Urgent action is needed to protect cyclists from lorries and buses, with 230 cyclists killed or seriously injured every month on Britain's crowded roads, campaigners say.And that urgent action is targeted at…only one of the partners in the dance:
Legislation requiring hauliers to fit the 450,000 lorries in Britain with sensors and emergency braking systems is being examined in Brussels following intensive lobbying by relatives of a young woman killed when she was dragged under the wheels of a HGV as it turned without the driver noticing her in the vehicle's "blind spot".I don’t ride a bike, but I’ve heard of the ‘blind spot’ and the dangers of buses and lorries not seeing you if they are turning left.
Why, then, have so many cyclists not heard? Why are they not learning from the well-publicised deaths of their fellow cyclists?
But a spate of deaths in London this year, and a growing toll of casualties nationwide, has prompted demands for better education of lorry and bus drivers, as well as cyclists themselves.Aha! See, the ‘Indy’ realises there’s two sides to this equation.
Sadly that’s the last mention of it in the whole article.
Campaigners called for hauliers to be compelled to buy equipment which alerts drivers if a cyclist pulls up alongside them and brings the vehicle to an automatic halt if there is a risk of a collision.What about something fitted to all bikes that alert cyclists that there’s a 10-tonne wheeled crushing machine parked off their right shoulder and they’d better not try to cut in front of it?
I mean, we clearly can’t expect them to use the two little orbs in their head, can we?
Julie Townsend, of road safety group Brake, said: "Too many trucks pose an unacceptably high risk to people on foot and bicycle. We're appealing to all operators to fit the latest technology to reduce blind spots and we're calling for the law to be tightened up to help prevent more families going through the devastation of sudden, violent deaths and injuries."Oh, ‘Brake’, well, of course! The only vehicle they seem to love is the bandwagon…
The London Cycling Campaign, which promotes safer cycling in the capital, has produced a nine-point-plan for reducing the toll of death and injury among cyclists:Nine points, and only one – point eight – that places some responsibility on the cyclist…
* Enforce speed limits and clamp down on drivers who use mobile phones.
* Crack down on hit-and-run drivers, who account for a large portion of serious road injuries.
* Introduce 20mph speed limits in all built-up and shopping areas of Britain's towns and cities.
* Require all lorries to carry full safety equipment to help them avoid collisions with cyclists: six mirrors, sensors and safety guards.
* Require organisations which run lorries and other large vehicles to provide their drivers with cyclist awareness training, as already practised in four London boroughs.
* Include a "cycle awareness" section in the driving theory and practical tests
* Allocate more road space to cycling, as has been done in The Netherlands and Denmark, among other places.
* Provide all children with access to Bikeability cycle training, the current version of the Cycling Proficiency test
* Encourage less car use and more cycling so that, as in The Netherlands and Denmark, collision rates for cyclists are reduced.
ManWiddecombe also notes this, and asks a pertinent question:
” Why no call for a riding test, licensing, regular MOT test, compulsory insurance for bikes and riders? These things that motorists are subjected to must be reducing road deaths (unless there is another reason for them?) so why not demand that cyclists prove they and their vehicle are road safe?”Why not, indeed…