7th London cyclist killed by lorry, 29th June
1.07.09 by Buffalo Bill
From the london paper:
Witnesses said [the female cyclist] became trapped between the lorry and railings at the height of morning rush hour, just after 8.30am yesterday. She was rushed to hospital but died a few hours later.
The london paper makes this the 5th (although it’s actually the 6th [see comment #1] ) female cyclist to have been killed so far in 2009 by a collision with lorry (out of a total of 7 cyclist/lorry deaths). Therefore the grisly list of female cyclists killed by lorries in London so far in 2009 is:
1. Eilidh Cairns, 5th February, Notting Hill Gate
2. Rebecca Goosen, 8th April, Old Street
3. Meryem Ozekman, 9th April, Elephant & Castle roundabout
4. Adrianna Skrzypiec, 15th May, Woolwich
5. Emma, 12th June, Charterhouse Street
6. Catriona Cockburn, 29th June, Oval
This is a truly horrible list, and the percentage of London cyclists killed by lorries that were female so far in 2009 is now 85%. Ironically, this is the figure that sparked a bit of kerfuffle in 20071, when it was misreported by the Times, and others, that 85% of all cyclists killed by lorries in London 1999 – 2003 were female. It’s also worth noting in most years since 1999, no more than 9 London cyclists have been killed by collisions with lorries2. The numbers involved are so small as to be statistically insignificant (although not if you are friend or family to one of the victims), so it’s almost impossible to project final numbers, but unless we are very, very, very careful, it seems clear that at least another 3 people will die under the wheels of a lorry/HGV/LGV before the end of 2009. This would make 2009 the worst year for a long time. However, numbers of cyclists killed by vehicles that are not HGV/LGV/lorries continues to fall. Back in 2003, lorry deaths made up nearly half the total. Now, they make up 3/4 of the total. What is going on?
It’s hard to say. We know that the numbers of cyclists in London is up. That may be a factor, although all the available evidence suggests that as the number of cyclists goes up, the key measurable indicator, which is collisions per distance ridden, falls dramatically3. I have no idea whether there are more or less miles driven by lorries in London than there were 6 years ago. This could perhaps be a factor.
However, it is clear that the actions taken by us, the cycling community, the police, Transport for London and the Department for Transport, have been completely ineffectual in reducing the numbers of cyclists killed by lorries in London. Perhaps more people might have been killed had all the awareness raising stuff not been around, but at the moment all I can see is more, not less, cyclists getting killed by lorries in London.
I am loath to speculate about the causes of individual collisions, beyond saying that lorry drivers either failing to see, or failing to look is almost always a factor, if not always the principal cause, but my own general advice on how one might try to avoid lorries is here.
(See comment below) I am told that TfL says that HGV movements in Inner London are down. Therefore we have to look somewhere else for causation. Perhaps it is, after all, the increase in the number of cyclists. Not a nice thought.
3 See this article.
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