Hailsham pupils take part in road safety day

Hailsham road safety event
Hailsham road safety event

Pupils from Hailsham Community College helped demonstrate how easy it is for cyclists to be invisible to drivers at a special safety campaign held in the town last week.

Children and haulage firm Eddie Stobart helped Sussex Police reveal how easy it is for cyclists to appear to disappear just when they need to be seen the most.

A demonstration using an Eddie Stobart lorry and a dozen Year 7 pupils showed how the children vanished from the sight of the driver after moving into one of his blindspots.

The scenario involved a lorry driver who wanted to take a sharp left turn so had moved to his right at a junction to give himself enough room.

Footage filmed inside the cab of the lorry shows how, due to the angle of his cab during the manoeuvre, the driver cannot see anyone along his passenger side as he prepares to turn.

But when the driver gets out of his vehicle he can see a dozen young cyclists moving up the inside of the lorry because they have not recognised that he is turning - putting each of them in grave danger.

PC Andy Huggett, the roads policing unit officer, who organised the demonstration, said: “The lorry has gone wide to take a sharp left but the cyclists have not realised he is turning left.

“This is a very real scenario that happens too often.

“In this example all of the children are invisible to the lorry driver as he turns.

“It’s scary and shows how important it is that we understand how other road users think and behave.”

The event at South Road car park in Hailsham was part of Road Safety Week and was designed to encourage cyclists to think of the dangers around them - and to remind drivers how vulnerable cyclists can be on the road.

Hailsham Community College teacher Luke Gander said: “We’ve had a couple of accidents involving our kids on the roads and there’ve been a couple of near misses.

“We need to educate children and young people about the dangers on the roads.”

Mark Dixon, an Eddie Stobart lorry driver who brought his vehicle from Yorkshire for the event, said: “At Eddie Stobart we’re very keen on road safety.

“I have kids that are the same age as those involved in the demonstration and I want them to know about the dangers on the roads.”

To watch a video that shows just how easy it is to disappear visit http://youtu.be/ve9xmqLs2ZU.