Despite the introduction of blind spot mirrors in 2003, the number of accidents involving trucks turning right continues to be a problem. The Dutch Cyclists’ Union is appealing to all parties concerned to take further measures. The Union has summarised a large number of measures in an action plan.
For example, the Cyclists’ Union wants an experiment to be launched using ‘truck pilots’ in some of the busier cities. These are temporary co-drivers who help a truck driver negotiate his way through congested city centres. The Cyclists’ Union also wants truck inspections to ensure that blind spot mirrors are correctly adjusted. Older trucks should be compulsorily fitted with a camera or forward view mirror to prevent collisions on the front right of the truck.
Other measures include: compulsory side guards on all trucks, the development of navigation equipment displaying the shortest and safest route to the place of destination and dangerous junctions and the development of a good alarm system in the truck such as the Lexguard.
For municipalities, road managers, ROVs and VNG, the Cyclists’ Union is considering the following action points:
- Implement separate, faster green lights for cyclists at traffic lights and prevent cyclists and right turning trucks moving forward at the same time.
- Position the stop line for cyclists at least three metres closer to the junction than the stop line for cars.
- Arrange traffic-safe distribution of goods in cities and encourage alternatives for the current heavy goods traffic.
- Introduce truck inspections to ensure correct adjustment of the blind spot mirror.
- Raise the bicycle path (if part of a priority road), so that cars turning off the road always have to brake.
- Do not allow refuse trucks and other trucks to drive near schools at the start or end of the school day.
- Investigate how construction and other heavy goods vehicles can be diverted on routes with as few right turn-offs as possible.
For the transport sector, drivers and training, the Cyclists’ Union recommends:
- Mount a transparent door on the right of the truck so that cyclists and pedestrians can be seen.
- Inform drivers about the blind spot.
- Mount a closed side guard and a forward view mirror or camera.
- Install well-adjusted blind spot mirrors or preferably cameras and use them.
- Place a sticker on the dashboard reminding the driver about the blind spot. Make it clear that drivers should not be driven by haste.
- In planning and logistics, take into account the routes that drivers need to take.