Be cycle aware, says insurance broker

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Commercial drivers need to be aware of their responsibilities around cyclists, and employers should ensure they understand the latest rules. McCARRON COATES/SHUTTERSTOCK _1048890344

Specialist fleet insurance broker McCarron Coates is urging coach and bus operators to use Bike Week, which runs from 10 to 16 June, to impart key training messages relating to driving around cyclists and to keep a strong audit trail of this training.

Whilst keeping cyclists safe has always been imperative, the penalties for fleets not training drivers in cyclist-aware skills, and taking every step to avoid their driver being involved in a collision, have never been so severe, McCarron Coates says, adding that it is vital for operators to provide refresher training for drivers, to ensure they are aware of new regulations and responsibilities around cyclists, including the new rules relating to cyclists, as published in the 2022 Highway Code.

The company says that many commercial drivers have not been provided with any toolbox talks or refresher training since the Hierarchy of Road Users was introduced in the 2022 edition.

“The implications are escaping many fleets,” says McCarron Coates director Ian McCarron. “One reason is that our own research shows that 26% of people have not read the Highway Code in over 10 years, so are unaware of the Hierarchy. If they are aware of it, they don’t necessarily recognise the implications for them and their commercial driving livelihoods.”

“A strong audit trail of training evidence and driver signatures that prove that training was delivered, is absolutely critical,” adds fellow director Paul Coates. “It is something that can prevent an operator being dragged into a legal case and held responsible for a driver’s lack of awareness, driving behaviour of lapse in concentration.”

“Fleet operators simply must teach drivers to be more aware of cyclists, their likely manoeuvres and their rights on the road,” adds Ian. “If not, there are no fines under the new 2022 motoring law, just an automatic 12-month driving ban and potential imprisonment. Cyclist-aware training days need to enter the training cycle now.”