Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

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kwackers
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby kwackers » 25 Feb 2015, 11:02am

pwa wrote:Alan

that's a bit one-sided isn't it? Don't you think cyclists also have a part to play in keeping themselves safe?

A secondary part.
It's not just cyclists, we're outnumbered significantly by pedestrian KSI's. And pedestrians aren't required to have any training or even be compos mentis.

Primary care is with vehicle design and drivers, they're the operators of dangerous equipment in urban environments. They're the ones supposedly trained to operate that equipment safely and supposedly physically able to.
Next is the road design, poor junctions, conflict etc.

Sorting those out is the low hanging fruit that will bring the largest rewards.

After those then if all else fails hoping the cyclist/pedestrian has both the nounce and ability to avoid getting into a situation where a drivers mistake can kill is a good fallback.

(Last week I had to take avoiding action when a bus that wanted to move into the left hand lane started an overtake and then indicated and pulled across. No amount of cyclist training will fix issues like that but fixing the drivers will.)

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horizon
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby horizon » 25 Feb 2015, 11:04am

pwa wrote:Alan

that's a bit one-sided isn't it? Don't you think cyclists also have a part to play in keeping themselves safe?


Yes and the woman should have been fined £20 for going up the inside of a left turning lorry. End of story.

But that wasn't the penalty - it was death. And the death penalty has been abolished even for murder.

pwa: with the greatest respect, this false idea of moral equivalence permeates this forum. Why is that? Where did it come from?
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Tom Richardson
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby Tom Richardson » 25 Feb 2015, 11:18am

irc wrote:In the meantime road users need to help themselves as much as they can.


pwa wrote:Alan
Don't you think cyclists also have a part to play in keeping themselves safe?


Most people seem to recognise this - and respond by avoiding use of public spaces in any way that makes them vulnerable. The risk might be low but why risk it at all when the penalty for a mistake (or someone else's mistake or negligence) is death or serious injury? The consequences are many and all around to see.

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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby mjr » 25 Feb 2015, 11:25am

Tom Richardson wrote:The risk might be low but why risk it at all when the penalty for a mistake (or someone else's mistake or negligence) is death or serious injury? The consequences are many and all around to see.

Beyond some limit, it doesn't matter how huge the penalty for a mistake is! That's why we don't try to get perfect road use by having the police execute everyone that commits any traffic offence, isn't it? Or why you're not allowed to build vehicles with huge spikes that will impale the operator if they crash?

Why is anyone not willing to act to reduce the number of death penalties for walkers and riders who commit minor traffic offences?
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby pwa » 25 Feb 2015, 11:36am

Horizon

This particular incident, from witness accounts, was primarily brought about by a young woman doing something most (all?) of us would regard as crazy. There has been debate about what additional safety measures could have protected her after her mistake, but her mistake was not a minor lapse in judgement, it was crazy. There is no death penalty for a crazy mistake. It's silly to say that there is. But death is sometimes the result of really bad mistakes. My neighbour fell off his roof a few years ago whilst trying to fix a broken ridge tile. Had he died, nobody would have pointed out that there should be no death penalty for falling off a roof. We have no reason to think that the lorry driver was anything other than another victim in this case. The woman died, and that is not an outcome any of us would want, but that does not mean somebody else is to blame.

What bothers me most about some people's response to this incident is the lack of shock at the poor cycling that, at the very least, was a major contributory factor. It's as if some of us think we have no responsibility to look after ourselves because that is always somebody else's job. I'm all for blaming lorry drivers when they have done something wrong, but in this case we have to look a bit closer to home.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby [XAP]Bob » 25 Feb 2015, 11:44am

Noone is saying that the women in this case (assuming the eyewitness account is a true reflection) didn't do something that many would consider daft. I don't think there are many blaming the driver - they are blaming the system for allowing one person to be in charge of something where it is patently absurd to expect them to be able to monitor quite such an area of a busy street single-handedly.

BUT - she went where we are repeatedly told to go, by all sorts of sources, including our esteemed road designers. It would also have been to the outside of a vehicle in France, not to their inside (although frankly when a lorry is turning I get as far away as practicable).

Without the hoardings the mistake might have been survivable with a tumble onto the pavement, with a co-driver able to say "stop" then the result would have been an embarrassed lady and a 30 second delay on a handful of journeys.

With everything against her the mistake, encouraged by our road designs, was enough to lead to a fatality.
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby danhopgood » 25 Feb 2015, 12:01pm

mjr wrote:
Tom Richardson wrote:The risk might be low but why risk it at all when the penalty for a mistake (or someone else's mistake or negligence) is death or serious injury? The consequences are many and all around to see.

Beyond some limit, it doesn't matter how huge the penalty for a mistake is! That's why we don't try to get perfect road use by having the police execute everyone that commits any traffic offence, isn't it? Or why you're not allowed to build vehicles with huge spikes that will impale the operator if they crash?

Why is anyone not willing to act to reduce the number of death penalties for walkers and riders who commit minor traffic offences?


Because society has decided what its priorities are. And sadly protecting vulnerable road users isn't a priority. The road casualty rate in this country is actually pretty low and there are not enough votes in policies that make drastic improvements on vulnerable road users. The majority want low taxes and to drive everywhere. Things can change though if enough people are vocal enough and I see things are moving in the right direction.

It's just a sad fact that vulnerable road users need to take responsibility themselves to minimise the risks they face on the roads. Even then they're at risk from mistakes by other road users. Then the choice is whether the risk from others is too great. There are roads I won't cycle on due to the risks I think being too high.

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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby danhopgood » 25 Feb 2015, 12:03pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:
BUT - she went where we are repeatedly told to go, by all sorts of sources, including our esteemed road designers.

I don't understand. Can you explain this point in more detail please?

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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby mjr » 25 Feb 2015, 12:17pm

pwa wrote:My neighbour fell off his roof a few years ago whilst trying to fix a broken ridge tile. Had he died, nobody would have pointed out that there should be no death penalty for falling off a roof.

In effect, they might have, by pointing out that a safety harness should have been used. Compare with:
BBC wrote:Safety nets could have been used under the roof space, a safety harness could have been worn and barriers put around the skylights, the jury was told.

"This is undoubtedly a tragedy for him, but the uncomfortable truth is it should have been avoided," Mr Wicks said.

(The employer was cleared of manslaughter and no verdict was reached on whether it was careless http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-be ... s-29625761 - but still, someone pointed it out, contrary to pwa's expectation.)

What bothers me most about some people's response to this incident is the lack of shock at the poor cycling that, at the very least, was a major contributory factor. It's as if some of us think we have no responsibility to look after ourselves because that is always somebody else's job. I'm all for blaming lorry drivers when they have done something wrong, but in this case we have to look a bit closer to home.

Why would you expect shock? We know it (and much worse) happens and poor road designers even encourage it in similar situations by painting cycle lanes on the inside of left curves through traffic lights. https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.75644 ... WOSqZw!2e0 for one soon-to-be-removed example (which has probably had only one serious collision nearby mainly because that curve isn't so sharp, there are ways to avoid that nasty junction in most directions - including riding across the pelicans between the car parks like the pictured cyclist does - and most remaining riders ignore the lane).

We also know lorry drivers don't watch their sides like the Highway Code tells them to, so we're not shocked by that either. Both are wrong and it's also wrong that the road layouts are like that one. This time, everyone failed and we all lose, but the cyclist paid the ultimate price and that was avoidable in many ways. Why is it that some people seem happy to excuse everyone's mistakes except the one who can no longer argue back?
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby Vorpal » 25 Feb 2015, 12:26pm

I think it is insensitive, at least, to say that the woman's actions were crazy, and I hope that her family isn't reading this.

Falling off of a roof isn't directly comparable to cycling on London's streets, nor should it be. Amateur roofing is a much riskier past time.

As stated above, this incident was probably avoidable, and no one will ever know what went through the poor woman's mind when she decided to go inside the lorry. Perhaps it was just a moment of distraction. Perhaps she realised to late to do anything about it. Perhaps she left braking too late and her hands slipped. Whatever happened, she is no longer with us to explain it. RIP.

I doubt that the solution is to require banksmen, though requiring two people in the cab of vehicles like this may be appropriate.

However, I do think that it is appropriate to limit the exposure of vulnerable road users to vehicles like this. They should be limited to 'access only' routes on business and residential streets. The routes should be risk assessed, and where there is risk of conflict in traffic (e.g the vehicle must turn, back into a site, etc.) then measures should be taken to ensure that this does not endanger other road users unusually. This may include selecting a somewhat longer route that does not require sharp left turns in traffic, using spotters or cameras, requiring operators to have additional training for operating in congested traffic, side shields on the vehicles, etc.

Furthermore, when an incident or crassh occurs with an industrial vehicle, it should be investigated as an industrial / HSE incident, not a road traffic crash. In all other areas of HSE with regard to construction and the use of industrial equipment, there is a presumption of responsibility to keep members of the public safe.

Current practice is that as soon as the equipment leaves the work site, if it is legal for use on the roads, it becomes 'traffic' and therfore regulated only (or mostly) by traffic rules, and the presumption of responsibility is lifted until the vehicle reaches its next work site.

To my mind, this is an unfortunate gap in the oversight of public safety.
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby Ellieb » 25 Feb 2015, 2:05pm

I also think crazy is unfair. But to extrapolate away from this particular case, I can't help thinking that some people on this forum think that it is a cyclist's right to ride on a road in traffic without any degree of skill or care. I'm sorry but I don't agree. This is not a 'moral' argument, it is a pragmatic, safety related issue. Whever humans operate machinery error will occur. Roads are for transporting stuff and moving people around. Unless eveywhere has a segregated cycle lane then cyclists have to interract with other forms of transport. Of course you need to try and design away dangers and also make a presumption that those operating dangerous machinery need to display an appropirate level of care, but that does not mean that anyone on a bike can just ride around with their brain in neutral. If two vehicles are moving around in the same space they both have to pay attention, not just the one who is in the lorry. This lady (apparently) made a serious error of judgement (assuming she was aware of what the lorry was doing and made a conscious choice to ride where she did) and she has paid for it with her life. That is hugely sad, but those of us still riding need to learn from that so that we don not end up making a similarly fatal decison.

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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby pwa » 25 Feb 2015, 2:16pm

Ellieb

your views are very much in tune with my own. I used the word "crazy" to describe the young woman's actions because others seemed to think her error was just a run of the mill error of the sort we all make. I think it was a lot worse than that. I did not mean any disrespect to her or her loved ones, and I would have used the same word to my own daughter if I had seen her doing something so daft.

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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby AlaninWales » 25 Feb 2015, 2:43pm

So to sum up: We're alright because we've learned to cope with heavy traffic and those who haven't should not be cycling in London (or by extension, any place else where motor vehicles may drive on the same road)?
I fully understand the mistake this lady made: I was born in London and riding around Hyde Park Corner by 8yo; discovered Cyclecraft many years later and realised that was what I had learned to do in order to survive: Hey great! Darwinian selection of cyclists rules and we don't need anything to change because that's the way it is. Anyone who fails to ride perfectly around these naturally occurring obstacles is "crazy" and apparently gets what they deserve :twisted: - because of course we all understand that it is impossible for any modern society (and especially a modern city) to survive without allowing this type of situation to occur.
/sarcasm

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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby mjr » 25 Feb 2015, 2:47pm

Ellieb wrote:I also think crazy is unfair. But to extrapolate away from this particular case, I can't help thinking that some people on this forum think that it is a cyclist's right to ride on a road in traffic without any degree of skill or care. I'm sorry but I don't agree.

Of course you don't agree. You've extrapolated away from anything anyone here has written in order to invent a demon to slay. The tell-tale is that you write that you're reacting to what you think "some people on this forum think". I sometimes make that mistake - please try not to join me :)
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby horizon » 25 Feb 2015, 2:48pm

Ellieb wrote: I can't help thinking that some people on this forum think that it is a cyclist's right to ride on a road in traffic without any degree of skill or care.


I can't help thinking that some people on this forum think that it is a lorry firm's right to deliver goods in a patently unsafe vehicle without any degree of skill or care.
I have two doctors, my left leg and my right leg. (G. M. Trevelyan)
PS I always wondered why the YHA HQ was called Trevelyan House. :)