Cyclists lIves and Long Vehicles

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Rider
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Cyclists lIves and Long Vehicles

Postby Rider » 15 Oct 2008, 10:05am

I have heard that a TV Company - Blakeway Productions - is investigating collisions between long vehicles and cyclists. Some time ago I created an epetition - an opportunity to petition the Prime Minister over any subject - concerning this. It is at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Cyclists-lives/.

It would help if more people were concerned about this problem. From responses I have had so far, regrettably some cyclists seem to be more concerned with telling cyclists to keep alert and keep away from long vehicles than with giving them the opportunity be be forewarned of a possible problem. My petition is to have repeater lights along the length of the vehicles linked to the present indicator system. Many vehicles already have static lights to prevent other vehicles hitting them on the side. It would be a very inexpensive addition to have these made active and give cyclists vital seconds warning that a vehicle was likely to pass across their path. Please sign my petition and give added weight to those who try to make cyclists lives less dangerous.

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Cyclists-lives/

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Si
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Postby Si » 15 Oct 2008, 10:42am

See post http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?t=17546 where the discussion of long vehicles is already underway.

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meic
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Postby meic » 15 Oct 2008, 2:55pm

As someone who is old and wise enough not to go up the left side of a truck it would make no difference to me. Trucks frequently fail to indicate left and I fear I would not be here now if I had trusted every lack of indicator to mean no turning.
Also your solution is only for the lesser problem of cyclists overtaking HGVs not the major problem of HGVs overtaking cyclists.
Your solution is a small minor increase to the cost of a lorry and probably a good investment value for money in terms of lives saved. However I feel it will delay the much needed change in attitude about trucks responsibility to take care.
Yma o Hyd

Rider
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Postby Rider » 15 Oct 2008, 7:05pm

Regrettably, living in a major conurbation, I have never been able to guarantee that at no time would I be alongside a long vehicle. In traffic queues it is quite frequent, the option of riding round a long vehicle rarely becomes a reality, nor can I stop a lorry from creeping alongside me when in a queue. What about the situation when there are cycle lanes along the road? Are those that say "do not undertake a lorry" mean that they simply stop once they arrive behind a lorry in a queue. What point is this when the result is that cycle commuters would have to travel at the same speed, in fact probably less than that of motorists. Being made aware more clearly of a driver's likely intentions must be of benefit, and as the cost is minimal to provide this information I would hope cyclists would support it rather than say they never find themselves in such a situation.

GeoffL
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Postby GeoffL » 15 Oct 2008, 7:55pm

Rider wrote:... nor can I stop a lorry from creeping alongside me when in a queue.

I believe that you can. If you are travelling at the same (or approximately the same) speed as the rest of the traffic that's one reason for adopting the primary position. If you're travelling slower than the traffic and a long vehicle starts to overtake, you can prevent a creeping differential speed by slowing so that vehicle overtakes more quickly.

I'm not saying that cyclists should take responsibility for dodgy driving, just that situations in which you're forced to be alongside a long vehicle for a long time are rare and you can usually ride defensively to avoid the danger.

HTH,

Geoff

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 15 Oct 2008, 8:28pm

Unfortunately, I understand there is also often quite a large blind spot just in front of big lorries. Now, this means, of course, that any body who does successfully sneak around the sides of a large stationary / slow moving lorry and gets in front may put themselves in a blind spot, but it also means that if the cyclist is approached from behind by the lorry, they can be put in a blind spot then forgotten.

In the end it's usually survivor's justice - and lorries are bigger and harder than cyclists.

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meic
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Postby meic » 15 Oct 2008, 9:13pm

As a matter of fact I do simply stop when I come up behind a lorry in a queue because I am aware of the consequences of not doing so.
If I can see that the lorry is unable to move and I am sure they will remain stuck I may shoot through on the inside, with my eye to escaping on the pavement in emergency.
I do not live in a city and I am generally not in a rush.

However it was when I was a inner city motorcycle despatch rider that I realised you did not ever allow yourself to get trapped alongside a truck.

I hate it when a truck does manage to get alongside me doing half an overtake and it doesnt make any difference if he does it with indicators or not because it would only happen if I had no choice in the matter anyway.

If you re-read my last post you will see that I do actually support your idea, just not wholeheartedly.
Yma o Hyd

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ferrit worrier
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Postby ferrit worrier » 15 Oct 2008, 9:40pm

I had a good incident last night on the way home, Approaching a set of lights at a "T" junction with a tight left turn, I was aware of a HGV behind me with about 300yrds to run to the lights the driver came along side with lots of room and his indicators on passed me with good time and took position in the outside lane (his only option for turning left) I stopped at the back of the HGV (Artic) the lights changed but he waited to see what I was going to do, he only moved when he was sure it was safe.

Top marks to David Bratts' driver :)

Malc
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DaveP
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Re: Cyclists lIves and Long Vehicles

Postby DaveP » 16 Oct 2008, 1:34am

Rider wrote:My petition is to have repeater lights along the length of the vehicles linked to the present indicator system. Many vehicles already have static lights to prevent other vehicles hitting them on the side. It would be a very inexpensive addition to have these made active and give cyclists vital seconds warning that a vehicle was likely to pass across their path.http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Cyclists-lives/


This was suggested on here not all that long ago.
The big problem with it is that these "side marker" lights are quite low powered. Much lower than a normal indicator lamp. They are intended to make a long vehicle more visible at night. They dont really show up well on a bright day. They are also some of the least reliable light fittings used on modern vehicles!
I am undecided about whether putting more lights on trucks would be helpful. There are plenty of warnings around about the risks of being alongside a long vehicle, and neither lights nor warnings will be any help if the driver sucumbs to an "Oh ****, that's my turn!" moment. If I was going to go down that route I think I would be advocating an enhancement of the existing cab side indicator light rather than the idea you are proposing.

Rider
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Postby Rider » 16 Oct 2008, 9:29am

In my lifetime I have cycle commuted ten miles or so into London, Birmingham and Manchester. I have always considered I have equal rights on the road as other users. In more recent years motor traffic has tried to dominate the roads, with lorries larger than most of our roads can handle being one aspect of this. Many people have given up cycle commuting because of the conditions, but why should they? Years of failure to protest about lack of catering for cyclists has brought about this situation, and an attitude of submission - I never overtake a lorry - or - we can't possibly ask lorry owners to pay for additional reliable indicator lights - will never see the situation improve. It costs nothing for the cyclist to ask for better provision, why then do so many claim they can cope with such appalling conditions that we encounter in this country. Many don't of course and resort to riding on the pavement, but is this what we want? Just sign the petition and let the motorists try to claim they can't afford a facility that may save someone's life.

GeoffL
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Postby GeoffL » 16 Oct 2008, 9:47am

Rider wrote:Just sign the petition and let the motorists try to claim they can't afford a facility that may save someone's life.

Sorry, but I believe that if adopted your proposal could cost more lives than it would save. Unless it's adopted throughout Europe and applied retrospectively to the existing fleet there will be many long vehicles not fitted with those lights. So when cyclists come to rely on those lights to show whether a lorry is turning, and start taking the inevitable liberties rather than riding defensively, I believe there to be a high probability of an increased number being "caught out".

Even if applied retrospectively and throughout Europe, it still relies on the drivers using their indicators - and I don't have enough faith in drivers to risk my life on that.

Geoff

dan_b
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Postby dan_b » 16 Oct 2008, 11:41am

Sorry, but I can't support this as a solution.

Many vehicle drivers put their indicators on when they start to manoeuvre, not as advance warning that they are going to. If I get crushed against the pedestrian railing by a lorry that turns left alongside of me, it will be of small consolation that the last thing I see is a blinking amber light.

As others have said, don't overtake a lorry - on either side - if there's any chance it'll turn across your path before you get past it. This isn't about cowardice or lack of assertion, this is the same kind of prudence as "don't overtake on a blind bend" or "don't overtake on the approach to a zebra crossing". Sure, these vehicles are big and have crap visibility, but people don't choose to drive them because they're aggressive or full of themselves, but because they need to get large amounts of useful Stuff from A to B. I'll cut them the same slack they need to do that as I expect them to cut me when my road positioning is stopping them overtaking at a pinch point.

"I never overtake a lorry"

I do, often. But as with any overtaking manoeuvre, I do it with a significant speed differential (a common situation is when it is stopped at lights and I know the red phase has a while left to run) so that I can get past it safely and resume my place in the normal traffic flow.

thegirlfrommarz
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Postby thegirlfrommarz » 20 Oct 2008, 5:59pm

I think side sensors to tell the driver there's something alongside him, as mentioned on the other thread, would be more use than side indicator lights.

Perhaps getting rid of pedestrian railings and any other barriers that stop cyclists from making an emergency exit from the road would also help - the one incident I know of in Oxford is at point where the cyclist couldn't easily get off the road because of a raised pavement.

Personally I stay behind lorries at lights and wait for them to go before starting off - seems safest.

adinigel
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Postby adinigel » 20 Oct 2008, 8:40pm

Rider wrote:....and an attitude of submission - I never overtake a lorry -....


Interesting, I've never heard of defensive cycling as submission before!

Is anyone really suggesting 'never overtake a lorry'? The suggestion is to be careful and to choose your moment if you do overtake the lorry.

In the long term education should be playing a big part in the prevention of accidents. Education of ALL road users, cyclists, motorists, pedestrians etc.

Nigel
DSA registered Driving Instructor, RoSPA Diploma in Advanced Car Instruction, SAFED registered van trainer, National Standards Cycling Instructor

brianleach
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Postby brianleach » 24 Oct 2008, 5:43pm

Saw an interesting sign on the back left hand side of a largish van in London yesterday.

It read something along the lines of Cyclist do not filter this site of this vehicle.

Has anyone else seen anything like this before and is it perhaps an attempt to avoid liability in the event of problem/death?

Brian