More Horror Stories
Not only a week ago, another cyclist casualty was reported to be fighting for their life after an incident with a Construction Vehicle in East London. Unofficial statistics from Vision Zero London, report at least 20 people killed in the Greater London area in 2018. Similar horror stories from 2017 report both casualties and near escapes alike. One incident, caught on a fellow cyclist’s helmet-cam, showed a rider narrowly escaping being dragged under the wheels of an Articulated lorry, after undertaking at a busy London junction.
While it is never clear-cut as to who is to blame, these types of stories come as no surprise in modern London, where pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers are crammed into London’s roads. In fact, despite the efforts of governing bodies, the latest statistics from the Department for Transport (DfT) show that the number of cyclist casualties remained unchanged from 2016 to 2017. Official statistics from early 2018 are yet to be released.
What needs to happen?
These incidents highlight the utmost need for safety systems on all vehicles operating in and around busy cities, and better education on how to behave on busy commuter roads. While regulations from the Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS), Construction Logistics and Community Safety and Crossrail Ltd. are encouraging and enforcing the installation of safety devices on commercial vehicles, the solutions have yet to be reflected in the statistics.
Similarly, the #ExhangingPlaces exercises held by @MetPoliceUK and @MetCycleCops, are providing opportunities for pedestrians and cyclists to see what HGV drivers can see from their cab. These initiatives help understand how to behave around large vehicles. However, it needs a larger collective effort from all road users to push these initiatives and keep themselves and others safe. It is vital for both cyclists and fleet operators to recognise the danger of roads and do all they can to use the road safely.