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More from the Met Traffic Unit
9.11.08 by Buffalo Bill

This press release direct from the Met Police Press Office:

Encouraging lorries and cyclists to safely share the road is the aim of a targeted three-week operation kicking off on November 10th. Working across six boroughs, traffic officers and local Safer Neighbourhood Teams will be out and about in force during rush hour to interact with cyclists and lorry drivers. The aim is to educate both groups about the dangers they pose to each other, which tragically can all too easily result in death.

Tuesday 11th November will also see the Met stage a major joint operation with City of London Police and TfL to raise awareness. Two lorries will be used in a practical demonstration, held during the morning rush hour at Spital Square, E1, where cyclists will be invited to sit inside the lorry’s cab to see the limited vision of a lorry driver.

If a cyclist is on the nearside of a lorry when it changes direction, lorry drivers can be blind to their presence and a collision can occur. Through raising awareness with both groups police hope to make the roads safer for everyone. With winter setting and mornings and evenings becoming darker, police fear cyclists could be even more vulnerable.

Chief Inspector Duncan Morley, in charge of the Met’s Central Traffic Unit, said: “So far this year [2008] nine cyclists have been killed after collisions with lorries. That’s nine groups of peoples’ lives who have been torn apart due to the loss of a loved one. Through raising awareness amongst both cyclists and lorry drivers as to the simple steps they can take to share the roads safely we hope to reduce the risk of further loss of life and injury. By working with Safer Neighbourhood team officers we’ve identified the areas and times that are busiest for cyclists and will be targeting them. Lots of people cycle in London and we hope that they’ll spare a few minutes to stop and speak to us.”

It is estimated that since 2000 there has been a large increase in the number of people cycling, with the largest number of cyclist being out in rush hour. During 2008 81% of all cyclists who have died on the roads have died as a result of a collision with a lorry.

The accompanying note says that ‘the officers [of the Traffic Unit]… …are very committed to their work and educating both cyclists and lorry drivers about road safety.’ This operation follows last week’s demo, which you can read about here.

  1. Wasted opportunity. A far better arrangement would be for HGV drivers and cyclists to swap. Cyclists do get trapped by HGVs overtaking then turning left onto them. This is because a key mirror removing that particular blindspot is STILL not mandatory in the UK because the haulage industry says its too expensive. About £100 to fit.

    I think every HGV driver should try a stint on a bicyle around careless/bullying HGV drivers to get the otherside of the problem.

    Until DfT and the CPS get tough on RTIs with cyclists, RTI cyclist deaths will be ‘cheap’.

    Because they are cheap, and because of the attitudes surrounding rights to the highway, cyclists will continue to be treated very badly, and cyclists will feel little respect from motorists and the law.

    As a result, they will move outside the law and ignore it.

    This is where we are heading.

    There are numerous EU examples of multimodal integration that work well, but here in the UK we blunder on, in a complete farce…

    MattP    11 November 2008, 18:32    #
  2. “…educate both groups about the dangers they pose to each other”! Sorry? Danger to each other? What danger do cyclists pose to lorry drivers? How many lorry drivers have been crushed under the wheels of left turning cyclists? “Tipper truck and driver crushed under wheels of bicycle” headline. “I just didn’t see him” said the cyclist, “these cycle helmets have a terrible blind spot, these tipper drivers should know not to come up the inside of a bicycle, he was under my wheels before I knew what was happening”.

    Kevin Dublin

    — Kevin Dublin    11 November 2008, 21:31    #
  3. ;-). I missed that when I read it through.

    — Bill    12 November 2008, 08:36    #
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