Chinese whispers - female cyclists killed by HGV/LGVs in London 1999 - 2004
24.03.07 by Buffalo Bill
As I mentioned in previous posts, a lot has been made of the stat that 85% of cyclists killed in London as a result of collisons with HGVs in the period 1999 – 2004 were female. It seems that this stat is incorrect. I emailed the MP for Islington South. Emily Thornberry, who is on the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, on the issue, and received the following reply:
Thanks for your message. You may know that the London Road Safety Unit report was originally quoted in the Islington Tribune states in its preface that the study was carried out under pressure from LBMA.
Unfortunately the statistics have suffered from the usual Chinese Whispers.
The real statistics are:
from 1999 - May 2004:
87 deaths of cyclists of which 21 were female, 66 male.
Of those 21 females an astonishing 18 (85%) were killed by HGV drivers.
Another 28 of the males (around 50%) were also killed by HGVs.
Which gives a new figure of of 46 London cyclists killed by HGVs in the period 1999 – May 2004, with females making up 43% of the total. I think this figure is still wrong, as the London HGV/cyclist working group were told by the London Accident Analysis Unit in November 2004 that 49 cyclists had been killed by HGVs in London in the period 99/May 04. It may be that other categories of Goods Vehicles were included in this total. Probably the most reliable figure is 60 London cyclists killed by Goods Vehicles between Jan 99 and November 2005, quoted in a London Road Safety Unit submission to the European Commission consultation on blind spot mirrors for HGVs
The 85% figure for females, mis-quoted by the Islington Tribune and velorution, but not by Matt Seaton in the Guardian, is that 18 of the 21 female cyclists killed in London between 1999 – May 2004 were killed by an HGV.
Another piece of information to further confuse: Heavy Goods Vehicles (ie those over 7.5 tonnes) have recently been re-classified as Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs). More details on Wikipedia.
Thanks to Caspar and Chris Peck of the All-Parliamentary Cycling Group Secretariat.
The Secretary of State for Transport the Rt Hon Douglas Alexander was to be asked what steps he is taking to reduce the disproportionately high number of cycling fatalities involving heavy goods vehicles. Emily Thornberry MP had been due to ask a question during Transport Questions on April 17th, according to Cycling Weekly. However, having looked at Hansard’s official record for that date I find no record of the question being asked.
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