Wow – 4,500 drivers trained in Safe Urban Driving!

Ridewise is celebrating training it’s 4,500th HGV driver as part of its innovative Safe Urban Driving course. The one-day course helps to raise awareness of vulnerable road users – and in particular, awareness of cyclists.

In 2014 there were over 21,000 cyclists killed or injured on our roads – and human error is the main contributory factor in cyclist collisions.  Heavy goods drivers present a particular danger.  The Safe Urban Driving course tackles some of the misconceptions about sharing roads with cyclists and helps to improve best practise amongst professional drivers.

By working across the East Midlands in partnership with Fleet Source, who provide fleet management services across the UK, RideWise’s nationally accredited cycle instructors have been getting HGV and other fleet drivers out of their cabs and onto their bikes as part of the training.   The training aims to increase understanding and awareness of vulnerable road users’ needs and equips professional drivers with the theory and a practical cycling experience to encourage a safer sharing of road space with cyclists.

The course is a mixture of theory and on-road cycle training. Head Cycling instructor, Ian Hutchinson explains ‘Fleet Source ensure the drivers are competent with the theory and RideWise take them out onto quiet roads to get used to the feeling of riding a bike – and then we progress to busier roads and roundabouts.  It’s usually quite an eye opener for them. Some pilot courses have also been carried out with Learner Drivers and it is hoped they we will also work with van drivers’.

With 4,500 drivers already trained, RideWise now have their sights set on reaching its next milestone – 5,000 drivers.  With regular courses delivered in Nottingham and Lincoln, RideWise has also provided services as far afield as Bristol, Scarborough, Manchester and Milton Keynes. 

Gary Smerdon-White from RideWise said, “We’re proud of our achievement in helping improve road safety – as a local charity we can see, and hear from the drivers themselves, the practical difference this makes to the safety of our roads, both within Nottingham and across the region.  It’s vital that we continue to work to raise awareness of vulnerable road users – and we’re delighted to have played a part in helping 4,500 professional drivers to increase their awareness and understanding of sharing roads with cyclists.  Through a mixture of traditional classroom methods and by getting drivers onto the roads on bicycles it helps to create empathy for and understanding of the ways that vulnerable road users interact with traffic. We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with Fleet Source and are already working towards training our next 1,000 drivers!”

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