HGV cyclist deaths in London - worst year since 2000?
26.03.07 by Buffalo Bill
A report on the BBC news web-site high-lights a Transport for London campaign to get signs on the backs of lorries, this time 2000 on new HGVs made by Ford.
It also quotes yet another statistic “…of the 17 cyclists killed in the year to June 2006, nine were in collision with goods vehicles.” This suggests that, whilst the overall number of cyclists killed in London is going down, from an average of 22 per year 2000 – 2003 (a 4 year total of 84 quoted by the London Road Safety Unit in correspondence with the LBMA), the number of London cyclists killed by HGVs is going up. 29 London cyclists were killed by HGVs in 2000/3, or just over 7 a year, and 9 were killed by HGVs in the year ending June 2006.
The number of London cyclists killed by HGVs is also going up when expressed as a percentage of the total, from 39% in 2000/3, to over 50% in the year to June 2006. So six years of action by the LRSU in this area has achieved no reduction in the numbers of London cyclists killed by HGVs.
Obviously anything that raises public awareness of the problem is good. And anything that makes cyclists aware of the dangers of HGVs is even better. The danger of “vehicles turning left across you – even more serious if it is a bus or truck” makes into TfL’s 9 things [cyclists should] look out for, but is point number 4, when it probably ought to be point number 1.
But a statement on increased driver training of the dangers that HGVs represent to cyclists is lacking, as is any suggestion that there will be a push to get drivers trained in the new proximity mirrors, which should be fitted to new HGVs. Perhaps Jenny Jones, the Mayor’s Road Safety Ambassador, made exactly that point and it got cut out.
As cyclists we have a responsibility to look out for our own safety, but sharing the road also means relying on other people looking out for you. Where are the statements from the Freight Transport Association or Road Haulage Association or even an organisation representing the HGV drivers accepting the existence of a problem?
Thanks to Paul Jones for the the spot.
The full text of the Transport for London press release is here. As I suggested, Jenny Jones had made a much longer statement about the problem of lorries killing London cyclists but it was cut short by the BBC.
Missing FORS Link
If you actually read the press release, you may have noticed a reference the Freight Operators Registration Scheme run by Transport for London. If you clicked the link, as I did, you will have found a dead link. The correct url is here. Unfortunately, it’s hardly worth effort. It’s a voluntary questionnaire. I will be writing to TfL asking them what the FORS is, what its purpose is and how they intend to use it to reduce the number of London cyclists killed by HGVs. Oh boy, I am really looking forward to writing that letter.
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