“Do you actually know what the dead angle is?” Paul Fikus, driving instructor at REMONDIS Region West, asks the group and many fingers go up. The fourth graders at the primary school “In der Vöde” in Bochum, Germany, are currently preparing for their cycling test and are learning about dangers on the roads. After all, as cyclists or pedestrians they are often exposed to risky situations. Raising awareness at primary school age is particularly important. Therefore, REMONDIS regularly visits primary schools to show them the dimensions of a lorry and why the dead angle is so dangerous.
Sensitisation at primary school age
1, 2, 3, 4….23, 24, 25 and thus all the pupils in the fourth grade fit at the same time into the dead angle of the lorry, which stops in the schoolyard of the primary school “In der Vöde” in Bochum this morning.
What exactly the dead angle is, the children have already discussed in detail in several school lessons. But to see the dimensions in reality and not just drawn on the blackboard is always a surprise.
This shows that raising awareness at primary school age is so important. Many primary school children cycle or walk to school every day. REMONDIS’ initiative, therefore, aims to raise awareness of the dangers at an early stage so that more accidents involving vulnerable road users – such as cyclists or pedestrians – can be prevented.
25 girls and boys fit into the dead angle at the same time while Paul Fikus (l.) shows them the area at the side of the vehicle that is so hard for the driver to see
Everything in view? One after the other, the girls and boys are allowed to sit in the driver’s seat and see with their own eyes how limited the all-round view is – despite the elevated seating position
In the driver’s seat
It becomes even more vivid when the girls and boys are allowed to sit in the driver’s seat of the lorry one after the other. While Paul Fikus encourages the children in front of and next to the vehicle to draw attention to themselves with singing and dancing, his colleague Alexander Bartz explains in detail to the pupils in the driver’s cab which mirrors and technical aids are available to the driver.
Here, too, it becomes clear: the fellow pupils completely disappear in the dead angle, the driver’s view is limited and the dangers are not to be underestimated. The dead angle is a constant risk, especially for truck drivers who cannot see everything from their driver’s cab despite their elevated seating position.
Technical aids do not replace such initiatives
Technical aids such as turn-off assistants have already been under development for years and will also be mandatory vehicle equipment in the future. But even though the technical equipment has increasingly improved over the years, it is still people who participate in road traffic. That’s why initiatives like these are especially important to raise awareness among all road users as best as possible. And it’s best to start with the little ones!
The dead angle initiative is free of charge and particularly suitable for fourth classes in Germany. Interested primary schools are welcome to contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credits: image 1-3: © REMONDIS