To mark National Road Safety Week 2023, 225 Y7 Ashbourne students were given a very different perspective on pedestrian safety – from the viewpoint of a lorry driver.
‘HGVs account for only about 4% of non-motorway traffic, but are involved in around 13% of pedestrian deaths, (collisions with HGVs are more likely to prove fatal than serious or slight).’*
The students from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School were taken through a presentation and then several interactive exercises by a team from local company Longcliffe Quarries Ltd, which operates its own fleet of over 40 Heavy Goods Vehicles. The company took along two of its vehicles to emphasise safety messages – a 44-tonne articulated tanker lorry; and a 32-tonne rigid tipper.
The event included every student having the opportunity to sit in the driver’s cab of an articulated lorry to see for themselves the challenges of blind spots; and also working through an exercise around a rigid ‘tipper’ lorry to understand how to be as safe as possible as a pedestrian.  The hands-on work was complemented by a quiz, for which Longcliffe awarded a prize to the winner in each tutor group.  At the end of the day, Archie and Skylar were chosen as the students who made an outstanding contribution and were each presented with a Longcliffe goodie bag.  Archie said: “My favourite part was getting the opportunity to sit in the HGV cab and see what the driver sees.”
QEGS teacher Matthew Bawden commented: “This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to work with such a great local employer. The next day they were abuzz with stories of sitting in cabs, but most importantly on how to keep safe on our Derbyshire roads”.
Amongst some of the other student comments about their favourite part of the day were:
  • “Going in the lorries to see if you could see the people”. (Bryony)
  • “Being in the driver’s seat”. (Rory)
  • “Looking in the lorry cabs”. (Richard)
As part of the team who took the students through the safety exercises, Longcliffe Group Managing Director, Paul Boustead added: “Safety is top priority for Longcliffe – not just for our 190 employees, but also for visitors, contractors, customers and everyone in the local community.  There is no better way to show the importance of acting safely around large vehicles, than by showing people first-hand the challenges drivers have.  Our fleet is fitted with the latest technology – including a range of cameras and warning devices – but there will always be a blind spot.  Having an opportunity to show these students  this from the driver’s perspective was invaluable.”
Brake, the charity behind the annual National Road Safety Week has this vision: We want a world where everyone is free to move in a safe and healthy way, every day. We work to stop road deaths and injuries, support people affected by road crashes and campaign for safe and healthy mobility for all.’**