HGV tanker driver/ motorcyclist/car driver/ cyclist.

As the title suggests i earn a living driving, i ride motorcycle and there is nothing i like more and thats to get out on my mountain bike with the kids every weekend we can.

Some of the cyclist i see each and everyday at work are a disgrace, and it's these people that make motorist think they get all they deserve. My daughter was knocked down in london on her lunch break by a cyclist (courier) mounting the pavement to avoid a red light.

I worked with a driver who was unlucky enough to be in the right place at the wrong time, and he killed a cyclist who although my colleague was indicating turning left and had positioned himself where he could get the trailer round the left turn, and all the traffic around him had stopped this cyclist rode straight down the left of the trailer. My colleague never ever turned a hgv wheel since he has been unable to work he has tried to kill himself once, it has completely ruined his and his families lives. And i don't suppose the cyclist family have had agreat time either. This incident could have been avoided had the cyclist been educated simple as that. 

I had to pass a test to drive a car, i had to pass a test to drive my lorry, i had to pass a test to ride my motorcycle, i have to pay road tax and insurance to use the roads in this country,but i can get a bicycle and go wherever i like?. As someone who earns a living driving an articulated petrol tanker, and who is a cyclist feel that cyclists need to be educated. None of that programme on TV last night war on britains roads shocked me, as i see it day in day out. And why more cyclist are not killed is pure luck, and sometimes their luck runs out thats all it comes down to. 

I think in London all cyclist who ride within the congestion charge zone ,should have attended a test, they should be given a registration to be worn on a high vis vest, and be held accountable for their dangerous driving the same as other road users, if they haven't got a registraion their bikes should be seized and sold to pay for a scheme such as this.

As a cyclist and a hgv driver know i where the blame lies here, and if you was to ask a city courier cyclist who told the truth he would say the cyclist can only be to blame. 

I wouldn't dream of putting my crash helmet on over my ipod earphones, but a cyclist can, i wouldn't dream of riding on the pavement to avoid a red light, but cyclists do. And i certainly wouldn't ride down the near side of any vehicle let alone a hgv, but cyclists do. I wouldn't put myself anywhere the near side of a vehicle beacuse i know as a hgv driver, i can't be seen. 

So if i know this because i have passed tests and educated ,then to educate cyclists has to be the answer.

Replies

You are right... motorised vehicle drivers (unlike cyclists) have to pass tests and be licensed. But next time you see a non-licensed cyclist breaking the rules (jumping red lights, no lights, riding on the pavement, using phone etc), take a moment and have a look around and see how many vehicle drivers are speeding, tailgating and holding phones in one hand with the other on the wheel, while in a vehicle weighing in at least 1.5 tons. The testing and licensing process hasn't stopped them doing that has it? A cyclist breaking the rules is just easier to spot than someone inside a metal cage. It’s not about education, it’s about individual attitudes.

You (understandably) used a tragic event where the cyclist was apparently to blame, but you then used it to justify your generalisation about cyclists (not understandable). When considering that statistically 99.34% of pedestrians walking the pavement and crossing the roads have been killed over the last decade are the result of powered vehicles (a car being an average minimum weight of around 15 cyclists), I think a bit of perspective is in order instead of isolating a transport type and associated laws (or lack of). Remember, individuals break the rules, not the vehicles.

Road Tax? I can't believe I have to explain this yet again... It doesn't exist! This little tax disc people pay for is a license for a vehicle capable of wiping out pedestrians in quantity (see the last paragraph). It is not a license for the driver, and it definitely does not give the driver priority on the road over non taxed vehicles. The road funds come out of a central pot, and as a higher rate tax payer for the last 15 years, I have more than earned my right to use non motorway-restricted roads as a cyclist.

Now, about cyclists: I do wish individuals on bicycles that break the rules would act more responsibly and stopped giving the generalised form of transport a bad name. But then again, I wish all road users would abide by rules regardless of their form of transport.

I for one am amongst the few people in the western world who took a step back and looked at the wider implications of our demand for vehicles and gave up my car in favour of cycling. I am not of a go-green activist who hangs about in trees, but I do know the greatest desecration of our planet is the result of gas-powered vehicles which even without accidents exceeds the quantity of global death and destruction by all the cyclists in the world put together (and this has nothing to do with Co2 or breaking the rules). I have 2 young children and do everything by bicycle including commuting, shopping and running errands. But thanks to the generalised negative attitude towards cyclist, I constantly find myself being disregarded by drivers who put my life and limb at risk thanks to the "cyclists are a nuisance" attitude.

To summarise: the one thing that most motorists still don't get, is that regardless who is at fault, a motorised vehicle weighing many tons is still far more likely to kill or maim than a cyclist (of course there are always exceptions, and conveniently these exceptions are the foundation of most anti-cyclist opinions). In London, I frequently see road users having to swerve around or brake hard when pedestrians jump lights, so please stop and think about the difference between a bicycle and a car in a wider context.

If one would take time to stop and look at ALL ROAD USERS, it is clear to see there are many individuals constantly doing many dangerous things. The only reason potential light jumpers don’t do it in vehicles or drive on the pavement is because they know they cannot get away with it. Don't make the mistake of thinking licensed road users are any more considerate than cyclists. My wife has personally had bad experiences while out with the children, but unlike most, I refuse to draw debate on isolated instances.

Finally, It is also interesting (yet worrying) how many drivers notice cyclists jumping red lights, riding at night without lights etc, yet in the event of a an accident with a well-lit law-abiding cyclist, still use the excuse "I didn't see them"!

This content was deleted by MrCommuter at 2:07pm 7 December 2012.

Cars passing cyclists, either overtaking or at junctions can be very threatening if too close. 

Cars passing cars too close may mean a clash of mlirrors or a scratch down the side of the car. A clash with a cyclist at best means the cyclists being knocked aside, at worst a serious injury with very little damage to the car. 

When this is applied to HGVs and Buses it can only mean dire consequences if a clash happens.

Yes cyclists should not cycle into small gaps, especially in the blind spot of large vehicles but many drivers squeeze the cyclist for the sake of a split second saving in their journey time. So please drivers do not do it.

  • By Ben at 2:25pm 9 December 2012

Prabbit, most of your reply was a little off the point. I thought Beegee's mention of the road tax was peripheral to his main point that at the very least, cyclists should have some form of training and registration.

If all the training did was to very strongly underline the need not to go up the inside of HGVs (and perhaps a few other of the catastrophic mistakes some people make when cycling), it would be worthwhile. The relatively low number of deaths and injuries caused by bicycles compared to cars is not the point - the post was showing how careless cycling can ruin lives, and training might help.

The argument that cars are worse than bicycles, in terms of road safety and environment, is also flawed. As cycling adds to pollution and also to a decrease in safety, the correct response on both fronts would be to walk everywhere, not to cycle. The environmental argument in particular evaporates very rapidly if you admit to flying on aeroplanes, using National Grid electricity and so on. You can still make those arguments of course, but you would be doing so with a great dollop of hypocrisy.

Finally, Prabbit, Your constant referrals to 'cyclists' 'car drivers' etc, as if they were homogenous groups of people, may be satisfying in heightening your sense that you belong to a morally superior group, but they create an ultimately nonsensical debate.

 

Ben, in response...

(Para 1) Training and registration? They don’t do it in most European countries, and they’ve got it about right there. (There are always exceptions of course)

(Para 2) You are right about ruining lives, which is why I turned to bicycles. If God forbid I ever collide with someone else (whether they are walking, cycling, running etc) and regardless of who’s fault it is, at least I can feel a little bit of comfort in that I will only hit them at a max of 15 mph with about 90kg. And if they were to go under my wheels, at worst they should only get broken or sprained bones. (There are always exceptions of course)

(Para 3) The use of a bicycle does indeed add to pollution through manufacture, maintenance and even the extra calories burned by the rider. But I would be very interested how you can possible compare it to that of motorised transport. Seriously, I am genuinely curious!
Your references to national grid and public transport (planes, buses or whatever) is completely flawed and a very poor justification of your views. Let's put it this way, two wrongs do not make a right. For example, I have a gas boiler in my house; This indeed impacts the environment... So does this mean I might as well drive a car as well? Time and time again, I hear people use one negative topic to justify another. The day a means to heat my house without depending on the grid is the day I will adopt it.

Also, you are right in saying cyclists add to road dangers. I read about a lady that was hit by a bicycle twice in one week. The second time she ended up with a broken wrist. I also know personally of two cyclists that ware killed by cars after just a single impact. (There are always exceptions of course)

(Para 4) You implied I assume superiority as a cyclist. Where exactly did I say that? This is simply a reflection of how you wished to interoperate my post. If you take the time to re-read it properly, you will see I make reference to all road users, with no assumption of priority other than maybe on moral grounds.

Finally and for info, my reasons for giving up private daily car use isn't just to do with Co2, it goes way beyond that. And going out at 6.30 on a wet freezing cold morning on my bike is not my idea of fun. I am just one of the few that has tried to adopt some moral ethics instead of manipulating facts based on personal material desires.

 

For info, (and honesty). This morning I recieved a threat via another site on a different topic and realised that having an honest opinion using a real name is dangerous on forums. So I have had to create an alias for my username.

Thank you.

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