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Lorry drivers to show children dangers of HGVs
TWO lorry drivers are to take an HGV and trailer into three schools in the Swindon area as part of a high-impact campaign to warn young children about the dangers of large vehicles.
John Bell, 42, and Paul Strevens, 48, who work for logistics firm DHL as Marks and Spencer delivery drivers, based at South Marston, will roll up at Southfield Junior in Highworth, Wroughton Junior and Eldene Primary.
The volunteers are demonstrators for the Truck and Child Safety (TACS) scheme, run by the DHL Foundation, a charitable organisation supported by DHL. They will help children learn about road safety and the dangers of trucks.
John, of Gorse Hill, who has been with DHL since 2005, said: “Paul and I have both got three kids. Eight kids are killed or seriously injured on the roads every day.
“Each and every day we see the dangers and it’s just about trying to say to the kids, step away from these trucks. As fascinating as they might look, look at the size of the vehicles, look at the amount of damage they do.”
The pair will be visiting seven schools in Swindon, Burbage and Devizes between April and June, explaining points such as what exactly the driver can and cannot see in the mirrors, the size and weight of the vehicle, how loud the engine is, how a child can stay safe around a vehicle, and what a child should do if their football rolls under a lorry.
John said: “We ask the teacher to become the ‘driver’ so the teacher will sit in a normal driving position.
“We then get a child to be a passenger and the rest of the kids we bring to the front of the vehicle and we get them right up close to the front of the cab. And the teacher and pupil cannot see them because of the elevated position they’re in.
“What we’re saying to the children is, look we cannot see an entire class of 30 children in front of the cab so if you see a lorry in the town centre and think you will just walk in front of that, the driver isn’t going to see you.
“And then we get them to the back of the cab, and at the top of their voices they have to shout to see if the driver can hear them, and the driver cannot hear them.”