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HGV menace

domtylerdomtyler Posts: 2,648
edited June 2007 in Campaign
From CTC Newsletter:

quote:
We are sorry to have to report yet another cyclist has been killed in London following a collision with a Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV); there have now been five people killed in this entirely preventable manner in the last 2 months. On average, 50% of London's cyclist fatalities every year involve HGVs - mostly when the drivers are turning left at junctions and the cyclist is going straight on. Legislation forcing these vehicles to be fitted with extra mirrors to give a better view of cyclists and pedestrians would help. We are supporting a London Cycling Campaign letter writing campaign . Please get involved. Click here to find a list of MEPs, if you live outside of London.




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Posts

  • _Ben__Ben_ Posts: 283
    Hmmm... I can't imagine a more stark reminder not to ride up the inside of a lorry.



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    This cannot be guaranteed to be more than a half-baked attempt at a post.
  • CabCab Posts: 770
    We need to educate cyclists and HGV drivers rather than just hope that the technological 'fix' will be made law. It ain't rocket science so most of us here that blind siding a large, high sided vehicle, especially approaching a junction, is a bad idea, yet I'll wager that many of us see it happening all the time.



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  • peterbrpeterbr Posts: 2,076
    As sad as these deaths are, I still can't for the life of me understand WHY someone would ride up the inside of a truck in the full knowledge that it could turn left and probably cannot see you. I tend to queue at the lights in the middle of the carriageway thus taking the lane. Admittedly being behind a smelly truck is far from pleasant, but really, why risk death so needlessly?



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  • RyedalemanRyedaleman Posts: 68
    As an HGV artic driver and cyclist I cannot understand why people put themselves in such danger by riding up the inside of vehilces near junctions.

    Trucks today have good mirrors, but I can still lose a transit on my nearside, so what hope have I of seeing a cyclist.

    Sure even more mirrors could be added...but when will I get the time to look in them all. Already I have n/side, n/side wide angle, curb mirror, and forward curb mirror..4 in all just on the near side!

    If you want to stay alive do not undetake LGVs and do not stop next to the near side cab door when waiting at traffic lights..get in front and look at the driver..if you can see him/her they can see you!

    Stay safe show conderation for all on the roads
  • quote:Originally posted by peterbr

    As sad as these deaths are, I still can't for the life of me understand WHY someone would ride up the inside of a truck in the full knowledge that it could turn left and probably cannot see you. I tend to queue at the lights in the middle of the carriageway thus taking the lane. Admittedly being behind a smelly truck is far from pleasant, but really, why risk death so needlessly?


    Guaranteed elephant free since 1971.


    Probably because at the point of action it doesn't even occur to them as a likely problem, I am afraid. If they do think about it, they don't believe it is going to happen to them.

    It might take a really stark publicity campaign to frighten the bejeebers out of cyclists but that would be counter-productive as it could scare them right off the road.

    Stephen
  • BrightsparkcpBrightsparkcp Posts: 135
    I believe that the problem is exacerbated by cycle lanes that encourage, or even direct, cyclists up the inside of traffic.
  • CabCab Posts: 770
    quote:Originally posted by Brightspark

    I believe that the problem is exacerbated by cycle lanes that encourage, or even direct, cyclists up the inside of traffic.


    Don't worry, soon enough you won't have to worry about those. The new highway code will tell us that if it is possible to use those lanes then we really should. So you ignore the cycle lane, survive by not being taken out by the artic, get into another accident caused by someone who doesn't agree with your safer road position, and your lack of attentiveness to the dangerous facility will be used in court against you.

    It saddens me that such an obvious line of reasoning, reinforced so frequently by people getting killed doing precisely what cycle lanes encourage us to do, can be so completely ignored.



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  • ArchcpArchcp Posts: 8,987
    quote:Originally posted by notanotherusername

    quote:Originally posted by peterbr

    As sad as these deaths are, I still can't for the life of me understand WHY someone would ride up the inside of a truck in the full knowledge that it could turn left and probably cannot see you. I tend to queue at the lights in the middle of the carriageway thus taking the lane. Admittedly being behind a smelly truck is far from pleasant, but really, why risk death so needlessly?


    Guaranteed elephant free since 1971.


    Probably because at the point of action it doesn't even occur to them as a likely problem, I am afraid. If they do think about it, they don't believe it is going to happen to them.


    Stephen



    Sadly, I think this is right. You only have to look at the poor standard of all sorts of road users to see that there are plenty of people who seem incapable of any forethought or imagination. If they think at all, perhaps these people who go up the inside of long vehicles think that they will turn like characters in nintendo game - in a nice predictable arc, keeping a constant distance from the kerb, whereas any of us who've driven anything longer than a Ford Focus know that the rear wheels don't just follow the front...

    Is it that in this day and age, too many people assume that things will be designed to be 'safe' and therefore are absolved of responsibility? Even if it means ignoring basic rules of physics and geometry... In fact, all you have to do to make yourself as safe as you can is to use your eyes and brain in conjunction, watch what goes on around you, and take the trouble to learn from what you observe.... Sadly, learning as the truck runs over you is too late...

    Of course, I'm sure not all the deaths are caused by cyclists doing daft stuff, and if a driver is at fault then they deserve proper penalties.

    I suspect there's a limit to how many mirrors one person can look at and retain a coherent picture of what's going on. Better to make sure that cyclists understand how to behave safely, and that drivers are properly punished for carelessness.

    If I had a baby elephant, it could help me clean the car. If I had a car.
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  • Spikey_DavidSpikey_David Posts: 449
    I don't think its always the cyclists fault. I've lost count of the number of times that (despite taking a wide line), I've been forced to swerve or brake to avoid being squaahed by an overtaking lorry or bus that starts to pull back in while only halfway past. Invariably the driver will accuse the cyclist for trying to ride up the inside. Ive also been hit (lightly) by an overtaking, left turning bus. Extra mirrors will only help if drivers actually use them and respect cyclists!
  • linfordlunchboxlinfordlunchbox Posts: 4,834
    I'm waiting for Tabernacle to join in on this one.....


    "I\'d clean my car with a baby elephant - if I had a baby elephant !"
  • domtylerdomtyler Posts: 2,648
    edited February 2011
    I think they really should be fitted and now. I don't buy the too many mirrors argument, no-one expects HGV drivers to use them all, all the time. It would depend on the manouevre he/she was carrying out at the time. For example, if they were performing a left turn at a busy urban intersection with lots of different types of vehicles, including cycles in the vicinity then they should learn to use the mirror that would enable them to check for cyclists. There should be NO BLIND SPOTS on HGVs.

    I can't really see a point where all cyclists are aware of this type of danger when anyone can pick up a bike and go out onto the roads with it. The alternative is compulsory education and a license.

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  • woody-somwoody-som Posts: 1,001
    when I was tought to drive a car, I was told, if you cant see the mirrors of the lorry, then the driver can't see you. Always used this when driving, and certainly while cycling. I know a lorry reversed over a parked car, and drove off without ever knowing the car was behind him, a cyclist would be like driving over an ant.
  • Rhythm ThiefRhythm Thief Posts: 2,787
    quote:Originally posted by domtyler

    There should be NO BLIND SPOTS on HGVs.

    I can't really see a point where all cyclists are aware of this type of danger when anyone can pick up a bike and go out onto the roads with it. The alternative is compulsory education and a license.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Porridge not Petrol


    I take your point, Dom, but like Ryedaleman I drive an artic and the reality is that there are blind spots and always will be. No matter how many mirrors there are on the nearside, the driver is still only looking at them with the same two eyes and if the trailer is at any sort of angle to the cab (at roundabouts for instance), the driver can't se around it. As Ryedaleman says, you can easily lose a transit van in the blind spot. Usually I can spot a cyclist on the inside of my lorry, but that's only because I'm more aware of cyclists (being one myself) than most HGV drivers. Like it or not, cyclists are easy to miss from the cab of a truck.
    None of this is to say that all HGV/cyclist incidents are the fault of the cyclist, by the way; it's still the driver's job to spot a cyclist wherever he or she is. But The inside of a lorry is never a good place to be unless you can be absolutely sure it's not going to move before you get in front of it.

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  • mark1956mark1956 Posts: 221
    Lots of big trucks in the US have signs on the back of the trailer warning of "right turn danger" or "this vehicle makes wide turns", frequently with a drawing of what happens to vehicles that try to pass on the inside. Are such signs common in the UK?

    mark
    mark
  • linfordlunchboxlinfordlunchbox Posts: 4,834
    No we don't Mark, they usually use a bunch of flowers tied to some railings on a junction to designate this sort of thing...


    "I\'d clean my car with a baby elephant - if I had a baby elephant !"
  • Buffalo BillBuffalo Bill Posts: 338
    More mirrors is a good thing - but as the guy says above, when will he find the time to look in them. Also, if you can see the mirrors, it only means that the driver can see you if s/he looks in them.

    I find it depressing to read so many posts from cyclists basically blaming dead cyclists for their own deaths, especially without full knowledge of the circumstances. OK, before Rae (and others) start with it, yes Seb contributed to his own demise. But Amelia Zollner didn't filter up - according to the witness reports she stopped at a light, in a bike lane, and the truck pulled up after.

    There is a difference between saying 'oh, you should avoid getting into this situation', and saying 'that was stupid, it was their own fault, they were in the suicide zone' and so on. After Seb's death, I met his family. They were utterly distraught. His dad drives an LGV/HGV/lorry for a living. Of course it's true to say that Seb was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Yes, we should be (and I do) saying here's what we as cyclists should try and do to avoid these collisions.

    But going further, and saying Seb was a f***-wit (as one clever and anonymous poster did on uk.rec.cycling) is grossly insensitive and unhelpful.

    Yes, cyclists need to be aware of the dangers. But aren't we entitled to expect PROFESSIONAL drivers to do the basics - and be aware of and respect other road users?

    Buffalo Bill supports
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  • linfordlunchboxlinfordlunchbox Posts: 4,834
    If Tabernacle is to be believed, and these numbers are also to be believed, then 50% of cyclists are killed by HGVs and the other 50% are wiped out by 4x4s so no more complaining when mondeo man or chav boy in his saxo cuts you up OK !


    "I\'d clean my car with a baby elephant - if I had a baby elephant !"
  • CabCab Posts: 770
    Buffalo Bill, thats tragic.

    Do you agree that such incidents make a strong argument for ignoring the cycle lane and claiming a strong primary road position at a junction? I know, many cyclists will pick the cycle lane and it isn't their fault if they come off badly because of it, that isn't my point.



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  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    quote: After Seb's death, I met his family. They were utterly distraught.


    From what I read of Seb after his death he was a well-liked guy. A truly horrible story.
  • Buffalo BillBuffalo Bill Posts: 338
    I hardly use cycle lanes at all. I agree with the other posters here that they put you in the wrong position. After Seb's death, Transport for London put a lane up on the left right into the spot where he was killed. I would never use it.

    Most of the lanes in London are pathetic, and cyclists have been killed in the 'proper' ones. Like the other posters here, I ride where I can be seen. But I am fast enough and confident enough to hold my space even when it's obvious that I am annoying drivers by so doing.

    Most novice cyclists aren't as quick or as confident

    Buffalo Bill supports
    the Bicycle Messenger Emergency Fund
    Editor, Moving Target, the world's most useless courier zine
    Brixton Cycling Club
    some snaps
    Buffalo Bill Editor, Moving Target, the world\'s most useless courier zine
  • Flying_MonkeyFlying_Monkey Posts: 8,708
    BB - no-one doubts your sincerity or commitment to the cause of cyclists, and I think everyone would condemn people who insult dead cyclists. However to suggest that we have to be more careful and that filtering up the left side of HGVs is not a good idea (I would never, ever do it) is not to blame dead cyclists for their own deaths. You yourself suggest that some people who we mourn did indeed contribute to their own demise. We can't ignore this. What's important is that we find ways foward so that situations like this don't happen in future, and that we don't become polarised and diverted from making sure cycling is as safe as it can be. Keep up the good work!

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  • domtylerdomtyler Posts: 2,648
    edited February 2011
    quote:Originally posted by linfordlunchbox
    No we don't Mark, they usually use a bunch of flowers tied to some railings on a junction to designate this sort of thing...


    Oooof...

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  • Spikey_DavidSpikey_David Posts: 449
    quote:Originally posted by Flying_Monkey

    However to suggest that we have to be more careful and that filtering up the left side of HGVs is not a good idea

    It is insulting and inappropriate when it comes in the form of a false accusations from drivers who cut back in or turn left while over-taking.
  • DuduDudu Posts: 4,637
    quote:Originally posted by peterbr

    As sad as these deaths are, I still can't for the life of me understand WHY someone would ride up the inside of a truck in the full knowledge that it could turn left and probably cannot see you.


    Peter, you and I are well aware of all this. The problem is, the dangers of riding up the inside of an artic do not even occur to many "cyclists", who regard riding a bike as a slightly faster form of walking - hence their behaviour.

    They're the same people who ride on pavements "'cos it's safer" (when both common sense and statistics show it isn't) and who ride past the stop line (even if they don't RLJ) and stop right next to the kerb "'cos it's safer" (ditto), rather than stopping ON the stop line in the MIDDLE of their lane so that everyone can see them... or stop behind the last car in the queue unless they can see it's safe to filter to the front, and there's somewhere to filter to.


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  • Kevin RochKevin Roch Posts: 13
    I do not undertake lorries but have found that lorries will overtake me and then swing a left. Quite often the lorry driver thinks they have overtaken you and forgets about you - but you are still there on their nearside (they forget you're moving too!). I have often braked just to drop back rather than stay any longer than necessary on the lorry's nearside.


    Kevin R
    Kevin R
  • Ed LehmannEd Lehmann Posts: 219
    quote:Originally posted by Buffalo Bill

    I hardly use cycle lanes at all. I agree with the other posters here that they put you in the wrong position. After Seb's death, Transport for London put a lane up on the left right into the spot where he was killed. I would never use it.

    Most of the lanes in London are pathetic, and cyclists have been killed in the 'proper' ones. Like the other posters here, I ride where I can be seen. But I am fast enough and confident enough to hold my space even when it's obvious that I am annoying drivers by so doing.

    Most novice cyclists aren't as quick or as confident
    Totally agree.

    One simple action that would help would be for vehicles more than 20 feet long to be fitted with a kind of safety device put on conveyor belts over fifty years ago. Cheap, and very effective.

    That's a stop cord.
    Pull it and the belt stops. Or truck, as the case may be.
    Cost is negligable; effectiveness is likely to be 90+%.

    Only problem is chavs, messing.
    If people want to run big trucks in towns, that's something the truck boys need to fix. Perhaps with a second man.

    But a simple, effective safety cord should slash cycle fatalities almost in half.
    No cord; no movement. Simple as that.
    Ed.

    Ed Lehmann.
    CTC-RTR, Vale & S. Oxon.

    Relish Oxford.
    Just 20, please.
    Ed Lehmann.
    CTC-RTR, Vale & S. Oxon.

    Relish Oxford.
    Just 20, please.
  • RyedalemanRyedaleman Posts: 68
    I've alreday made the point about mirrors on HGV's...
    Cycles lanes often add to the problem, I can think of one in York near Gilly gate, a handlebars' width so cars miss you by millimetres. However to turn left in a truck, even a rigid has to go onto the other side of the road to allow for the cut in. Inspite of indicators and driving very slow cyclist are sucked into moving up the inside directly into the blind spot of ANY vehicle.
    A few months ago I was performing this manouvre and a cyclist had filtered down the outside of the traffic..which I think is safer, then dived down the inside because I had moved across to the right to turn left....because I was watching him come down the traffic behind me ..I then lost him so I stopped and got 2 fingers for my trouble.

    We all have to be responsible for our actions..we have to share the roads with others..show respect and courtsey, its nearly always returned, do not assume others have seen you unless you want that on your gravestone.
  • dondaredondare Posts: 2,113
    quote:Originally posted by linfordlunchbox

    If Tabernacle is to be believed, and these numbers are also to be believed, then 50% of cyclists are killed by HGVs and the other 50% are wiped out by 4x4s so no more complaining when mondeo man or chav boy in his saxo cuts you up OK !



    It's 25% for HGVs.



    The dangers are greatest for inexperienced cyclists, but that isn't their fault. And even the most experienced cyclist can die.
    The dangers are exagerated, but no danger should be dismissed.

    What's worse than raining cats and dogs?
    Idiots who leap out into the road oblivious of their own safety and mine, flailing about with bags and umbrellas in the belief that buses won't stop at bus stops if there are people just waiting there.
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • rob35rob35 Posts: 62
    AS the most vunerable road users, we need to watch and anticipate vehicle movements. Never undercut in the left!!. Had a club mate knocked off and received broken shoulder, and only by a Ford Ka, at 10 mph. Put yourself where drivers can see you. Respect others, less of the finger. Thank drivers when they wait or call you on. I think this comes with experience. Why do some riders think they can race through a rush hour. I am not saying this is the case in this example, but it annoys me cyclists do ludicrious things, and expect to get away with it.
  • CunobelinCunobelin Posts: 11,792
    It would be interesting to see if the fault lay with the cyclist or the HGV.

    I agree fully that going up inside traffic is a big danger, but with the new Highway Code making this a suggested maneouvre there will be more victims.

    Having said that I am the victim of a "left hook" several times a week which is entirely the fault of the driver of the vehicle.

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