Pupils get an eye-opening lesson about road safety

Pupils from Hailsham Community College were taught a stark lesson about how dangerous the roads can be for cyclists at a demonstration hosted by Sussex Police with the help of Eddie Stobart.

As part of Road Safety Week, Sussex Police set up the event on Tuesday to educate and raise awareness about how cyclists and lorry drivers can work together to make the road a safer place for everyone.

Road safety demonstration SUS-140705-161402001

Road safety demonstration SUS-140705-161402001

By parking a sizeable Eddie Stobart lorry in South Road car park, the group of Year 7 pupils were shown exactly where a lorry driver’s blind spots are - with surprising results.

Pupil Megan Phillips was invited up into the cab of the vehicle by driver Mark Dixon to see the road from his perspective, and with nine students perched on their bikes in front of the truck, she was shocked to learn he couldn’t see a single one.

Megan said, “I expected to see them - maybe not the back row but definitely the ones at the front - but I was so surprised when I couldn’t even see their helmets. This demonstration has really helped us and other children because now we know not to get too close to a lorry.”

Sergeant Paul Wood said, “Even though you may be an experienced driver or cyclist, you’re never too old to stop learning and this is about raising awareness for people to show what drivers can see and not to assume matters when you are cycling on the road.

“Cycling is on the up across the country and very much so in Sussex. There have been a number of incidents and collisions involving cyclists and heavy goods vehicles and so this is about raising awareness for both cyclists and lorry drivers about the vulnerability of the people on the road. What we wish to do is promote ways to share the road responsibly and respect each other’s use.”

East Sussex County Council runs Bikeability cycle training courses out of Eastbourne Sports Park. For more information, call 01273 482490.