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"A sticking plaster solution" to cycling safety, say groups including CTC & London Cycling Campaign...

 

Cycling and road safety organisations have called on Transport for London to remove ‘Cyclists Stay Back’ stickers from its vehicles and to tell operators such as Hackney cab owners not to attach them.

The demand comes in a joint statement from the Road Danger Reduction Forum, CTC, London Cycling Campaign, RoadPeace and the Association of Bikeability Schemes.

The stickers have angered many cyclists who see them as putting responsibility for cycling safety on the victims and potential victims of driver carelessness, and as implying that cyclists are second-class road users who should defer to motor vehicles.

Those two points make up the first of the organisations’ comments about the ‘stay back stickers’, which in full are:

  1. The ‘cyclists stay back’ wording is not acceptable for use on any vehicle, because of its implication that cyclists are second-class road users who should defer to motor vehicle users.
    It also undermines the responsibility of drivers of such vehicles to use their nearside mirrors as required by the Highway Code in Rules 159,161,163, 169, 179, 180, 182, 184, and 202.
    Non-use of nearside mirrors is associated with a significant proportion of incidents where cyclists are hit by motor vehicles.
  2. It is not appropriate to have stickers aimed at cyclists on the back of any vehicle smaller than a heavy goods vehicle.
  3. Stickers are appropriate on the rear of high-cab lorries, because of these vehicles’ blind areas, and the resultant danger to other road users.
  4. Stickers on lorries should be worded as warnings rather than commands, with appropriate graphics. A suitable graphic [below] is attached.

The organisations have therefore called for the stickers to be removed from all vehicles except high-cab lorries by the end of March, and for more appropriate stickers to be designed for use on London buses and to replace the stickers currently on high-cab lorries.

Perhaps more importantly, the five bodies have taken the opportunity to reiterate what they see as a far better long-term solution to the problem of cyclist deaths and serious injuries in London caused by HGVs. Calling stickers, “literally, a sticking-plaster solution”, the five groups have called for TfL to promote the use of lorries that do not have blind spots around the cab, to engineer the highway to reduce potential conflict, and to ensure drivers are trained to check their mirrors properly when turning or changing lane.

The demands in full are:

  1. FORS [Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme] to instruct their members to remove ‘cyclists stay back’ stickers from all vehicles except high-cab heavy goods vehicles, by the end of March.
  2. London Buses to instruct operators to remove ‘cyclists stay back’ stickers from all buses, until such time as a more appropriate design and wording is agreed with cycling organisations, by the end of March.
  3. TfL to inform all other vehicle operators, such as Hackney carriages (London Taxi Drivers Association etc.) that TfL do not want such stickers to be used on their vehicles, by the end of March.
  4. TfL to develop and produce a more appropriate sticker for heavy goods vehicles, similar to the one attached to this statement, and agree the design and wording with cycling organisations, by the end of May.
  5. TfL to supply the new sticker to freight operators, with instructions only to use it on high-cab lorries. This should be in widespread use by the end of August, with no ‘cyclists stay back’ stickers remaining after this date.
  6. TfL to invest in designing and promoting use of lorries that do not have blind spots around the cab. Stickers are, literally, a sticking-plaster solution. The long-term solution includes designing out the source of the danger by engineering lorries to reduce or eliminate the possibility of cyclists and pedestrians being crushed in collisions with them, engineering the highway to reduce potential conflict, eliminating lorry driver “blind spots”, and by training drivers to check their mirrors properly when turning or changing lane.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

91 comments

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jason.timothy.jones [294 posts] 2 years ago
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Maybe this should have a warning for cyclist to watch out for pot holes?

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Simmo72 [609 posts] 2 years ago
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May as well say

cyclists stay at home
or

cyclists stay off the roads so I can roll this polluting, cancer causing taxi -hauling fat, lazy fcuks- around London whilst giving my gingster sweaty fueled aris bigoted opinion on everything.

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qwerky [184 posts] 2 years ago
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I don't understand what the sticker means. If I see one I have to "stay back". Back where? A metre back? Twenty metres back? Back at home?

If I am approaching a stationary vehicle with such a sticker then do I have to leave an extra large gap in front of me? What if another vehicle with such a sticker pulls into that gap, do I have to get off my bike and run away?

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Maggers [58 posts] 2 years ago
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They're a handy warning for when someone's desperate to overtake you then turn left in front of you. You've got ample milliseconds to read it while you take evasive action.

Think the fall into the same category as "baby on board" signs. What on earth are they actually for?

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Paul_C [473 posts] 2 years ago
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From the Highway code:

Turning left
182

Use your mirrors and give a left-turn signal well before you turn left. Do not overtake just before you turn left and watch out for traffic coming up on your left before you make the turn, especially if driving a large vehicle. Cyclists, motorcyclists and other road users in particular may be hidden from your view.

183

When turning

keep as close to the left as is safe and practicable
give way to any vehicles using a bus lane, cycle lane or tramway from either direction.

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mrmo [2088 posts] 2 years ago
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not sure on this, having seen some cyclists behaviour, maybe having a sticker, "don't be so f***ing stupid as to try and squeeze down the side of a tractor trailer" makes sense!

Yes the driver should be looking, but that doesn't mean cyclists can do what they like and expect to get away with it. Comes back to why are more women killed then men on london's roads. Education matters!

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jova54 [659 posts] 2 years ago
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Saw one of those on the back of a British Transport Police vehicle the other day.

In Guildford

On a Ford Ka, covered most of the boot  29

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oozaveared [941 posts] 2 years ago
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Might as well say "Stay Back - Careless Driver that doesn't use their mirrors".

In fact I wonder whether putting them on is, in fact, a tacit admission of reduced competence by a driver. I'd be inclined to argue in any collision that such a sticker is an indication by a driver that they do not intend to be considerate to cyclists. Ipso facto are accepting that their own driving standards are low.

Another example of people making up their own highway code.

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Matt_Z [39 posts] 2 years ago
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Drivers seem to think that it is a license for cutting you off. They are now more and more common, particularly in small vans. If DfT and TFL don't change the way that drivers behave, the "ownership of the road" road tax, etc. argument will not disappear. All vehicles need to be liable for their actions and bicycles need to be treated as rightful road users, not 2nd class.

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paulmcmillan [97 posts] 2 years ago
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If stickers are the answer can I get a sticker for my back that says: "MOTORISTS - STAY BACK" ?

Font size 8 would be fine - they are usually near enough to read this no bother.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1234 posts] 2 years ago
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I can just about tolerate them on HGVs. According to some on here, some cyclists do still cycle up the left of them, so maybe, incredibly, some just aren't aware of the issue. (Edit - though point 4 of the article is a better way).

Putting them on taxis, vans or similar is just rude and would add to my sense that certain drivers have a pathological sense of entitlement. (If its spreading, I wonder if its just become a way to express a general hostility to cyclists, and to warn you they are going to blame you if they hit you?)

For cyclists I'd go with "motorists - follow the highway code when overtaking" except that probably wouldn't fit in a readable font.

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alexholt3 [53 posts] 2 years ago
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This is utterly ridiculous. Get off your high horse and ride your bike without moaning about everything.

Bad road use goes BOTH WAYS - ALWAYS.

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Shades [302 posts] 2 years ago
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Should we get a sense of perspective and see this as being aimed at new, inexperienced cyclists who might be tempted to undertake a lorry? Wait until the summer when, as I call them, the 'occasional cyclists' take to the road; you see some pretty scary manoeuvres and they're completely oblivious to the danger they're in. I always thought undertaking was a complete 'no no' unless it's a stationary queue and you can safely jump a few spaces, but at your own risk.

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BrokenBootneck [138 posts] 2 years ago
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Something like this? forgive my cr*p arty skills

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BrokenBootneck [138 posts] 2 years ago
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error

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mooleur [537 posts] 2 years ago
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mrmo wrote:

not sure on this, having seen some cyclists behaviour, maybe having a sticker, "don't be so f***ing stupid as to try and squeeze down the side of a tractor trailer" makes sense!

Yes the driver should be looking, but that doesn't mean cyclists can do what they like and expect to get away with it. Comes back to why are more women killed then men on london's roads. Education matters!

I agree on the first part, the amount of cyclists that shouted abuse at me for stopping *behind* large vehicles rather than squeezing up the middle of them (and subsequently blocking them from being idiots too) was beyond belief.

Funnily enough most of those idiots were men. Education DOES matter. As does eloquence and logic.

I'm not sure where you're basing your facts on the the stats between male and female cyclists being killed on Londons roads but unless the media is witholding information it seems as if you're wrong. Between now and July last year male deaths on Londons roads were almost 50% higher than female. Going off the stats on ctc's sites, it looks like there was around 9 men and 4 women killed in London.

Bit of a harsh statement on a very sensitive subject, tbh.

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Ush [723 posts] 2 years ago
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mrmo wrote:
mooleur wrote:

. Between now and July last year male deaths on Londons roads were almost 50% higher than female. Going off the stats on ctc's sites, it looks like there was around 9 men and 4 women killed in London.

Bit of a harsh statement on a very sensitive subject, tbh.

Now revise those numbers to reflect the percentage cyclists who are male and who are female.

That is what I meant, there is something very odd when the numbers are as out of kilter as they are.

I know it is a sensitive topic, and I am not trying to be insensitive on this.

quick google brings this back

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8296971.stm

Got to say, your original statement read a bit as though you were saying female cyclists were less educated than male cyclists.

I've always suspected that social conditioning of women to take less assertive positions is a big part of it. Riding behind people as they come to intersections is interesting. Women usually drift in towards the opening instead of continuing in a straight-line. Possibly part of the "be nice and co-operative" conditioning that is placed on women from a very young age.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1234 posts] 2 years ago
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alexholt3 wrote:

This is utterly ridiculous. Get off your high horse and ride your bike without moaning about everything.

Bad road use goes BOTH WAYS - ALWAYS.

Nah, it really doesn't.

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mrmo [2088 posts] 2 years ago
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mooleur wrote:

. Between now and July last year male deaths on Londons roads were almost 50% higher than female. Going off the stats on ctc's sites, it looks like there was around 9 men and 4 women killed in London.

Bit of a harsh statement on a very sensitive subject, tbh.

Now revise those numbers to reflect the percentage cyclists who are male and who are female.

That is what I meant, there is something very odd when the numbers are as out of kilter as they are.

I know it is a sensitive topic, and I am not trying to be insensitive on this.

quick google brings this back

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8296971.stm

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mooleur [537 posts] 2 years ago
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mrmo wrote:
mooleur wrote:

. Between now and July last year male deaths on Londons roads were almost 50% higher than female. Going off the stats on ctc's sites, it looks like there was around 9 men and 4 women killed in London.

Bit of a harsh statement on a very sensitive subject, tbh.

Now revise those numbers to reflect the percentage cyclists who are male and who are female.

That is what I meant, there is something very odd when the numbers are as out of kilter as they are.

I know it is a sensitive topic, and I am not trying to be insensitive on this.

quick google brings this back

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8296971.stm

That's fair enough, although it's a harsh reality that whilst women do tend to cycle more "safely" they bear the brunt of being the more damaged demographic. I'm not sure it's necessarily an 'education' issue but more a set of failures in the likes of infrastructure and even driver education around them. I don't think women should be made to feel like they're at risk for cycling safely, and I don't think men should take the standpoint of being more superior on the roads simply because their trend towards aggressive riding benefits them.

I have to question this as the Dutch ride to these rules yet encounter much fewer problems.

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MKultra [396 posts] 2 years ago
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The Dutch encounter less problems as over there drivers that kill are guilty until proven Innocent. Over here the burden of proof lies with the cyclist - who is most often now dead and does not get to to stand in court and give evidence against the person who ran them down.

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mrmo [2088 posts] 2 years ago
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Ush wrote:

Got to say, your original statement read a bit as though you were saying female cyclists were less educated than male cyclists.

I've always suspected that social conditioning of women to take less assertive positions is a big part of it. Riding behind people as they come to intersections is interesting. Women usually drift in towards the opening instead of continuing in a straight-line. Possibly part of the "be nice and co-operative" conditioning that is placed on women from a very young age.

Yes I was a bit harsh, and education might not be quite the right word, but training to be assertive? There is something to be said for not being co-operative in traffic. I am not saying being a c**k, just holding your line, not ceding for cars and trucks etc. Accepting that you will annoy some drivers, but at least you are alive.

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jason.timothy.jones [294 posts] 2 years ago
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The sticker should have a Panda on it

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MattT53 [146 posts] 2 years ago
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Ridiculous on smaller vehicles, but got to agree with those saying it should stay on lorries. So many people just either don't know or don't care. Given some of the near misses I've seen I often stop behind lorries at an upcoming junction in such a way as to block anyone coming past on the inside. Yes it might be a bit abrupt, but if it saves lives surely it's worth it. At the end of the day, not being your fault is little compensation if you do get hit ....

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FluffyKittenofT... [1234 posts] 2 years ago
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mrmo wrote:

Yes I was a bit harsh, and education might not be quite the right word, but training to be assertive? There is something to be said for not being co-operative in traffic. I am not saying being a c**k, just holding your line, not ceding for cars and trucks etc. Accepting that you will annoy some drivers, but at least you are alive.

Maybe, if its the case that half the population are statistically less likely to have the character traits necessary to ride like this, it indicates there is a problem with a system that requires such a riding style?

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factor41 [20 posts] 2 years ago
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Maggers wrote:

Think the fall into the same category as "baby on board" signs. What on earth are they actually for?

They're to let you know that the person driving is probably distracted by a noisy child in their car - or "driving without due care attention" as it's often known - and will attempt to use that in their defence after they smear you into the scenery.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1234 posts] 2 years ago
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MattT53 wrote:

Yes it might be a bit abrupt, but if it saves lives surely it's worth it. At the end of the day, not being your fault is little compensation if you do get hit ....

On reflection though, its not only 'abrupt' (to the point of hostile) but its not actually very clear or specific enough. The suggested image in the article seems much more to-the-point.

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timfearn [39 posts] 2 years ago
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If last night's dreadful behaviour on Finchley Road is anything to go by, I really need a sticker on the back of my bike which says:

"Taxi drivers, stay back. If you see me riding in the middle of a bus lane, this is not an invitation for you to try and undertake me at speed and then give me verbal abuse when I change position to prevent you from doing so."

Does anyone know why taxi drivers are allowed to use bus lanes anyway? Taxis aren't classed as essential public transport are they?

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saladfunky [11 posts] 2 years ago
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Big deal over a sign, it is obvious what it means but the new ones do look good.

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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Are there any more bandwagons for them?

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