15 London cyclists killed in 2007
26.06.08 by Buffalo Bill
Transport for London statistics published yesterday show that number of cyclists killed has dropped from 19 in 2006 to 15 in 2007. As mentioned before, Charlie Lloyd of the LCC’s HGV group reckons that 7 London cyclists were killed by collisions with lorries in 2007. This is down from 9 in year ending June 2006. This is an improvement, but still represents nearly half of the total cycling fatalities in London.
Nationally, 25 cyclists died as the result of collisions with HGVs, so it’s clear that there a correlation (not necessarily causal) between cycling in London and getting run over by a lorry. There can be little doubt that the high level of congestion, which leads to confusion and conflicts, and large numbers of HGVs/LGVs/lorries occupying the same roads as increasing numbers of cyclists has the potential to cause frequent collisions. However, given that cycling is up, the counter-intuitive (ie not the result that was expected) proposition that more cyclists = safer cycling is being borne out by the stats. This proposition is that as more cyclists are seen on the roads, so more people expect to see cyclists, therefore they look for them.
This is the converse of the of the frequently heard statement sorry mate, I didn’t see you (acronym SMIDSY), said by the driver to the cyclist who was robbed of their momentum by the driver’s inattention. SMIDSY actually should read sorry mate I wasn’t looking. This should happen less and less in the coming years as more and more and more people in London abandon cars, buses, tubes and hop on their bikes.
Anyway, there’s a still a long way to go til we reach the levels of cycling collisions in Sweden, where the only people that get die on their bikes are old people who keel over en route to the vodka shop.
There are tons of articles, with heaps of links, on this site which relate to the hazards of cycling, and the danger from HGVs/LGVs/lorries specifically. Please do use them to inform yourself of the facts, and what is being done (and not done) to make cycling less hazardous. I should also point out that the average person (cyclist or not) is 20 times more likely to die of illnesses related to lack of exercise than from injuries arising from a bike crash.