Swapping Seats shines a light on truck blind spots
Construction works are ramping up in many parts of Melbourne, which means riders must contend with more heavy vehicles on the road.
Last week, Bicycle Network's Swapping Seats initiative popped up at Docklands in Melbourne to help educate bike riders and pedestrians about the visibility limitations of large trucks.
The public awareness campaign is designed to inform vulnerable road users what drivers cannot see and to show bike riders and pedestrians ways they can proactively maximise their own safety around trucks.
The flipside of this initiative is a VicRoads campaign to educate truck drivers about blind spot awareness, pedestrian safety and bike rider safety.
These "Toolbox Talks" are available as a set of resources to help construction contractors conduct workshops to help protect vulnerable road users.
Important progress has been made on truck safety standards in Australia in recent times. In September, bike riders celebrated a major win as the Australian government announced a suite of new mandatory safety features, including side underrun protection to prevent riders falling under trucks.
Bicycle Network has campaigned for side underrun protection on trucks for more than a decade.
While cause for celebration, the reality is that these standards will take time to filter through as the industry replaces older vehicles in the fleet with newer, safer vehicles.
In the meantime, it's important that all vulnerable road users are aware of the risks of sharing the road with heavy vehicles. Our goal is to encourage bike riding habits that keep those risks to a minimum.
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