Did you know that a tram weighs 30,000 kilos and has blind spot mirrors or cameras? Or that 18-metre electric buses meander through the busy traffic of our capital? Anyway, Angie didn't know. Fortunately, the police Charlois has meanwhile taken her out of the isolation cell and she can visit GVB in Amsterdam today!
Stay out of that blind spot!
Sitting in the driver's cab of the tram with a face mask is of course a bit different than normal. But despite unusual times, normal traffic rules still apply: stay out of that blind spot! Astrid of GVB says:
"Trams run on rails and can therefore not swerve during an emergency stop. Because they are so heavy, it also takes a while before they stop. It is therefore extremely important for cyclists to pay attention when a tram arrives. Make eye contact with the tram driver , then you know he sees you!”.
Astrid also says it: stay out of that blind spot! You know, our least favorite corner. Where there is an accident, no matter how small it is. If you have eye contact with the driver, you can be sure that you are visible. Her colleague John also contributes and shares his experiences on track with Safe on the Road:
“The tram has right of way. That's a traffic rule. Prevent traffic accidents and remember that! I also want to point out that earplugs and bicycles swear worse than pink and red. If you have music on, you will not hear our bell. No matter how loud it is. Must hear!”.
Half deaf, but with a head full of new traffic knowledge, Angie says goodbye to Astrid and John. Her next appointment is with Jermaine, bus driver and instructor at GVB. Some of the city buses in Amsterdam are electric. A benefit with a small caveat, says Jermaine:
“Our buses are electric. That is of course very good for the environment. Not an old diesel bus. But where an old-fashioned diesel drives through the city with a lot of noise, our new electric buses are very quiet. You hardly hear them coming!"
That means extra careful attention! Actively participate in traffic and look around you. Take those earphones off, Angie. How many times do you need to hear it? The blind spot is also a point of attention for Amsterdam bus drivers. And here too it is important to make contact with the driver. TIP! Can you see the driver in his wing mirror? Then he sees you too!
We spend the rest of the day with Jermaine. He gives us a comprehensive traffic lesson and teaches us all about bicycling cut-offs, blind spots and turns. Swivel? Well, then you should take a look at our traffic vlog. Then you are completely up-to-date, just like Angie. That was em' again for this week, see you next time!