An idea for my workplace : Heavy Vehicle driver's on Bikes.

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

An idea for my workplace : Heavy Vehicle driver's on Bikes.

Postby Cheesewheel » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:08 pm

Let me say at the onset that I have no experience in organizing this and I feel that it has less than a 3% chance of being successful.
Thats why I will need your help :wink:

Let me also say at the onset that this isn't a thread to bash heavy vehicle drivers and other motorists. I am trying to focus on a need I think we can all agree on - the need for increased safety for cyclists - and deal with it in a proactive manner.

I work driving a bus on the far southern coast of Queensland ( workplace agreements prevent me from naming them and identifying myself as an employee - its a complicated media/PR issue so don't bother asking - Please no one mention the company name if you think you might know it - having this thread appear on search engines is a sure way to kill the idea at the onset) and also enjoy cycling ... albeit often in a state of constant awareness/ fear of other motorists.

On the whole I have got to say that I have not had many "close encounters" with my fellow workmates while riding ... but then its the nature of a bus roaring past a little bit too close for comfort that such moments stand out as memorable. Admittedly there is a predominant attitude of extreme distaste (polite way of putting it) of cyclists amongst the drivers. I feel this arises from lack of awareness of the law, dislike for the act of cylcing itself (as one driver told me : The last time I rode a bike was 20 years ago .... the worst 15 minutes of my life), and regular encounters with cyclists who flaunt rules and safety.

To get to the crux of my proposal : As part of the initial training all employees of our company go through (or refresher training existing employees go through) , I would like to see a part of it dealing with cycling.

Ideally it would involve taking everyone out on a short bike ride.
Realistically it would probably be a few information sheets that they can take away with them and maybe a youtube vid or two during their training.
At the very least it could be a poster I could stick up in the driver's room (An edited Australian version - quite a few options on "how to not kill a cyclist- I just got to make one obedient to mostly Qld but also NSW law since drivers venture in both areas)

Personally I feel that my experience as a cyclist has changed my attitude as a driver and resulted in actual changes to the the way that I handle my vehicle. I would like to somehow provide others with that experience.

Big hold up for taking time on the training is that the company would be paying for it - in that everyone who attends training gets paid . Due to the nature of gov't grants etc, the company actually make a profit from everyone that goes through training. Adding any sort of component to training is a delicate matter of time vs money. I imagine getting drivers out on bikes during training would also be seen as legal headache for workplace health and safety. I am thinking that it could be possible to scope out a local munificent bike rental shop and maybe even put in a few $ myself to get the helmets but I think the serious hurdles would be the legalities and financing of training on company time. As far as I know, there is nothing even remotely close to this in australia (recall some discussion about it being done in the UK as part of vehicle licensing ).
Feel free to provide links to prove me wrong ....

On the plus side, I know that the person in charge of training is enthusiastic about their field and eager to expand it to make it more engaging, interesting and relevant to the drivers.
There is also a positive PR image that make the whole thing more attractive (imagine a news release about bus drivers riding bicycles as part of training)
There is also a health aspect (vaguely recall a recent gov't funded university study on bus driver health aimed at identifying causes and solutions)

But at the end of the day I can't think of a funding angle that could see this incorporated in training.

anyways I guess this brings us to the realistic option (I guess realistic options are the means to pave the way for idealistic ones) - Providing information sheets and short vids that can be used during training (or at the very least posted up on the driver's board).

I want to use this thread as a catalogue for all the great vids and article info you see posted on this forum so I can collate them into some sort of information sheet or presentation or poster (I used to illustrate childrens books in an off beat humourous style and feel I could pull off some sort of poster relevant to Australian road users ).
Feel free to double up on already existing threads and new ones as they appear to give me the information and resources I need

for instance these recent vids are good


Five Pro Cyclists Reflect on Bicycle Safety
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFZSW_aTzVc&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Share the road - Canadian Video


also a couple of nasty ones could be good


and article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -down.html

and also nasty from the other POV


also any relevant info links would be appreciated

How to Not Kill a Cyclist
http://www.themorningnews.org/article/h ... -a-cyclist
Image

I recall a poster (american) also titled "how to not kill a cyclist" someone linked here. It was a PDF.
Link anyone?

Also any relevant links for Australian statistics (cyclist injury/ death) and law pertinent to NSW (recall discussions about it being illegal to ride a bike on the footpath in NSW) and Qld would be helpful.

As you can guess this is still very much at the brainstorming level. Feel free to contribute.

Many Thanks.
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by BNA » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:52 am

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Re: An idea for my workplace : Heavy Vehicle driver's on Bik

Postby Oxford » Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:52 am

Just to be devil's advocate (help you see potential objections), reflecting on how the company may view it and drawing on what my wife does fro a living. If this got off the ground, and all drivers received this training and were more bike aware. IF a cyclist is then hurt, fatally or otherwise by an employee driving a bus, what would the companies position be?

Otherwise I commend you on your idea, walking a mile in the others shoes and all that.
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Re: An idea for my workplace : Heavy Vehicle driver's on Bik

Postby PawPaw » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:53 am

Great idea Cheesy.
I'd be interested to see what Capital city govt bus operators do now in this respect.

In Brisbane, I regularly find Brisbane City Council and Redcliffe (private) bus drivers passing way too close when they don't have to. Seems they are not prepared to use part of the inside lane when passing (on a 4 lane road), even before 7am on a sunday morning when the road is pretty much empty. Bloody minded obstinancy imv.

I reckon cycling advocacy groups should be putting pressure on bus operators for this kind of thing. Maybe come up with a package themselves.

I know a portion of heavy vehicle drivers are very anti lycra. A truck driver who cycles with us says he would not dare dream of riding the roads to Fisherman Islands due to the very openly hostile attitudes of his work mates, some who have expressed serious intent to kill someone in lycra. It's a game for them, because they know they get away with it.

I think it is up to employers to actively prohibit inflammatory views expressed by drivers, such that other drivers are not normalized into thinking it is acceptable to hold illegal and life threatening attitudes towards cyclists. Nothing labels Australians as fat lazy ignorant apathetic and uneducated more than such attitudes in my view. There's a bit of class divide in the whole issue in my view. Drivers unhappy with their lot in life taking their misery and ignorance out on people who are out having a good time, apparently.
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Re: An idea for my workplace : Heavy Vehicle driver's on Bik

Postby Howzat » Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:44 am

Good stuff Cheesy.

Riders are drivers sometimes, and drivers are riders sometimes, so it's a good approach to break down the "us vs them" dynamic, of the kind that shock-jocks like to build up.

Regarding Oxford's devil's advocacy, drivers are already supposed to not run anyone over... so taking positive steps in training to reduce the likelihood of this happening makes the organisation less liable, not more.

Good luck.
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Re: An idea for my workplace : Heavy Vehicle driver's on Bik

Postby DoogleDave » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:07 am

Great idea but I'd be very careful as to which videos you choose to use.

The one above of the London cyclist and the bus left me (as a cyclist) thinking why that rider was swerving around cars and then trying to slip through between a bus and a car.
IMO, that was a video about how NOT to ride a bike, not how not to drive a bus.
YMMV

I often ride down Francis St in Yarraville (VIC) which is a heavily frequented road for trucks going to and from the Melbourne ports.
There are a couple of locations along that road where traffic can bank up (as shown in the video) and I would NEVER think to try and slide up along a truck to get in front of it.
I take my legal space behind the truck/bus/car and suck it up like everyone else and crawl along until traffic starts moving again or it is safe for me to legally overtake the truck in the right-hand lane.

If I were in a real hurry and traffic was at a stand-still for ages I MAY think about dismounting and walking down the footpath with my bike until I passed the congestion and then back on the road and continue riding.
To me, that's one benefit of riding a bike in traffic. I can walk my bike along the footpath - something car/truck drivers cannot do.

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Re: An idea for my workplace : Heavy Vehicle driver's on Bik

Postby Cheesewheel » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:12 am

Oxford wrote:Just to be devil's advocate (help you see potential objections), reflecting on how the company may view it and drawing on what my wife does fro a living. If this got off the ground, and all drivers received this training and were more bike aware. IF a cyclist is then hurt, fatally or otherwise by an employee driving a bus, what would the companies position be?

Otherwise I commend you on your idea, walking a mile in the others shoes and all that.

I think its the case that the company becomes more liable if an incident arises that they don't address in their OH&S training ... and its the nature that if an incident does arise then suddenly there is a move to implement a suitable response or application (a kind way of saying that its often difficult implementing proactive measures ....)
For instance recently there was an incident with a wheelchair user (who required hospitalization after the incident) and a faulty folding seat that saw a court case payout over $300 000. Almost straight away a new program was established to have the matter addressed in training, make a range of people (including the person driving) responsible for inspecting the function of the seats, and a new range of stationary to leave a paper trail of inspections etc.

As far as a cyclist getting hurt in an incident, I'm not sure I understand how the company could be in more dire legal/financial waters by having this issue dealt with in training.
Financially speaking, in a worst case scenario regardless who is at fault, its the insurance companies that pick up the bill for mopping up the mess (and if the insurance company thinks they have a legitimate case, they can try taking the responsible parties to court to pick up the tab - vaguely recall that happening to a sydney busdriver - note: not the company he was working for - several years ago when they dropped a passenger off at an impromptu stop and they got wiped out by a car).

Legally speaking, any individual who comes under the category of a "professional driver" gets more harsh treatment/interrogation in any legal proceedings since they are expected to display above average caution and skills and have an expanded field of responsibility.

Just to give another example, a driver recently came within a hair's breadth of losing their driver authority (special license for anyone working in the passenger transport industry) when, in their own private, off duty, non-uniformed time, was involved in a scuffle with a man who they thought was violently assaulting a woman (ends up they were a married couple). The man ended up laying charges on them and even before the matter went to court, the company was aware of the potential breach of Driver authority legislation (persons with a criminal history, including violence, are prohibited from possessing a driver authority or at least come up for review).

So IOW, at least as far as I see (as long as the company is obedient to guidelines established by their insurers and legislation of driver and transport authorities) training for the prevention of a particular incident doesn't make the company any more liable in a worst case scenario than what they are already.

What am I missing?
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Re: An idea for my workplace : Heavy Vehicle driver's on Bik

Postby Cheesewheel » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:19 am

PawPaw wrote:Great idea Cheesy.
I'd be interested to see what Capital city govt bus operators do now in this respect.

In Brisbane, I regularly find Brisbane City Council and Redcliffe (private) bus drivers passing way too close when they don't have to. Seems they are not prepared to use part of the inside lane when passing (on a 4 lane road), even before 7am on a sunday morning when the road is pretty much empty. Bloody minded obstinancy imv.

I reckon cycling advocacy groups should be putting pressure on bus operators for this kind of thing. Maybe come up with a package themselves.

I know a portion of heavy vehicle drivers are very anti lycra. A truck driver who cycles with us says he would not dare dream of riding the roads to Fisherman Islands due to the very openly hostile attitudes of his work mates, some who have expressed serious intent to kill someone in lycra. It's a game for them, because they know they get away with it.

I think it is up to employers to actively prohibit inflammatory views expressed by drivers, such that other drivers are not normalized into thinking it is acceptable to hold illegal and life threatening attitudes towards cyclists. Nothing labels Australians as fat lazy ignorant apathetic and uneducated more than such attitudes in my view. There's a bit of class divide in the whole issue in my view. Drivers unhappy with their lot in life taking their misery and ignorance out on people who are out having a good time, apparently.

I understand what you are saying about the class divide - I guess i was hoping a bit of humour in an educational poster might dissipate the mutual antagonism (as opposed to having the clinical diagrams common of transport education)
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Re: An idea for my workplace : Heavy Vehicle driver's on Bik

Postby Cheesewheel » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:25 am

DoogleDave wrote:Great idea but I'd be very careful as to which videos you choose to use.

The one above of the London cyclist and the bus left me (as a cyclist) thinking why that rider was swerving around cars and then trying to slip through between a bus and a car.
IMO, that was a video about how NOT to ride a bike, not how not to drive a bus.
YMMV

I often ride down Francis St in Yarraville (VIC) which is a heavily frequented road for trucks going to and from the Melbourne ports.
There are a couple of locations along that road where traffic can bank up (as shown in the video) and I would NEVER think to try and slide up along a truck to get in front of it.
I take my legal space behind the truck/bus/car and suck it up like everyone else and crawl along until traffic starts moving again or it is safe for me to legally overtake the truck in the right-hand lane.

If I were in a real hurry and traffic was at a stand-still for ages I MAY think about dismounting and walking down the footpath with my bike until I passed the congestion and then back on the road and continue riding.
To me, that's one benefit of riding a bike in traffic. I can walk my bike along the footpath - something car/truck drivers cannot do.

Dave

I thought to include the two videos to show that there are legitimate arguments for cyclists being stupid as well as legitimate arguments for bus drivers being stupid. I thought it might tie in with the bit in the article in the OP (how to not kill a cyclist)

Judge Us Not by Our Jerks
Just as some percentage of drivers are jerks, so too is some percentage of cyclists—I reckon about 15 percent in both cases. And I’m sure 15 percent of Segwayists are jerks, and 15 percent of jetpackists will be jerks at some point in the future. The Jerk Constant is as immutable and universal as π. The point here is to remember that the majority (85 percent!) of cyclists are not that punk you encountered last Tuesday, so don’t let that frustration get the better of you whenever you see a cyclists up ahead.


I feel that if shown exclusively info of bus drivers in the wrong they will feel persecuted and not take it in so well.
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Re: An idea for my workplace : Heavy Vehicle driver's on Bik

Postby Cheesewheel » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:36 am

Don't forget to help me out with any links and stuff. I didn't even know state organizations like BNSW and BQ existed until a few months ago (from reading these forums, no less)

I found this on the comments section of the london bus vid

Driven to Kill: Vehicles as Weapons – J Peter. Rothe University of Alberta “A ‘might is right’ mentality erupts in some drivers,” Rothe writes, “that pushes them to discipline [cyclists], to teach them a lesson, which sometimes means steering their cars into bikes, pulling into the bikers paths, or purposely swerving into marked bike lanes.”

got the book on order

also found this

http://www.amygillett.org.au/

BTW found that PDF - it was linked in the article :oops:

http://api.ning.com/files/yltp4bQ88zt7z ... clists.pdf

Its decked out for american law but most of it translates ok - The only questionable one is about double white lines and it being legally acceptable to cross them to pass a cyclist. Anyone got any authoritative links about double white lines in NSW and QLD on this matter?
Sent an email to the amygillet org to see if they are any the wiser.
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Re: An idea for my workplace : Heavy Vehicle driver's on Bik

Postby Oxford » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:23 am

The issue that may arise is when and if Worksafe investigate any incident that arises as they will being a workplace related incident. The investigation will look at the training provided and what gaps there may have been, so it needs to be comprehensive or if not provide scope. As I say, just trying to play DA in the hope that it helps you develop something that is accepted by the upper management, who will consider these issues. I think its a great idea. Trust me, Worksafe scratch everything and are more thorough than the police. In an accident at my wife's workplace which resulted in a death, the police investigation was over almost immediately, Worksafe however are still finalising it, 2 years later.
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