Saturday, 13 March 2010

A murderous week on London's streets

Ok, I know, cyclists actually live for longer on average than our more sedentary road users,and that cycling is a safe mode of transport, but think how much longer the cyclist's average life could be.

On 9 March 2010, a cyclist was knocked down by a tipper truck near Weston Street.  21 years old, a fourth year medical student on his way to lectures, this cyclist died instantly as the Keltbray tipper lorry ran over him.

A day later, in Hackney (roundabout, Lauriston Road and Victoria Park Road) a woman in her early 20s was hit by a left-turning tipper lorry, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Of course, the place for apportioning blame for these is the courts.  Nevertheless HGVs, with their distant, elevated driving positions, their many blind spots and their drag sweep when turning,mean that lorries and buses are a constant danger for cyclists.  So, no matter what the circumstances were, take a look at this poster and think:

If you feel that this poster and or any of the writing above might serve a purpose on your blog please, please, copy what you want and pass it on.  I know it's grim to even think about but it is our duty to try and prevent accidents.  And if you have a little spare ink in your printer, why not print off a few sheets using the links below...?

2 x A5 PDF

UPDATE: John, via the comments page has just reminded me of the TfL road safety video here  Both the advice to cyclists and the graphics showing  LGV blind spots are very illustrative of the dangers.


John said...

Marmoset, if you haven't already seen it, go to this link and scroll down for the 'Be aware of lorries' video.

Marmoset said...

John, thanks for that - I have seen it a while ago but didn't think of it when I wrote the post. I'll add the link.

Deptford dame said...

That's a very good video on the TFL site but the graphics of the lorries turning seem to be dangerously simplified. They make no mention of the fact that the rear of the truck usually cuts right in to the kerb as the lorry turns. Hanging back from the junction itself if you have misjudged the timing is not going to help you if you are still within swinging range of the tail.

Marmoset said...

That's a good point, DD. I just had another watch and the graphics make the rear axles follow exactly the same line as the front ones. So they actually hide what is perhaps the most dangerous aspect of cycling anywhere in front of the rear axles when there's a possibility that the LGV may turn left. Experienced cyclists will know that the rear of the vehicle will cut in towards the kerb while the front takes a wider line. I don't know what the ''correct'' term for this is - I've seen it called ''drag sweep'' and tend to use the same phrase.

And perhaps even worse than the drag sweep is that fact that LGVs, especially articulated lorries, have absolutely no sight of that part of the road when they're turning. And this blind spot is exactly where an inexperienced or reckless cyclist might stray.

I put up a post about the Woolwich Road underpass (Adrianna...)last week at least partly because I had just witnessed a left-hand drive LGV, intending to go straight on, not only completely obliterate the cycle path but jam its rear axle up against the kerb. As it was the driver's near side there was no excuse for such bad driving and as such it was exceptional, but it would have killed a cyclist who had thought it would be safe because the truck wasn't indicating to turn left.

As I'd stayed behind the LGV and was the only one who could see the truck driver, it fell to me to get the traffic behind to reverse so that the LGV could renegotiate the junction. Not easy when the driver of the second car back decided that the easiest way of solving the problem was to get out of his people carrier and hurl racist abuse at the driver. Because a driverless car isn't very good at reversing....