Local company Longcliffe Quarries Limited has provided a group of advanced motorists with an invaluable ‘view from the cab’ – an insight into the day to day driving challenges faced by lorry drivers.

Members of the Derwent and Hope Valley Institute of Advanced Motorists Roadsmart Group spent the day at the company’s transport depot at Curzon Lodge near Matlock.

The Group’s aim is to enhance driver and rider skills on the road, improve road safety and prepare people for the advanced driving / motorcycle test. Through several mocked-up scenarios involving Longcliffe’s bulk tanker lorries, the members were able to get a lorry driver’s view and understand the limitations of blind spots around their vehicles.

The scenarios included an opportunity to see the visibility a tanker driver has of other vehicles around it when negotiating a roundabout; a set up scene to show the view of pedestrians when on a crossing or a path alongside the lorry; and a valuable ride in the cab to see the all-round experience for the driver.

The Group’s Secretary and chief observer, Bill Storey said: “Our members gained so much from this event. There is no better way to learn how to drive safely when around lorries than seeing the situation from the lorry driver’s side. Whilst these drivers are assisted by all sorts of safety cameras and gadgets in their cab, there are still significant blind spots for which they have to constantly adjust their driving. “We have significantly increased our knowledge by taking part in this event. This will not only help us all as drivers, but also improve our skills for teaching others to become advanced motorists. Ultimately the most important outcome from the Longcliffe session is improved road safety.” 
The Longcliffe team on the day included Logistics Manager, James Hopkinson; Driver Trainers Chris Dakin and Anthony P Woodroffe and Health and Safety Manager Tony Woodroffe.

Tony added: “Safety is our number one focus at Longcliffe and whilst we clearly look closely at our quarrying operations, road safety is also a key area for us. As well as ensuring our drivers are continually refreshing and improving their skills, we are also keen to help educate other road users. “We have this year won and maintained our FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) Silver accreditation which recognises exemplary levels of best practice in safety, efficiency and environmental protection. One of the key areas in which we are measured is road risk and cycle safety. This event very much supports this work and is the latest in a series we have run for the IAM over recent years. Thanks go to the Longcliffe team behind the organisation and coordination of the day. It was a pleasure to be able to provide the members with such a unique and realistic opportunity and to see how much they valued the experience.” To find out more about the Institute of Advance Motorists email [email protected] and/or go to www.matlock-iamroadsmart.org.uk/