Travel Safe Cycle Skills Instructors attend CAN workshop about safety around buses
The workshop was held Thursday 6 March. Julian Hulls from the Cycle Action Network (CAN) explained:
"Today has been a Share the Road Blind Zone Workshop using a fantastic Bayhopper bus provided by Bay of Plenty Regional Council. We have explored a number of exercises and improved participants understanding of a heavy vehicle drivers' blind spots. We have taken a group of local cycle skills instructors through three ideas or rules to keep themselves or their riders safe around heavy vehicles at intersections.
- Rule number one - if you come across a heavy vehicle queuing in traffic the safest place to wait is behind the heavy vehicle, (today we were using a bus).
- Rule number two - if you decide to break the first rule the safer side to pass the queued heavy vehicle is on the right hand side.
- The third rule is if the heavy vehicle starts to move as you are passing it, the safest thing for you to do is to gently squeeze on your brakes and drop back into the behind the vehicle."
The Regional Council and Tauranga City Council Travel Safe Team were pleased to have a NZ bus driver, "Jules" to answer questions from the group. In one exercise bikes were positioned around the bus and each participant sat in the drivers seat and counted the number of bikes they could see. Only 6 of the 12 bikes could be seen.
Greg Stilwell, Operations Supervisor at NZ Bus commented that, "today was great for cyclists to get an understanding of what urban bus drivers are facing in respect to cyclists on the road, and for the bus driver understanding what challenges cyclists face on the road. The cycling instructors gained a good understanding of the blind spots on the bus and the best positions on the road to pass a stationary bus. They also gained a good understanding of the dynamics of how heavy long vehicles operate, including buses, especially when turning. Hopefully, today's interaction will go towards making us all safe on the road."
Bike racks on the buses were also tried out. Roslyn Frost, Travel Safe Road Safety Coordinator, found it very easy to place her bike onto the bike rack on front of the bus. Once Roslyn was familiar with how the bike rack operated she was able to load and unload her bike from the rack with ease.
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