In the past three years lorries have been involved in more than 70 per cent of cyclist fatalities ( Getty Images )
Scotland Yard has developed the 360-degree film to highlight the risks for people cycling in the blind spots of lorries. It is part of a safety programme — Exchanging Places — where cyclists can find out what it is like to sit in the cabs of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs ) and see from the driver’s perspective.
Design students from the Royal College of Art have used a 360-degree camera to film the inside of an HGV cab with a cyclist passing by, to show the driver’s restricted view. Police hope to show the film on virtual reality headsets in schools, cycle clubs, youth centres and offices, to point out the dangers.
In the past three years lorries have been involved in 20 per cent of pedestrian deaths in London and more than 70 per cent of cyclist fatalities, despite accounting for only four per cent of the road miles driven in London.
Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove, who is in charge of roads policing, said: “This film shows how these collisions can happen and, more importantly, how they can be avoided.”
A Met spokesman said the scheme was being run with Transport for London, which is also introducing a “Direct Vision Standard” for HGVs.
The initiative, the first of its kind in the world, will grade lorries depending on the level of a driver’s direct vision from a cab.
TfL plans to launch the scheme in 2020. Vehicles will be given ratings ranging from zero up to five stars for those with the best safety systems.
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at the road safety charity Brake, said: “HGVs are involved in half of all cycling deaths in London and so it is vitally important that steps are taken to improve their safety.”