More than five children are killed or seriously injured on the UK’s roads every day*. To mark the start of National Road Safety Week, local company Longcliffe Calcium Carbonates has partnered with Anthony Gell School in Wirksworth to educate students on how to be safe when cycling or walking near lorries.

In 2021 over 1,600 people died on the UK’s roads; 20 of those deaths were children either walking or cycling. There were 25,892 serious injuries, meaning for every death there were more than 16 serious injuries *.

Longcliffe operates a fleet of 40 of its own lorries, delivering a range of limestone-based products for essential applications such as glass manufacture, animal feed and construction. Its drivers go through comprehensive safety training before they go out on the roads and whilst cameras, mirrors and improved technology have significantly improved visibility, it is not possible to completely eliminate blind spots.

The company took an articulated tractor unit and tanker, which can weigh up to 44 tonnes to the school to demonstrate this and emphasise the message that ‘If you can’t see the driver, the driver can’t see you’. Around 150 Year 8 students were taken through several safety-focussed sessions including one which enabled them to sit in the lorry cab and see the blind spots from a driver’s perspective.

Anthony Gell School Assistant Headteacher Katy Lowe said: “Keeping our students safe is a key priority for us so we are pleased to have partnered with Longcliffe Quarries, a local company to educate our young people about how to stay safe on the road.”

Commenting on the success of the event, Longcliffe Managing Director Paul Boustead added: “Safety both on and off our sites is always our first priority and we are acutely aware of transport being a key area of focus. We wanted to take road safety messages into the

school in an interactive and memorable way. We were pleased to be able to run the event and reach so many students.

“They were certainly surprised by how large the drivers’ blind spot area is which we hope will make them think when walking or cycling near large vehicles.”

As well as the lorry exercise, the Longcliffe team also took the students through presentations and a quiz to test and drive home messages around safety precautions they can take when walking or cycling. The students were also all given a Be seen, Be safe high visibility vest by Longcliffe.