased pedestrians and cyclists • Defensive driving and avoiding/averting collisions • Proper use of safety equipment • Understanding vulnerable road users
The module spent out on the road covers:
• Driver perceptions and attitude • Practicalities as to why collisions occur • The cyclist's perspective and issues faced • Driver active health and fitness
For drivers the course cost is £75 plus VAT, or for FORS-accredited hauliers it is fully funded by TfL (subject to conditions and availability).
The SUD is run three to four times each week but bookings are essential and subject to availability. http://safeurbandriving.co.uk/book-a-course/
A Successful Initiative
Both organisers and participants have lauded the SUD course as highly effective. The combination of the theoretical and practical modules allows drivers not just an insight into the life of vulnerable road users, but also an understanding of how and why our streetscapes are changing, and their own role and responsibilities in the futuristic "big picture".
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry across the UK and Europe. It provides a service for matching hauliers with jobs in road transport and haulage work in the domestic and international markets. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
Related Articles -