A HAMPSHIRE waste management specialist will train each one of its 50 tipper and grab drivers in road cycle and motorbike awareness as part of a nationally accredited scheme.
TJ Group, which covers the county as well as Dorset and Sussex, says it is keen to ensure its staff have the knowledge and cab sensor equipment to prevent accidents.
According to industry figures, lorry drivers are involved in more than 4,000 cyclist and pedestrian deaths across Europe each year.
There were 118 cycling fatalities in the UK in 2012 alone.
John Gosling, TJ’s managing director, said: ‘The haulage industry is not where it should be with vulnerable road users, given these disturbing figures.
‘Our goal is to have all new vehicles fitted with sensor technology, including close-proximity alerts or camera systems to cover any potential blind spots, as well as external warning alarms to make road users aware of the vehicle’s planned manoeuvre.
‘It is also only a matter of time before some cities ban lorry drivers who don’t have the relevant awareness training for vulnerable road users.’
TJ’s HGV drivers are being trained in groups of up to 15 on the bronze membership scheme for Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (Fors).
John added: ‘Fors accreditation helps where there are rigorous procurement conditions which operators must meet. It is already a mandatory requirement by Transport for London.
‘Whilst we don’t do much work in the heart of London, we feel it is only right to implement best practice at a regional level.
‘As far as I am aware we are the only independent tipper fleet in Hampshire with Fors but we would rather be one of many in this regard.’
TJ, which has 135 staff, says it has seen a rise in demand for its fleet services.
Last year the company acquired five articulated trucks for its new general haulage service to assist customers meet demand.