Cyclists and Authorities Act to Reduce Lorry Danger
Local cyclists and authorities have launched a multiple attack on the danger posed by lorries to cyclists. The campaign involves not only the equipment fitted to lorries but also educating drivers and cyclists on ways to avoid collision.
The London Cycling Campaign (LCC) has been running a campaign urging authorities to pledge to fit their lorries with suitable warning devices and mirrors and to give their drivers appropriate training.
This campaign is showing signs of success. In his recent Vision for Cycling in London, the Mayor of London stated that ‘No lorry should be allowed in London unless it is fitted with safety equipment to protect cyclists, and driven by someone fully trained in cycle awareness.’ Transport for London (TfL) has already developed a programme to provide clear standards for vehicles and drivers – the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS). It has already put thousands of lorry drivers on bikes for practical on-street training.
The response from London boroughs has varied. Very often their only chance to improve standards is when contracts come up for renewal.
For its part, Westminster has told cyclists that it is committed to improving road safety on Westminster's roads for all road users and that the pledge and the conditions set out by LCC are something that it is eager to work towards in conjunction with its contractors where possible. Some of the existing contractors already meet the majority of these requirements, but where they fall short, the council will be working with them to see how improvements can be made and supporting them in this process. The council is also looking at how these conditions might be incorporated into new contracts as they come up for renewal.
A past Exchanging Places event in Kensington Gardens
In addition to the training offered to lorry drivers by TfL and Westminster, cyclists now have the opportunity to find out for themselves how much drivers can see of them when they are close to lorries. An ‘Exchanging Places’ session will held on Friday 12th April from 16:30 to 19:00 at the north end of the Broad Walk in Regent's Park. At this session, cyclists will be able to sit in the cab of a lorry and see for themselves the points where cyclists disappear from the driver's direct sight. They will also be able to have their bikes checked over and adjusted by Dr Bike and obtain cycling information. Further details
Colin Wing, chairman of Westminster Cycling Campaign, said: “We are pleased that something is happening to prevent collisions between cyclists and lorries. As well as the tragic consequences for the victims and their families, these incidents deter potential cyclists.
“The ultimate solution is to ensure that cyclists and lorries are not on the same piece of road at the same time. A number of schemes are being introduced to bring this about - but it is not going to happen everywhere overnight. So we welcome practical measures that can immediately reduce the danger that lorries pose to cyclists.”
This post was edited by ColinWing at 3:09pm 24 March 2013.