Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

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reohn2
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby reohn2 » 21 Feb 2015, 10:37am

The fat commuter wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:Image

Perhaps?

Hmm, but that sticker isn't true in all situations. If it said "keep back whilst this vehicle is turning" - but there are times when a long vehicle may be moving in a straight line and a cyclist can get past.


But never down the nearside,eh!

Whilst I agre the STAY BACK sticker isn't helpful,I've seen similar signs on the rear nearside of HGV's that read:- CYCLISTS DON'T OVERTAKE ON THIS SIDE or similar which is perfectly acceptable advice IMO.
What concerns me though is that anyone riding a bicycle in heavy traffic needs telling so,but if that's the case people really do need lessons on how to ride a bike on the roads.
Last year there was a thread with linked video footage of cyclists riding badly in York,one incident showed a cyclist in a cycle lane(solid white line IIRC) riding up the inside of a left indicating car approaching a (near)side road,the car turned into the cyclist and the cyclist was lucky not to be taken out but remained in control.
Whilst the driver should have given way to the cyclist on his nearside,force of habit meant that he didn't.FWIW,at the time I blamed the cyclist for being stupid enough believe that something that could potentially do serious harm or worse in such a situation could be trusted not because of a painted line on the road.I've no reason to change my mind.

We can speculate on a utopian new UK order where HGV's are removed from the roads at certain times of day or where every truck has a co-driver or all drivers are perfect,or perhaps where HGV's and cyclists have totally separate road systems,but until that time cyclists will have to share the roads with HGV's.
I've long used a system when using the roads,either walking,cycling or driving.
It's simple,I treat every other road user as a potential lunatic who may,at any given time perform stupid or unpredictable manoeuvres that could kill me,it causes me to walk,ride,and drive defensively.
It works,or has done upto now.
Expecting others to look after my welbeing is folly in the extreme IMHO.

I understand that,that's not the way it ought to be,but that's the way it is,unfortunately.

In the case of this poor young lady,and my heart goes out to her family at this time and I speak from experience of a similar tragedy within my family,it would appear she was either too trusting of other road users or oblivious of the dangers.
Either way for her there's no second chance.
My thoughts are also with the driver,who's truck never felt a thing,but who'll remember that day for the rest of his/her life and,if I'm any judge of human nature,will be turned over constantly in his/her mind as to whether anything they could've been done to avoid this terrible tragedy.

Things need to change,but until they do people shouldn't put themselves in extremely dangerous life threatening situations.
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beardy
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby beardy » 21 Feb 2015, 10:48am

Whilst I agre the STAY BACK sticker isn't helpful,I've seen similar signs on the rear nearside of HGV's that read:- CYCLISTS DON'T OVERTAKE ON THIS SIDE or similar which is perfectly acceptable advice IMO.
What concerns me though is that anyone riding a bicycle in heavy traffic needs telling so,but if that's the case people really do need lessons on how to ride a bike on the roads.
Last year there was a thread with linked video footage of cyclists riding badly in York,one incident showed a cyclist in a cycle lane(solid white line IIRC) riding up the inside of a left indicating car approaching a (near)side road,the car turned into the cyclist and the cyclist was lucky not to be taken out but remained in control.
Whilst the driver should have given way to the cyclist on his nearside,force of habit meant that he didn't.FWIW,at the time I blamed the cyclist for being stupid enough believe that something that could potentially do serious harm or worse in such a situation could be trusted not because of a painted line on the road.I've no reason to change my mind.


But in Germany and France such a manoeuvre would be perfectly safe as the French and German drivers have been trained how to do this. They are also held responsible for their actions when they dont do it correctly.

reohn2
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby reohn2 » 21 Feb 2015, 11:09am

beardy wrote:But in Germany and France such a manoeuvre would be perfectly safe as the French and German drivers have been trained how to do this. They are also held responsible for their actions when they dont do it correctly.


But this isn't Germany or France,much as I wish it were in this (and many other) context!
There are many problems with UK roads(and indeed society,aggression being another) this is just one,as I said things need to change until they do we have to accept the way it is.
This young lady was French I believe,and as she came from a civilised country,it's feasible for her to think she'd be safe performing such a manoeuvre,though that thought pattern is alien to me,even when riding on the continent.
However this isn't a civilised country where the roads are concerned at least,and that could've been her mistake.
If it were an isolated incident we could console ourselves that it was a mistake of someone who entered a wolf's cage think it was a lap dog,however it isn't,and predominantly it's women who are being killed by left turning HGV's in London,another factor is that they tend to be rigid tipper trucks which are involved IIRC.

As i said before and have said on numerous occasions in the past,something needs to be done,but it isn't being done.
Until it is,cyclists shouldn't venture down the nearside of HGV's,those that do put themselves in grave danger.
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pwa
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby pwa » 21 Feb 2015, 11:56am

Reohn

I agree entirely, but would like to add that on a shared bit of tarmac choosing to try to pass a left indicating HGV on the left will always be very dangerous. We rightly criticise lorry drivers when they get it wrong, and we have to be even handed. From what I saw of that corner it did not look like a place where an experienced cyclist would like to be, and we would go round that corner out in the road (primary position) in front of or behind other traffic, not alongside.

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661-Pete
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby 661-Pete » 21 Feb 2015, 2:01pm

pwa wrote:I stand guilty of using the word "suicidal" for the manoeuvre the unfortunate young woman attempted, and I can see why that might seem insensitive and for that I apologise. But I stand by the intention of my words, which was to impress upon anyone who is in any doubt that the witness accounts point firmly at a very poor bit of cycling being the primary cause of this tragedy. We do cyclists no favours by attempting to brush that fact under the carpet. Any discussion of this incident that fails to address cycle skills and the responsibility of cyclists is misguided.
Me too - well not use of the word exactly, but by my allusion to a well-known suicide spot, which may have offended some. I was making the same point. It may seem bizarre, but I've been told that many 'jumpers' at that selfsame beauty spot do not actually realise that they're about to kill themselves - their line of thinking is so blurred at that crucial moment. Fortunately the majority are coaxed out of the act before it's too late.

Surely the message that left-turning lorries/buses and bicycles don't mix, must have been impressed on the majority of the population by now? Or if it hasn't, it should be (TV ad campaign - during prime-time TV perhaps?). But there will be a few upon whom no amount of indoctrination will stick. We have to face it. Cyclists will make mistakes. And cyclists will simply 'not care'.

And another thought which some may deem 'insensitive'. This tragedy can only have a negative impact on the popularity of cycling. The "it's too dangerous" mantra continues to be expressed far and wide, and gets reinforced every time something like this happens. If we persist in making that connection, can we complain when news articles constantly refer to "traffic being held up for hours by the road closure" after a fatal accident involving a cyclist?
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mjr
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby mjr » 21 Feb 2015, 2:05pm

661-Pete wrote:And another thought which some may deem 'insensitive'. This tragedy can only have a negative impact on the popularity of cycling. The "it's too dangerous" mantra continues to be expressed far and wide, and gets reinforced every time something like this happens. If we persist in making that connection, can we complain when news articles constantly refer to "traffic being held up for hours by the road closure" after a fatal accident involving a cyclist?

Meh, it's too dangerous, but still not as dangerous or harmful or disruptive to traffic as motoring. Near me, a road was closed for two days after a motorist made a huge hole in a 400-year-old building (the owners say it can be repaired). That sort of stuff is going on almost every day but cyclists being killed is exceptional, so the cyclists make the news and the motorists don't.
Pete Owens wrote:In terms of the increased danger that segregation (whatever the currently fashionable euphamism is) causes at junctions, it make no difference at all whether the cycle path is shared with or separated from pedestrians on the approch.

The problem here is that it is a very very bad idea to ride to the left of left turning motor vehicles (which of course is where a segregated facility would be put). This leads to inevitable conflict where the paths cross at junctions. Whichis why such things have such a poor safety record - increasing the collision risk by a factor of 3 for same direction traffic and a factor of 10 for bi-directional paths such as the new super-duper highways that all the facility fanatics are raving about at the moment.

Are those factors still the oft-cited ones from the debatable 30 year old Lund data that is rather hard to obtain? The headline figures draw no distinctions for cycleway types, junction layouts and so on and are used to wrap it all up into one answer which is "clear, simple and wrong."

I agree that there is inevitable conflict where carriageways and cycleways would cross at junctions, but it should be easier to manage, so in a well-managed junction, the tipper truck driver would have had the truck crunching on bollards or similar, rather than a person. The current approach is that we have avoidable conflict all along the route, it becomes less obvious to most people where the most dangerous points are and it seems like no-one is trying to manage the conflict or reduce the danger.

There are other approaches possible too, like saying HGVs are welcome on one street, but cyclists are encouraged to use another nearby street where at least HGVs are only allowed for deliveries or at best it is closed entirely as a through route... but so far Boris and the boroughs have lacked the backbone to do that and have left those alternative streets open as mostly nasty narrow rat-runs.
Normally, this sort of stuff is justifiued on the grounds that it is needed by slow timid cyclists who are too scared to obey normal traffic rules - (at this vehicular cycling is dismissed as only suitable for high speed, brave, agressive, testoserone fueled males). But as we see from this example the sex of the witness and victim are the only features that conform to the steryotype. The vehicular cyclist was waiting patiently in line while whetever attributes the victim had, she showed abundance of bravery and confidence.

Huh? Surely one needs to be braver to hold a vehicular space in the line, rather than be bullied to the kerb out of flow? Also, the vehicular cyclist was going straight ahead, not turning left, so filtering on the left wouldn't be an obvious thing to do anyway.
reohn2 wrote:Whilst I agre the STAY BACK sticker isn't helpful,I've seen similar signs on the rear nearside of HGV's that read:- CYCLISTS DON'T OVERTAKE ON THIS SIDE or similar which is perfectly acceptable advice IMO.

Nope, that sticker is still evil, bad and wrong. Cyclists are expected to overtake on the left in many multilane systems - you would cop a hell of a lot of abuse if you don't overtake on the left when your lane is clear just because there's an HGV with that sort of sign in a lane to your right. A sign like "Don't Overtake In The Same Lane" may be better but I've never seen one of those.
Last year there was a thread with linked video footage of cyclists riding badly in York,one incident showed a cyclist in a cycle lane(solid white line IIRC) riding up the inside of a left indicating car approaching a (near)side road,the car turned into the cyclist and the cyclist was lucky not to be taken out but remained in control.
Whilst the driver should have given way to the cyclist on his nearside,force of habit meant that he didn't.FWIW,at the time I blamed the cyclist for being stupid enough believe that something that could potentially do serious harm or worse in such a situation could be trusted not because of a painted line on the road.I've no reason to change my mind.

That's a shame. The cyclist should have not overtaken an indicating vehicle (Highway Code rule 163), but if any road user moves or turns to their left, they should wait for a gap in any lane to their left that they're joining or crossing (Highway Code rule 133) and still beware even if there's not a lane (rule 157) - the described situation sounds like it was probably both to blame.

It's simple,I treat every other road user as a potential lunatic who may,at any given time perform stupid or unpredictable manoeuvres that could kill me,it causes me to walk,ride,and drive defensively.
It works,or has done upto now.
Expecting others to look after my welbeing is folly in the extreme IMHO.

I understand that,that's not the way it ought to be,but that's the way it is,unfortunately.

I share your caution and I'm often thinking "if something does a surprisingly stupid movement now, what's my emergency exit?" but there are limits. If you really didn't trust other roads users to generally behave and not leave their lane abruptly heading towards you, you'd never use any road that had any other traffic. You'd be safe but you might as well be dead.
reohn2 wrote:
beardy wrote:But in Germany and France such a manoeuvre would be perfectly safe as the French and German drivers have been trained how to do this. They are also held responsible for their actions when they dont do it correctly.


But this isn't Germany or France,much as I wish it were in this (and many other) context!
There are many problems with UK roads(and indeed society,aggression being another) this is just one,as I said things need to change until they do we have to accept the way it is.

No. We don't have to accept this any longer. Come to the vigil on Monday 2nd March, 6pm for 6.30pm at Westminster City Hall, Victoria Street, which is near Bressenden Place. https://www.facebook.com/events/774881565935532/
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reohn2
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby reohn2 » 21 Feb 2015, 5:48pm

mjr wrote:
reohn2 wrote:Whilst I agre the STAY BACK sticker isn't helpful,I've seen similar signs on the rear nearside of HGV's that read:- CYCLISTS DON'T OVERTAKE ON THIS SIDE or similar which is perfectly acceptable advice IMO.

Nope, that sticker is still evil, bad and wrong. Cyclists are expected to overtake on the left in many multilane systems - you would cop a hell of a lot of abuse if you don't overtake on the left when your lane is clear just because there's an HGV with that sort of sign in a lane to your right. A sign like "Don't Overtake In The Same Lane" may be better but I've never seen one of those.

I disagree entirely,you won't ever catch me riding down the inside of an HGV,far too risky.
I don't care one jot what's expected of me,I'll do what I know is safe,for me.

That's a shame. The cyclist should have not overtaken an indicating vehicle (Highway Code rule 163), but if any road user moves or turns to their left, they should wait for a gap in any lane to their left that they're joining or crossing (Highway Code rule 133) and still beware even if there's not a lane (rule 157) - the described situation sounds like it was probably both to blame.

You miss the point completely.
Relying on other road users obeying the HC or their good nature on UK roads to keep me safe,is a recipe for disaster.
Rule No1:- I'm the only sane person on the road all other people are treated as potentially insane.
It's good thinking and serves me well :)
YVMV


No. We don't have to accept this any longer. Come to the vigil on Monday 2nd March, 6pm for 6.30pm at Westminster City Hall, Victoria Street, which is near Bressenden Place. https://www.facebook.com/events/774881565935532/

Sorry I won't be attending.
I try as much as I can to keep out of cities,I find them soul destroying places and so keep well away.
I will be with you in spirit though :) .
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pwa
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby pwa » 21 Feb 2015, 6:15pm

Mjr, correct me if I am wrong, but contrary to what you implied this cyclist was not in a separate lane from the lorry she was trying to overtake on the left, she was in the same lane. Given that the lorry seems to have been indicating left at the time I fail to see how you can begin to defend that manoeuvre. I am horrified at the thought of going down the left side of a lorry in that situation.

I know lots of bad stuff happens to London cyclists because of the deficiencies of other road users and some poor infrastructure, but this particular case appears to be a case of appalling cycling. The truth may not always help an established agenda, but it is still the truth.

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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby 661-Pete » 21 Feb 2015, 7:42pm

mjr wrote:Nope, that sticker is still evil, bad and wrong.
I wouldn't put it as strongly as that. 'Misplaced' - yes - 'irrelevant' - yes, in many cases. I think I've posted this picture before:
Cyclists_stay_back.jpg

which I snapped in June last year - the van is regularly parked in our street and I passed it today - still sporting the sticker. I doubt if a single cyclist has been induced to modify their behaviour by the presence of that sticker. Anyway, on a light van like that, which is hardly bigger than a car, what's the point?

I vaguely remember public information films on TV way back in the 1950s - warning cyclists (and other road users) about various dangerous manoeuvres like coming out of a side road without looking. Did they have any effect I wonder?

But one thing is plain. If cyclists perceive these warnings as inappropriate and patronising (like the one in my picture), they'll almost certainly ignore them. But I wouldn't regard a properly-focused and targeted warning about filtering alongside lorries, as patronising.
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby The fat commuter » 21 Feb 2015, 8:52pm

I cycle to the left of lorries - so long as I feel that it is safe. Often I am to the left of lorries the same reason why I'd be to the left of a car - either they are overtaking me or I am passing them. If I'm passing them then there are 'rules' that are in place in my head. Straight road; plenty of space; slow moving vehicle - it is less safe passing a vehicle that is going just slower than you as there is more chance that they may meander into you. I've not to be getting too close to a junction as that is asking for trouble. I use these rules for cars too. In fact, I feel more threatened by cars than I do by HGVs on the road as cars are far less predictable. Lorries may be big, noisy and shake you as they go past. Cars are far more likely to change their path without really looking. I tend to find buses a bit of a menace and unpredictable at times - not sure what they're like elsewhere in the country. But, if you're aware, you make allowances.

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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby Flinders » 21 Feb 2015, 9:05pm

I have never, to the best of my recollection in 30+ years of cycling, including 7 years in central London, gone down the inside of a lorry. But I have been overtaken close to a junction by lorries. I'm not sure how I can prevent that, short of taking a Sherman tank with me as escort, which would be inconvenient and not very eco-friendly in terms of fuel consumption.

Now if I were to be overtaken by a lorry close to a corner and got squashed, it seems I'd be automatically condemned by some cyclists here as it would be assumed I'd gone down the inside of the lorry. No doubt me being a woman would make people even more sure it had been my fault.

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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby The fat commuter » 21 Feb 2015, 9:20pm

^^
So you wouldn't pass a stationary lorry in a line of traffic when you can see past it and see that it or the traffic in front is going nowhere - and there was a decent gap to use?

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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby thirdcrank » 21 Feb 2015, 9:34pm

Flinders

In general, I think you are right and I've posted along similar lines myself. It's often survivor's justice and stereotyping cyclists as their own worst enemy aggravates it. I remember a discussion about a "safety" campaign, possibly in Canada, which characterised cyclists as "space invaders" with no recognition that it might be the lorry driver who was invading somebody else's space to the extent of driving over them.

In this case, however, a regular forum member had the misfortune to be an independent witness.

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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby mjr » 21 Feb 2015, 11:11pm

pwa wrote:Mjr, correct me if I am wrong, but contrary to what you implied this cyclist wawores not in a separate lane from the lorry she was trying to overtake on the left, she was in the same lane. Given that the lorry seems to have been indicating left at the time I fail to see how you can begin to defend that manoeuvre.

I've not implied that. I've said those stickers are so often wrong as to be useless, that a warning not to overtake in the same lane would be better and while not defending a same-lane overtake, I don't think it should result in death.

I know lots of bad stuff happens to London cyclists because of the deficiencies of other road users and some poor infrastructure, but this particular case appears to be a case of appalling cycling. The truth may not always help an established agenda, but it is still the truth.

The truth is that it's both. It seems to be a poor overtaking decision compounded by a temporary road layout that never should have been and a vehicle that isn't appropriately designed for modern urban areas. I do know that junction and walked around it in December because I didn't feel happy riding through it. :( Fix the infrastructure and there need not have been a death... but I realise it's cheaper for the decision makers to keep warning people and blame poor overtaking decisions for a few deaths to distract from the rubbish road layout.
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Re: Another cyclist death: left-turning lorry

Postby reohn2 » 22 Feb 2015, 12:23am

Flinders wrote:I have never, to the best of my recollection in 30+ years of cycling, including 7 years in central London, gone down the inside of a lorry. But I have been overtaken close to a junction by lorries. I'm not sure how I can prevent that, short of taking a Sherman tank with me as escort, which would be inconvenient and not very eco-friendly in terms of fuel consumption.

The trick is not to allow yourself to be pressurised into secondary if you believe the door will be closed on you,if you find yourself in that position,for your own self preservation it's better to step off the bike and get onto the pavement,rather than risk life and limb.

Now if I were to be overtaken by a lorry close to a corner and got squashed, it seems I'd be automatically condemned by some cyclists here as it would be assumed I'd gone down the inside of the lorry. No doubt me being a woman would make people even more sure it had been my fault.


If you believe that to be the case you need to go back and read the whole thread again as you've got hold of the wrong end of the stick.
No one has posted such as that on this thread.
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