North East haulage company Moody Logistics has issued a summer safety warning to youngsters, reminding them that a braking truck requires a much greater distance to stop.
The average stopping distance for a loaded HGV travelling at 50mph in dry conditions is 67 metres (220ft) compared to 53m (175ft) for a car travelling at the same speed.
Following an increase in HGV road miles completed, the Cramlington-based transport and storage company is raising awareness to make children more road savvy when out walking or cycling during the school holidays.
Children under 15 are particularly vulnerable and account for a large percentage of road casualties – often due to a lack of experience in being able to assess traffic risk.
According to the Government’s 2017 figures, there were 23,805 pedestrian casualties nationally, 25 per cent of which involved under-15’s. There were 48 child deaths, down from 69 in 2016, although the overall trend has fluctuated since 2010.
England experienced the highest number of road fatalities (1,544) during 2017 – the highest number in the South East (267) and the lowest in the North East (58).
The growth in internet shopping and home deliveries saw Light Commercial Vehicles clock up 50.5 billion vehicle miles during 2017, an increase of 1.3 percent over the previous year, while HGVs accounted for 17 billion miles, an increase of 1.2 percent.
Caroline Moody, Managing Director of Moody Logistics, said: “We want to highlight the simple fact that the weight and size of an HGV means it takes much longer to stop than a car.
“Our family-run company is part of the community and takes the issue of road safety very seriously. Our drivers are all highly trained and our fleet fitted with the latest safety aids.
“We are very much aware that over the school holidays children will be out enjoying themselves and may be distracted. We want them to stay safe by urging them to take extra care and treat the roads with respect, especially when they see a truck.
“Thankfully, the North East has the lowest number of road fatalities in England and we’d like to reduce that figure further by raising awareness within this vulnerable age group. The death of just one child on the road is one too many.”
She added that children must also be aware of an HGV’s blind spots, which are also much greater than that of a car.
“There has been some excellent work by manufacturers to improve visibility, but we also want to remind road users of a basic premise – if you can’t see the driver, they can’t see you.”
A spokesperson for Northumberland County Council added: “Any initiatives to educate people about road safety and reduce casualties has to be welcomed.
“We were one of the first local authorities in the UK to introduce new safety standards for our HGVs, including fitting vision aids and sensor alerts to eliminate blind spots and help detect the presence of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycles.
“We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable summer and would always urge people to be careful on and around our roads.”