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HGV Blind Spots - Trafalgar Square 26/27 June

Simon L2Simon L2 Posts: 2,908
edited June 2007 in Campaign
I've received this from TfL

<i>....please find details regarding the Freight and Cycling event: two articulated units and trailers will be parked at Trafalgar Square on 26th and 27th June and cyclists (predominantly) will be invited to position themselves around the vehicles and review the positions from the drivers cab. The cyclist interviews will be videod to provide a recording of the event and to become a part of the London Logistics Booster training pack. The event is being organised by the Commercial Vehicle Education Unit of the Metropolitan Police Service, a unit which is wholly funded by the Freight Unit,
The draft London Freight Plan can be viewed at www.tfl.gov.uk/freight
The consultation ended on 5 September 06 and the plan is under review for publication in the new year</i>

quite apart from the obvious - that it is, indeed, very dumb to be in the blind spot of an HGV it might be an idea to go along and make the point to the Freight Unit that HGVs shouldn't have blind spots, and that training for HGV drivers along the lines of that given to bus drivers might not be a bad idea.

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  • Tourist TonyTourist Tony Posts: 8,628
    At least it's something, Simon, though I do agree it is a bit along the usual lines of "you shouldn't mix with the nasty traffic".

    If I had a stalker, I would hug it and kiss it and call it George...or censored
    If I had a stalker, I would hug it and kiss it and call it George...or censored
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  • Hmmmm...
    It always seems to be "Cyclists - don't ride up the left hand side of lorries". Perfectly good advice of course.

    But what about those cases where women have been dragged to their death when simply cycling along the road, and a lorry does a left hook over them? Or the incidents in Russel Square when (from my reading of the reports) the women were perfectly legitimately ALREADY at traffic lights when the lorry driver pulls up beside them, then proceeds to run them over by going left?

    By all means, lets have an education program for cyclists - even if you are correctly positioned, you might want to try to escape if a lorry pulls up beside you on the right.

    Buyt let's ALSO start telling the truth about how these lorry drivers are killing people on our streets.
  • ArchcpArchcp Posts: 8,987
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Simon L2</i>
    quite apart from the obvious - that it is, indeed, very dumb to be in the blind spot of an HGV it might be an idea to go along and make the point to the Freight Unit that HGVs shouldn't have blind spots, and that training for HGV drivers along the lines of that given to bus drivers might not be a bad idea.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    But from what I read on here, bus drivers aren't much better... IE, most are fine, some are really bad.

    I'm afraid I don't think I believe an HGV can have no blind spots, in practice. Yes, in theory, you can cover the whole of the vehicle with mirrors and cameras and all that, but doesn't it become very difficult for a driver to take in all the information from them? Well, without driving at about 10 miles an hour. Lots of little mirrors give a fragmented image, and it can still be difficult to see something as narrow as a cyclist. And bad drivers will continue to drive badly. After all, any driver who comes up alongside a cyclist and turns left has already failed to observe the cyclist as they come up behind them...

    I think the event's a good idea - if they could also find a wway to demonstrate how a large vehicle needs to move out to take a corner as well, that would help even more...

    If I had a baby elephant, it could help me clean the car. If I had a car.
    If I had a baby elephant, it could help me clean the car. If I had a car.
  • paulo.mcpaulo.mc Posts: 51
    Howsabout getting some lorry drivers to peddle around Trafalgar Square to get a cyclists-eye view. A little <b>mutual</b> understanding would go a long way.

    I'm happy [:)]..... and angry! [:(!]
    I've got a bad feeling about this!
  • gavintcgavintc Posts: 3,009
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by paulo.mc</i>

    Howsabout getting some lorry drivers to peddle around Trafalgar Square to get a cyclists-eye view. A little <b>mutual</b> understanding would go a long way.

    I'm happy [:)]..... and angry! [:(!]
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I think therein lies the problem. This event is aimed at cyclists to warn them about the blind spots and what not to do around cyclists. It will target a very very few cyclists and those that turn up will be the ones interested in the problem. It will not target the 'bloke on the bike' who does not read forums, does not think about road positioning and will sail down the inside of a left turning LGV.
  • What training is given to bus drivers these days then?! Most seem to think that you cease to exist once their cab is past you and that it's OK to get their bus right up against the kerb regardless of how much bus still has to pass you (or perhaps I mean me). Or is this is only in London? As a former bus driver, I am appalled by today's driving standards and even more-so by the attitude of the drivers when you complain.
  • davidmamdavidmam Posts: 427
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by gavintc</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by paulo.mc</i>

    Howsabout getting some lorry drivers to peddle around Trafalgar Square to get a cyclists-eye view. A little <b>mutual</b> understanding would go a long way.

    I'm happy [:)]..... and angry! [:(!]
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    I think therein lies the problem. This event is aimed at cyclists to warn them about the blind spots and what not to do around cyclists. It will target a very very few cyclists and those that turn up will be the ones interested in the problem. It will not target the 'bloke on the bike' who does not read forums, does not think about road positioning and will sail down the inside of a left turning LGV.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    Read it again Sam. They will be videoing it and using said videos for HGV driver training.

    ..d

    Fat bloke on a bike
    Fat bloke on a bike
  • Simon L2Simon L2 Posts: 2,908
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by ScumOfTheRoad</i>

    Hmmmm...
    It always seems to be "Cyclists - don't ride up the left hand side of lorries". Perfectly good advice of course.

    But what about those cases where women have been dragged to their death when simply cycling along the road, and a lorry does a left hook over them? Or the incidents in Russel Square when (from my reading of the reports) the women were perfectly legitimately ALREADY at traffic lights when the lorry driver pulls up beside them, then proceeds to run them over by going left?

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    SOTR - that's the burden of my argument. I fully realise that the only cyclists to attend will be those interested. I would like those attending to make the point that if a truck driver is going to put a truck somewhere then he should be aware of what's around him. And the TfL people who are in a position to enforce a change of practice on haulage companies will be represented at this little gathering. So - sorry if I was a bit timid the first time. I should have written 'get down there and get TfL to get the truck drivers to behave themselves'.

    And bear in mind that the video <i>is</i> going to truck drivers....
  • Simon, you were being to subtle.

    Would you do the following?

    Prepare a statement along the lines:
    London Cyclists - your firends and colleagues are being killed every day on the roads (insert statistics)

    Examples - (details of two Russel Square tragedies in two days)
    (Ealing tragedy) (Smithfield tragedy with the lady who was dragged under a tipper lorry)
    Now have YOUR chance to tell lorry drivers how to behave around cyclists.
    Tell them to take care - that we are vulnerable.
    Tell them to take care when turning left.
    Tell them that we have a right to safely wait at a red light, without risk of an HGV pulling up and turning left on top of us.
    Give up half an hour of your lunchtime on 26 or 27th June. This is YOUR oportunity to maake your voice heard. Your actions might save a life - maybe your own.


    PLEASE post the above in Commuting - that board has plenty of London commuters.
    Let me have a copy and I will forward to a couple of LCC groups.

    OK, your prose need not be just as inflammatory as above, but you only have a sentence or two to grab people's attention.
  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    Has anyone actually been down there?

    This was in the Evading Standards last night and not one word was about lorry drivers taking care, even though in at least two of the fatalities above it was entirely the lorry driver's fault!
  • I'll be there but you won't recognise me.

    What's in my trolley?
    Bikes are traffic.
  • dondaredondare Posts: 2,113
    I'll troll along down at lunchtime, anyone elso going?

    "da sapienti et addetur ei sapientia doce iustum et festinabit accipere."
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • CometGirlCometGirl Posts: 2,681
    In a way, anything that stops people going down the inside of lorries has to be good. I'd quite like to see a reciprocal thing with HGV drivers invited to pedal past a queue of lorries...
  • drhaddockdrhaddock Posts: 664
    Eh? What was that all about? Just walked past Traf Sq and there didn't seem to be much going on - just a couple of trucks surrounded by fencing carrying the sign 'offering lifesaving advice to peds & cyclists' or something. Don't think it said much about educating lorry drivers to not crush cyclists beneath their wheels. Maybe they were just setting up, I didn't see any cameras about. I'll check again tomorrow lunchtime...

    Doc
  • dondaredondare Posts: 2,113
    I went and had a shufti. There weren't exactly crowds (well there were, but looking at the statues, not bothering about the lorries, I mean) but there was a camera crew there and a bloke being filmed riding past the artic for London Today. Or possibly London Tonight. I got to sit in both trucks and talk to some nice policemen and tell them that my worry was when lorries overtook me too close, or overtook me and moved left rather than when the lorry was stationary and I had the option of filtering or not. They told me that lorry drivers are all very well trained and disciplined and that this shouldn't happen, and told me that they had a film of a cyclist being killed by a left-turning lorry and that the cyclist hadn't being paying attention. They showed me what the driver can see if he's looking in his mirrors, with the option of more mirrors but these aren't always fitted. It seemed to me that the best thing would be if lorries had glass doors.
    I was given two day-glo rucksack covers and a small booklet called "Ignorant Lorry drivers" or "ignorant cyclists" depending on how you hold it.
    Who else went?

    "da sapienti et addetur ei sapientia doce iustum et festinabit accipere."
    This post contains traces of nuts.
  • RegulatorRegulator Posts: 417
    I'm going to pop in on my way home. It'll be interesting to see what they're up to and how they're approaching things. I shall, of course, be pointing out to them the need for better training of HGV drivers, etc.

    ___________________________
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  • Anyone else going/gone?

    Didn't see many there when I went.

    Bikes are traffic.
    Bikes are traffic.
  • RegulatorRegulator Posts: 417
    I went and spent some time talking to the traffic police and HGV drivers who were in attendance. It was worth noting that the day was aimed at pedestrians as well as cyclists.

    I raised the issue about HGV driver training and the police mentioned that this is an ongoing issue, with police going into firms and providing training/advice. However, there is some humungous number of lorry firms within the Met Police area and they are only a small percentage of the way through the task. This task (along with road safety issues generally) is not helped by the cuts in traffic police funding.

    I raised the issue of HGV vehicles coming alongside cyclists who were already at the lights and then trying to turn across the cyclist. This is something the police were aware of and one of the officers there was at one of the recent fatal incidents where this has occurred. He tried to get the driver prosecuted - but the Crown Prosecution Service wasn't interested... <i>quelle suprise</i>.

    I also raised the issue of poor driving by black cabs and licensed private hire vehicles (a pet hate of mine). The police were sympathetic and say that driving standards amongst black cab drivers have fallen since supervision of the Public Carriage Office was removed from the police and given to TfL. Cabbies used to be disciplined if they drove badly (particularly if pulled by the police) - this doesn't happen now. Cabbies will only get into trouble if they're rude to passengers. TfL and the PCO aren't interested in maintaining standards... and this is shown by the fall in the number of cabbies being stripped of their licenses compared to pre-TfL days.

    Over all, I found the police and the lorry drivers very approachable and willing to listen to the concerns of cyclists. It probably helped that the police officers I spoke to were both cyclists, as was one of the lorry drivers.

    In the end, I'm still happier cycling amongst lorries than I am amongst buses, black cabs and 4x4s. Most HGV drivers are well trained and aware of teh size of their vehicles - something most 4x4 drivers aren't.

    ___________________________
    censored elephants - capabari are cuter!
    ___________________________
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