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Petition against HGV deaths of cyclists

sicknotesicknote Posts: 901
edited October 2009 in Commuting chat
Hi

I am not sure were to post this but thought you might like to take part as it is something that is close to us all.

Its from one of the people on the Haringay Cyclist yahoo group.


Dear colleague, friend,

Apologies if you are already aware of this.
Since my sister, Eilidh, was killed by an HGV whilst cycling to work in
February, I see no action to date that will prevent the same happening
again.

* Eight cyclists have died, directly as a result of a collision with
a lorry, on London streets alone this year (so far...) More in
other cities.
* The majority of them were women.
* The majority, if not all, were experienced, fit, strong, law
abiding cyclists.

If you know anyone, colleague, family or friend, who cycles in the
centre of UK cities, please read, consider and sign this petition.
The aim is clear: to reduce cyclist deaths by HGVs to zero. Currently
the number is rising.
Please tell your friends, colleagues, tweet it, set it as facebook
status. Thank you so much for your time.
http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/LGV-Cycle-Safety/
--
Kate Cairns
Independent Sustainability Advisor

Can admin add it to other parts of the forum if that would be ok.

Thanks for looking.
«1

Posts

  • tjwoodtjwood Posts: 328
    Without wishing to imply anything about the case that sparked this off, I think measures aimed at educating cyclists would be more effective than targeting LGV drivers.
    As a general rule, the training and requirements to become an LGV driver are already pretty stringent. LGV drivers generally don't deliberately go around hitting cyclists, the problem is that by their nature LGVs have big blind spots and if cyclists place themselves in the blind spot there is nothing the driver can do to know the cyclist is there.

    So it's really up to the cyclist to be extra careful around large vehicles.

    I'd sign a petition calling for information aimed at cyclists, in addition to awareness for LGV drivers, like this from TfL:
    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/11687.aspx
  • tjwood wrote:
    Without wishing to imply anything about the case that sparked this off, I think measures aimed at educating cyclists would be more effective than targeting LGV drivers.
    As a general rule, the training and requirements to become an LGV driver are already pretty stringent. LGV drivers generally don't deliberately go around hitting cyclists, the problem is that by their nature LGVs have big blind spots and if cyclists place themselves in the blind spot there is nothing the driver can do to know the cyclist is there.

    So it's really up to the cyclist to be extra careful around large vehicles.

    I'd sign a petition calling for information aimed at cyclists, in addition to awareness for LGV drivers, like this from TfL:
    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/11687.aspx

    agree. The amount of people you see at the rolling up to the side of busses and trucks, it's surprising there's not more people killed.
    Do we need the few extra feet of road anymore than the motorist harassing us to pass dangerously does?

    There's always 2 sides to the story tho, do LGV drivers always double check blind spots? is there scope to put the onus on manufacturers to build wing mirrors with a concave element that will eliminate blind spots and show (even if distorted) anyone low down at the side of the truck? is it economic to put a radar sensor on the side of a truck that will sound an alarm if someone rolls up on the inside of it when stopped or slow moving in traffic? The alarm could be a beep in the cab for the driver and/or similar to the audible reversing warnings on vehicles - telling the person that they're in danger in the trucks blind spot.
    Dunno much about the practicalities of these things or if I'm talking out the wrong end again.

    The boyfriend of the daughter of Met Police commissioer Sir Paul Stephenson, was killed at a left turn junction by a LGV in Manchester recently. Ghoulish opportunism but now might be a good time to bring the topic of cycle safety to the top brass of the Met.
  • sicknotesicknote Posts: 901
    I do agree with you but as have had a LGV driver go pass me way to close on the way home from training one night and there was no way I could not see me, plus I know he did as he went through a red light so he did not have to deal with me and he would have had too :evil:

    I have also had one pull out on me even after looking me in the face and I had to pass him on the inside ( I did have the room ) but you should have seen his face when I went passed him and gave him the look.

    Plus just like drivers, after they have they training, they can driver how they like.
    Now that is not to say that all are the same as most that go pass me leave lots of room.

    So before you said that it is just the cyclist because you have seen some go down the inside, I would say that some are bad drivers or just dont think.

    Remember the video with the Mayor and the lorry's door catching that car, now it was very lucky that know one was killed.
  • tjwoodtjwood Posts: 328
    Sure, but there are loads of bad drivers. Anecdotally I generally find that LGV drivers (which have more training than most drivers) seem to be more considerate than car and van drivers.

    I wonder how many cyclists have been killed or seriously injured as a direct result of a collision with a car or a van? Are lorries statistically more dangerous to cyclists than cars or vans?

    I'm all for efforts to improve road safety for everyone, but it needs to be directed at the places where evidence shows most benefit will be gained, not at some minority group who is easily disicriminated against because they are easy to pick on. (Lorry drivers and cyclists both fall into the category of "a minority group who is easily discriminated against", so be careful where you point the finger ;-))
  • sicknotesicknote Posts: 901
    tjwood wrote:
    Sure, but there are loads of bad drivers. Anecdotally I generally find that LGV drivers (which have more training than most drivers) seem to be more considerate than car and van drivers.

    I wonder how many cyclists have been killed or seriously injured as a direct result of a collision with a car or a van? Are lorries statistically more dangerous to cyclists than cars or vans?

    I'm all for efforts to improve road safety for everyone, but it needs to be directed at the places where evidence shows most benefit will be gained, not at some minority group who is easily disicriminated against because they are easy to pick on. (Lorry drivers and cyclists both fall into the category of "a minority group who is easily discriminated against", so be careful where you point the finger ;-))

    I dont disagree with you and would like to see the stats on it to but I think you have more chance of really being hurt if a lorry gets to close than something like a car at the same distance.
    They are also a lot more cars on the road than LGV's so the stats should also take this into account as you have more chance of going under a LGV if they get it wrong.

    I am not pointing a finger, just hi lighting something I have seen myself and not very nice when one goes passed you at about 2 feet :shock:
  • stats aren't going to be much use here, as the deaths from cycling are low, normally around the hundred and something mark, and also why it shows quite large swings up and down as it doesn't need much to do so.

    also bare in mind that deaths on bikes in london barely gets into double figures.

    this all said, how ever wince making some of the moves some cyclists pull, HGV are very heavy and powerful with massive blind spots, and frankly it's the drivers job to know the blind spots and how wide to turn. It's not up to car/bikes etc to guess what the HGV can and can't see or do.

    but thus far as the deaths are low, not sure you'll get much political will to do much.
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 1,717
    I had a look at the poll but is just talks about "new measures" without making any suggestions of what. How is this helpfu'? It's just shouting "something should be done" without offering any analysis of the problem - this is the kind of sentiment that leads to pointless, ill-considered legislation (dangerous dogs act, etc).

    I think these kind of campaigns are better managed by organisations like the CTC who can apply some informed analysis and make specific policy proposals.

    My condolences to all effected by these tragedies. They sicken me and I think about them a lot. But I won't be signing this poll. Sorry.

    J
  • TommyEssTommyEss Posts: 1,855
    do LGV drivers always double check blind spots?

    It's a blind spot by definition - there are parts of the vehicle the driver cannont see without getting out and walking round.

    The freznel lenses being implemented on the passenger side window to allow the driver to see directly down (i.e. anything behind the door and right by the front left tyre) do just that - they won't show him anyone hovering back from there, so won't show him anyone stuck further back, but still in the pinch zone if he's going to be turning left on them.

    It really is a lot down to us to tell people that if you find yourelf on the inside of an HGV, get the hell off your bike and onto the pavement until he's moved off.
    Cannondale Synapse 105, Giant Defy 3, Giant Omnium, Giant Trance X2, EMC R1.0, Ridgeback Platinum, On One Il Pompino...
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 1,717
    It really is a lot down to us to tell people that if you find yourelf on the inside of an HGV, get the hell off your bike and onto the pavement until he's moved off.

    +1

    Infact there are three related points and that is the third.

    1. don't put yourself inside an HGV (i.e. don't filter up the inside)
    2. don't put yourself in a position that is likely to result in you being inside an HGV (don't hug the kerb or stop next to the kerb at a junction)
    3. if you find yourself on the inside of an HGV, get the hell off your bike and onto the pavement until he's moved off

    I'm not saying that these points would have prevented all the fatalities this year but I see plenty of cyclists still putting themselves in danger by not obeying these rules.
  • TommyEssTommyEss Posts: 1,855
    Good points Jedster - at the end of the day, we can moan all we like about the whys and wherefores of all the other road users' behaviour, but at the end of the day, when it comes down to, it's all about getting home at the end of the day in one piece.

    We ARE vulnerable road users - we're soft and squishy and hard to see. We don't go that quickly either (relatively...) and for that reason, we all need to ride appropriately.

    That doesn't mean fleeing Monty Python-style onto the pavements (run awaaay....), but it does mean riding defensively.

    Filtering through traffic - stay well back from the big buggers.

    Coming up to red lights - be prepared to stop (and expect an idiot on a hybrid to come screaming up the inside)

    Coming up to a junction - be prepared to stop for that idiot who jibs out, or the idiot who jibs in.

    Overtaking a slow lane of traffic and the cars inside you start to brake - they're probably slowing to allow someone out of a junction - hang back too!

    etc. etc. - we should probably compile a set of top tips learnt from hard experience - all those near misses (and the closer calls) will allow us all to learn from our collective thousands of miles riding round this green and pleasant land.
    Cannondale Synapse 105, Giant Defy 3, Giant Omnium, Giant Trance X2, EMC R1.0, Ridgeback Platinum, On One Il Pompino...
  • number9number9 Posts: 440
    * Eight cyclists have died, directly as a result of a collision with
    a lorry, on London streets alone this year (so far...) More in
    other cities.
    * The majority of them were women.
    * The majority, if not all, were experienced, fit, strong, law
    abiding cyclists.



    In most cyclist/lorry collisions the driver is at fault.

    Either shuffling his paperwork:

    http://www.movingtargetzine.com/article ... -fined-300


    On a mobile:

    http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/news/ ... ticle.html

    Or, the lorry driver just runs over the cyclist, leaves them dying, and runs away:

    http://www.thelondonpaper.com/thelondon ... end-cyclis


    City of London [Police] spot checks on HGVs [were] carried out on 30
    September 2008 as part of the Europe-wide Operation Mermaid, which is
    intended to step up levels of enforcement of road safety laws in
    relation to lorries.

    On this one day, 12 lorries were stopped randomly by City Police. Five
    of those lorries were involved in the construction work for the 2012
    Olympics. All of the twelve lorries were breaking the law in at least
    one way

    Repeat:

    A 100 per cent criminality rate among small random sample of
    HGVs on the streets of central London.


    The offences range included
    overweight loads (2 cases), mechanical breaches (5 cases), driver
    hours breaches (5 cases), mobile phone use while driving (2 cases),
    driving without insurance (2 cases) and no operator license (1 case).
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 1,717
    number9,

    Leaving aside whether this is true:
    In most cyclist/lorry collisions the driver is at fault.
    (it may be, I've not seen the evidence and you have presented any)

    and your point is?

    Is there some specific action you'd like the government to take?

    I can't control what truck drivers do. I can control my road positioning, speed, etc.

    Given that, I think it's fairly obvious where a cyclist should focus their efforts if they want to get home safely.

    J
  • number9number9 Posts: 440
    Boris pulls plug on HGV and cyclist safety scheme
    16 October 2009

    Transport for London (TfL) will no longer finance a £1m safety awareness scheme for HGVs and cyclists, London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced.

    The Metropolitan Police's Commercial Vehicle Education Unit, which has run since 2005, will close in March 2010.

    Currently, TfL finances the £1m-a-year scheme, which aims to educate cyclists on the blindspots lorry drivers encounter, and to talk to haulage firms about cyclist awareness. Three police sergeants and nine constables are employed on the initiative.

    "This is a huge backward step for the safety of cyclists and pedestrians in London. The Mayor is risking Londoners' lives in order to save a small amount of money. TfL can talk to haulage firms, but these officers have special legal powers either to persuade them to improve on safety, or make them," says Jenny Jones, a Green Party London Assembly member.

    http://www.roadtransport.com/Articles/2 ... cheme.html
  • number9number9 Posts: 440
    Sensible proprosals:

    http://www.cyclechat.co.uk/forums/showt ... hp?t=41149

    Reporting campaign. Cyclists and pedestrians should be encouraged to report bad driving involving HGVs before a death or serious injury occurs. AND THE POLICE SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED/ ORDERED TO TAKE THESE SERIOUSLY AND PROSECUTE WHERE POSSIBLE.
  • PBoPBo Posts: 2,493
    number9

    I feel like I'm having deja vu.....didn't you start a mega thread with all this stuff just the other day?
  • number9number9 Posts: 440
    The stuff about the unsafe lorries, yes. The response from Jenny Jones is new.

    I am made uneasy by the tone of the reporting on what's proving to be a terrible year for cyclist/HGV fatalities.

    I don't think "I didn't see you" is ever a credible excuse for causing deaths on the road.

    I don't think there's any excuse not to fit blind-spot mirrors on lorries, but as long as the fine for killing a cyclist is a pathetic £300 there is no real financial incentive for fleet managers to buy and fit mirrors.
  • sicknotesicknote Posts: 901
    number9 wrote:
    Sensible proprosals:

    http://www.cyclechat.co.uk/forums/showt ... hp?t=41149

    Reporting campaign. Cyclists and pedestrians should be encouraged to report bad driving involving HGVs before a death or serious injury occurs. AND THE POLICE SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED/ ORDERED TO TAKE THESE SERIOUSLY AND PROSECUTE WHERE POSSIBLE.

    This is a good idea as long as you can get a number but if they are going to fast, you are not going to get it but we should try.

    Plus I am not sure how you can stop someone from hitting you if they dont look at what is in front of they but it might make people think again if the fines are bigger then they are now.
    Not sure it will but it might save some.
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,132
    The very rare occasions I find myself stuck on the left of HGV's / buses is when I'm approaching a junction where the lights have just turned red and I belive that I have more than enough time to filter left (occasionally its the safer / more accessible option) and then get myself in front of the traffic. I've had situations where a cyclist parks himself next to the bus / HGV, thereby causing me and any other cyclists doing the same to be stuck in a very uncomfortable position. So, whilst there may well be an argument that we should just pull up behind the traffic (and suck in the fumes then wobble off in a cramped position whilst surrounded by traffic) rather than filter to the front, can I suggest that people keep their wits about them and make space for other cyclists to get into a safe position in these situations.

    Cheers.
  • TommyEssTommyEss Posts: 1,855
    Sicknote wrote:
    Plus I am not sure how you can stop someone from hitting you if they dont look at what is in front of they but it might make people think again if the fines are bigger then they are now.
    Not sure it will but it might save some.

    But if you're not in a position to be hit then you won't be hit whether they've seen you or not.
    Cannondale Synapse 105, Giant Defy 3, Giant Omnium, Giant Trance X2, EMC R1.0, Ridgeback Platinum, On One Il Pompino...
  • sicknotesicknote Posts: 901
    TommyEss wrote:
    Sicknote wrote:
    Plus I am not sure how you can stop someone from hitting you if they dont look at what is in front of they but it might make people think again if the fines are bigger then they are now.
    Not sure it will but it might save some.

    But if you're not in a position to be hit then you won't be hit whether they've seen you or not.


    That would be on the pavement then :wink:

    I have had and seen driver of cars and lorry of all kinds drive just pass cyclist instead of using the clear lane to they right, so how can yo chance that on our bikes?
  • TommyEssTommyEss Posts: 1,855
    No - I meant whilst stopped at junctions - not on the open road - obviously there's only so much you can do - but the easiest way to prevent yourself getting squashed by an HGV is not be on the inside of one when it might be turning left on you.

    That's something you have complete control of (excepting previous comments about following a rider who stops at a stupid place and you're stuck there)
    Cannondale Synapse 105, Giant Defy 3, Giant Omnium, Giant Trance X2, EMC R1.0, Ridgeback Platinum, On One Il Pompino...
  • sicknotesicknote Posts: 901
    You can and should do that at junctions but the last HGV that went passed me had his foot down and I had two choices, move over and give him as much room as I could or be under him.

    Not happy with that choice and he was lucky he got through the set of light which were red when he did.
  • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,525
    tjwood wrote:
    As a general rule, the training and requirements to become an LGV driver are already pretty stringent. LGV drivers generally don't deliberately go around hitting cyclists, the problem is that by their nature LGVs have big blind spots and if cyclists place themselves in the blind spot there is nothing the driver can do to know the cyclist is there.

    So it's really up to the cyclist to be extra careful around large vehicles.

    I'd sign a petition calling for information aimed at cyclists, in addition to awareness for LGV drivers, like this from TfL:
    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/11687.aspx

    So the ones that cut me up through Woolwich and Greenwich, jump the lights and tailgate me must just be the bad apples eh?

    I must just be so fecking unlucky that I get all the dodgy ones then! :cry:
  • PorgyPorgy Posts: 4,525
    jedster wrote:
    3. if you find yourself on the inside of an HGV, get the hell off your bike and onto the pavement until he's moved off

    Assuming there isn't a barrier preventing you from doing so - I've had lorries pull themselves into stupid spaces and end up to my right - and sometimes there's nothing you can do.
  • tjwoodtjwood Posts: 328
    Porgy wrote:
    So the ones that cut me up through Woolwich and Greenwich, jump the lights and tailgate me must just be the bad apples eh?

    I must just be so fecking unlucky that I get all the dodgy ones then! :cry:

    Maybe you need to cycle more defensively.

    If you're further from the kerb, drivers are more likely to see you and less likely to try to overtake dangerously (and if they do, you have some "buffer space" on your left to move into). But if you stay so far out that they are prevented from overtaking when they could otherwise have done so safely, you're just asking to be tailgated, and the driver will get annoyed and take more of a risk further up the road.

    On the other hand, maybe you're cycling is wonderful and London is a horrible place to cycle. I wouldn't know. Though as long as you are on the road, there's always the potential for you to do more to make yourself safer.

    All road users would benefit from further education. I think general awareness-raising could well be more effective than expensive formal driver training.
  • sicknotesicknote Posts: 901
    tjwood

    I would like to ask, have you had a driver force you over when coming up to a withe restriction?

    I have on more than once ( I do live in London ) and am happier to move over to let the pr**k pass and stay on the bike as they have gone on the other side of the road to get bin the gap that was closing and is not stopping.

    I do hope you are not saying that we should have stayed in the middle of the road which have ended with me on a bonete or in the road.
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 1,717
    Matt,
    The very rare occasions I find myself stuck on the left of HGV's / buses is when I'm approaching a junction where the lights have just turned red and I belive that I have more than enough time to filter left (occasionally its the safer / more accessible option) and then get myself in front of the traffic. I've had situations where a cyclist parks himself next to the bus / HGV, thereby causing me and any other cyclists doing the same to be stuck in a very uncomfortable position.

    To be honest, while the cyclist stopping inside the HGV is very unwise, I don't see how it is a good idea to filter inside an HGV when you have to rely on someone else getting out of your way if you are to get in a safe position. You can't control other people, given that I wouldn't start the filter unless I was certain it was going to stay clear. Otherwise take primary behind the truck. If you are in primary you get loads of space.

    J
  • tjwood wrote:

    Maybe you need to cycle more defensively.

    If you're further from the kerb, drivers are more likely to see you and less likely to try to overtake dangerously (and if they do, you have some "buffer space" on your left to move into). But if you stay so far out that they are prevented from overtaking when they could otherwise have done so safely, you're just asking to be tailgated, and the driver will get annoyed and take more of a risk further up the road.

    <snip>

    This here, this is good advice in my book. It's what I do too, so perhaps I'm a little biased. I also thank them for staying behind me - trying to improve cyclist-driver relations!
  • Wallace1492Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    tjwood wrote:

    Maybe you need to cycle more defensively.

    If you're further from the kerb, drivers are more likely to see you and less likely to try to overtake dangerously (and if they do, you have some "buffer space" on your left to move into). But if you stay so far out that they are prevented from overtaking when they could otherwise have done so safely, you're just asking to be tailgated, and the driver will get annoyed and take more of a risk further up the road.

    <snip>

    This here, this is good advice in my book. It's what I do too, so perhaps I'm a little biased. I also thank them for staying behind me - trying to improve cyclist-driver relations!

    LiT, there is probably a good reason that the male drivers will stay behind you longer.... Doesn't work for me.
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"
  • tjwood wrote:

    Maybe you need to cycle more defensively.

    If you're further from the kerb, drivers are more likely to see you and less likely to try to overtake dangerously (and if they do, you have some "buffer space" on your left to move into). But if you stay so far out that they are prevented from overtaking when they could otherwise have done so safely, you're just asking to be tailgated, and the driver will get annoyed and take more of a risk further up the road.

    <snip>

    This here, this is good advice in my book. It's what I do too, so perhaps I'm a little biased. I also thank them for staying behind me - trying to improve cyclist-driver relations!

    LiT, there is probably a good reason that the male drivers will stay behind you longer.... Doesn't work for me.

    :lol: Perhaps.

    However, I just don't give them the option to pass by staying in primary if it would be unsafe (in my book) for them to pass me, if there's a pinch point or something. They're not going to ram you off the road, and beeping noises never hurt anybody.
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