Tuesday 23 March 2010

“It took the lorry driver nearly a minute to notice her”

Rona Williams, a 31-year-old vet from York, said she had joined the A1(M) near Leeds when her Renault Clio was clipped by the lorry and spun around, ending up lodged beneath the bumper.

The truck driver, oblivious to what had happened, continued to drive at around 60mph.

She said she attempted to alert the driver by sounding her horn and flashing her hazard lights, but he appeared not to notice.

The ordeal lasted almost a minute before the lorry driver realised what had happened and stopped on the hard shoulder.

[In other words the driver drove for almost one mile before he noticed he was shunting a car.]

"He didn't seem overly concerned," she said.

The deficiencies of British policing were once again revealed in the way this incident was handled:

West Yorkshire Police confirmed it had received a 999 call from Mrs Williams and had attended the scene of the crash on 13 January.

It added that a call from a witness had also been made.

A police spokesperson said an investigation into the incident had been re-opened
after it was initially dealt with as a damage only collision.

So even though the driver may have been texting at the time of this incident, the police officers involved didn't bother to investigate this very real possibility.

The driver worked for a firm which describes itself as The Uk’s leading road haulage and powder haulage company

Mark makes a very important point in connection with lorry drivers and cycling fatalities in London, when he refers to

the inherent criminality of many of the lorries on our roads. Skip lorries and tipper trucks are paid by the load; the faster they drive the more they get paid; their very corporate culture encourages the drivers of the most dangerous and largest vehicles to take unnecessary risks. Manufacturers of a new type of cement mixer lobbied to have their vehicles classified as ‘mobile plant’ so that they are exempt from all of the EU safety regulations that apply to HGVs, are frequently overloaded due to their extra-weight axle design, and can be driven by poorly trained, poorly paid drivers without any driving hour regulations, and don’t have to have an HGV-specific MOT: for all these reasons these vehicles are increasingly being used by the construction industry in London because they are seen as ‘value for money’. I presume that there is a dialogue that has to be maintained between cycle safety campaigners and haulage firms and that this is why few seem willing to point out that over 70% of ALL the lorries inspected by the Met Police Commercial Vehicles Inspection Unit since 2005 have been found to have some form of illegal defect