‘If you can’t see the driver, the driver can’t see you’ – that was the message presented at Dunbar Primary School last week during an event to educate 143 Primary 6 pupils about safety around lorries.
Local company Tarmac took one of its large lorries into the school to reinforce road safety and help the school children gain an understanding of the drivers’ view.
Students were given a presentation by distribution manager Scott Lindsay and transport supervisor Colin Watters. It included a powerful film to show how limited the driver’s view is of cyclists and pedestrians around a lorry. After this, lorry driver John Young invited the students to stand on a specially designed mat which clearly shows the large blind spot areas. Some students were able to climb into the cab of the 44-tonne lorry to view the blind spots for themselves and think about safety from a driver’s perspective.
Commenting on the success of the event, Dunbar Primary School deputy headteacher Jaclyn Eeles said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to have the lorry park up at Lochend Campus and give the pupils involved a safe chance to see the size of the vehicle. The P6 pupils completed their Bikability training last term and this was a perfect way to refer back to our discussions on road safety and driver blind spots. We thank Scott, Colin and John for coming to visit us and making the event so interactive.”
Comments from the pupils who took part included:
• “I loved getting to see the lorry outside our school and we all got a go at climbing the steps and sitting inside!”
• “I liked putting on the hi-vis vests for safety because we had been told that was important.”
• “I stood really close to the lorry and it was massive! I didn’t realise it would be that big.”
Tarmac’s Scott Lindsay added: “Almost 50 children are seriously injured every year by encountering lorries – almost one every week. Most of these are playing on bikes or near roads. We wanted to take road safety messages into the school in an interactive and memorable way. We were pleased to be able to run our educational event with so many Dunbar school children. They were surprised by how large the drivers’ blind spot area is and had an opportunity to refresh their knowledge of road safety especially when using mobile phones or headphones.”
Driver John Young added: “I was really pleased to be involved in this event – getting to talk to young people about road safety and letting them have a ‘driver’s eye view’ was a really effective way of helping them be more aware of lorries when they are walking or cycling.”
Picture caption: Dunbar Primary School pupils find out all about road safety around lorries from Tarmac’s Colin Watters and Scott Lindsay (back row left to right)