Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Heavy goods vehicles

Until recently I hadn't given much thought to lorries. But now I am much more alert to their danger, thanks to various bloggers.

The other day I had the chance to take some pics of lorries while a passenger in a car. The difference in the protection they give to cyclists is remarkable. Evidently there is no statutory requirement to provide side bars or panels to stop cyclists sliding under the wheels in the event of a collision. See the four pics below for the wide variation in lorry construction.

Meanwhile, more cogent and authoritative analysis from Buffalo Bill, who reports that

of 11 cyclists killed in London so far in 2008, 9 died as the result of collisions with lorries. The Met makes this 81% of the total. So despite the efforts of the Traffic Unit, TfL, LCC, CTC, Roadpeace, and all the consciousness raising that the Bike Show, LondonFGSS, Moving Target et al have done, there has been very little change in the numbers of London cyclists killed by lorries since 2000.

The average number killed per year remains between 7 and 9 …
a lorry is 30 times more likely to kill a cyclist in London than a car

(Below) Deadly. No protection at the side for cyclists and a large space to fall into.

(Below) Lots of protection here.

(Below) Half deadly. A bit of unintended protection but a cyclist might well end up under the wheels in the event of a collision.

(below) Not perfect but better than nothing.