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Chris Boardman calls the video, which appears to blame a cyclist for a left turn lorry crash, "desperately misguided"...

The Department for Transport’s (DfT) THINK campaign has come under heavy criticism for releasing a video which appears to blame a cyclist for a collision with a left turning lorry.

The clip, which shows a number of colliding forces in slow motion, including a butcher chopping meat and two rams butting each other, interspersed with snippets of a cyclist riding on the inside of a left-turning lorry, begins with the caption “things you shouldn’t get caught between”, and ends with images of a bicycle crushed under HGV wheels.

British Cycling's  Policy advisor, Chris Boardman, has led criticism of the video,  calling it “desperately misguided”, while the Green Party says it makes the government appear clueless over road safety, and the message should be for lorry drivers not to put cyclists at risk. Many have called for its immediate withdrawal.

CTC: Lorries should have higher safety ratings for public projects

After the @ThinkGovUK Twitter account tweeted: "Cyclists: Don’t get caught between a lorry and a left hand turn. Watch and share our new #THINK! cycle safety ad" this morning, Boardman responded, saying: “Desperately misguided campaign that a) tries to make death fun b) vulnerable road user responsible for vehicle not fit for road.

“Companies, THINK buy lorries that let your poor drivers see more than 70% of the road, they exist,” he added.

The video sequence involving the cyclist and lorry in the montage, which ends with a still of a crushed bike under the lorry’s wheels, appears to show the lorry driver overtaking the cyclist before turning left, though it is hard to be sure if this is the case from the edit.

It finishes with the picture of the crushed bike and the caption: “Don’t get caught between a lorry and a left turn. Hang back,” with the sound of sirens in the background.

The Green Party's Transport spokesperson, Caroline Russell AM, says the video indicates a lack of government understanding over cycling safety.

"The government quite clearly shows they have not got the first idea about how to reduce danger for people cycling," she says. "Their film shows an HGV lorry overtake riskily at a junction and turn left in a classic left hook crash. Yet their message is a victim blaming call for the cyclist to stay back.

"I never filter to the left of lorries in stationary or heavy traffic but frequently find I am overtaken by lorries who put me in their blind spot by doing so. The message should have been directed at the lorry drivers to ask them to stay back from people cycling to avoid them being exposed to the risk of causing a crushing collision."

Some cyclists are asking whether a similar campaign is being aimed at lorry drivers, and companies that procure HGVs, to help prevent cyclist fatalities in left turn lorry collisions.  

Stop Killing Cyclists has called the video “disgraceful” and asked that it be withdrawn “immediately.”

The video is part of a Think! Campaign which is planned to run until 23rd October, focusing on London and Manchester. West Midlands Police, of the much-hailed decoy cop close pass initiative say it shows what not to do when overtaking a cyclist.

Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s Senior Road Safety and Legal Campaigns officer said the charity expressed concerns in the campaign's early phase but government chose to ignore those concerns.

He said: “Cycling UK raised its concerns with this campaign at the earliest stage and we are very disappointed this was not taken on board. Hopefully, following the understandable widespread negative reaction THINK! has received from road safety campaigners, they will rethink and re-engage to learn from their mistakes. 

“The best safety initiative for our roads would be for Government to back the use of direct vision lorries in major building projects, just like the Mayor of London has done. These lorries allow the driver to see more of the road and around their vehicle, and that means they’re safer for cyclists, walkers and other road users.”

 A DfT spokesperson told road.cc: “Any death on the road is a tragedy, and all road users have a responsibility to make our roads safer by being more vigilant.

“We want to protect vulnerable road users by raising awareness of specific dangers, and research shows that a large number of road incidents involving cyclists are with lorries at junctions. The THINK! road safety campaign is aimed at cyclists, motorists and HGV drivers, and they all have a role to play in improving safety.”

As cyclist Alex Ingram points out, the Think! campaign released a second clip, ten hours after the first one, showing the cyclist narrowly escaping a left turn collision with the lorry.

57 comments

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tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 1 year ago
10 likes

After that high profile killing at Bank recently which has still gone unpunished, this is especially ugly. 

 

Ads like this positively reinforce the SUN/Daily Heil readership's ignorance and makes them more confident about driving abusively when they meet a cyclist on the road. All very ugly stuff from the government. Also a nice piece from them today about blaming the poor for a 11 billion NHS deficit for their lifestyle choices.

 

They're gearing up with the propaganda for the next GE. Death Star is nearly fully operational.

 

That said, I do think cyclists should watch themselves around lorries etc. I do hang back when I see lorries and buses at junctions, and I eyeball the f*** out of drivers if I think they'll pull left when I'm going straight. But I wouldn't put out this type of ad. 

 

Same as the lifestyle thing with the poor. Actually, yes, binge eating, drinking, smoking - costing us billions unecessarily on the NHS. And yes poorer areas are rife with it. I even make comments like that regularly here. Especially re: massively aggressive unhealthy drivers talking about 'road tax'. Would I put out propaganda blaming them if I was in govt? No, I'd be looking to regenerate those areas with real prospects instead of kicking them when they're down.

 

 

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hsiaolc [360 posts] 1 year ago
8 likes

Most of the times most cars or lorries over take first and then do a left turn regardless if you are inside the lane which has priority. 

I don't understand the advert.  It should be drivers should never left turn when there is a cyclist in the inner lane. 

As a driver myself as well I always give way to cars in the inner lane if I have to make a left turn or I should get inside the inner lane first and make sure I am safe to left then and check my mirrors. 

 

 

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brooksby [2585 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
hsiaolc wrote:

Most of the times most cars or lorries over take first and then do a left turn regardless if you are inside the lane which has priority. 

I don't understand the advert.  It should be drivers should never left turn when there is a cyclist in the inner lane. 

Agreed, but the HGV industry clearly hired a better lobbying team.

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bassjunkieuk [49 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

A "revised" video seems to have been released in the last hour or so showing the rider actually braking to avoid being taken out. Still disregards the fact that the lorry driver didn't give sufficient space whilst overtaking, possibly ignored the 20mph speed limit and also shouldn't have even attempted to overtake there if they intended to turn left at that point.

 

 

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Jimnm [258 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

It's all about self preservation.

If a lorry/bus/van vehicle whatever does overtake you whilst approaching a left hand junction,  stop! or risk death. The Highway Code isn't going to save you. Never undertake or end up in the undertakers.

Just do everything you can to avoid other road users  and stay alive. Think of all other road users as morons and expect the unexpected due to their unpredictability. 

These are my rules by the way purely my ethos on surviving whilst out on my bike. 

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DaveE128 [916 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

I think the video does show a cyclist undertaking a lorry indicating left (the cyclist is moving faster than the lorry in the first very short clip shown with them both moving.) IMHO it is ok to warn people not to undertake vehicles that may be turning left. It's also ok to remind people that many lorries on the road currently have lethally flawed visibility (there must also be action to address that) and to therefore advise against going up the inside of a stationary lorry at a junction.

However, my biggest issue with this ad is that the unspoken implication is that anyone who gets "caught between a lorry and a left turn" is at risk of death because of their own fault. That simply isn't the case. How often do people undertake moving lorries? I think that's probably extremely unusual. It risks giving drivers a sense of "well they shouldn't be there so I don't have to look."

It would also be nice to see campaigns warning drivers not to overtake *anything* before turning left, reminding them of the highway code on the matter.

 

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hsiaolc [360 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Jimnm wrote:

It's all about self preservation.

If a lorry/bus/van vehicle whatever does overtake you whilst approaching a left hand junction,  stop! or risk death. The Highway Code isn't going to save you. Never undertake or end up in the undertakers.

Just do everything you can to avoid other road users  and stay alive. Think of all other road users as morons and expect the unexpected due to their unpredictability. 

These are my rules by the way purely my ethos on surviving whilst out on my bike. 

 

We are not talking about self preservation here.  

Of course as a driver I can anticipate better (I think or feel) than those we doesn't and usualy I stay behind the lorries unless I feel confident enough or safe enough to over take them in the inside. 

However, it shouldn't be self presevation it should be that the lorry or any car should not over take the cyclist to cut off the cyclist and do a left turn. 

We don't have ABS brakes to stop fast enough sometimes when they make that kind of manuver. 

But even more important they should be educated property to not over take cyclist and to look two or even three times before left turn and stop to let any cyclists through. 

 

 

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escalinci [13 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

The two shots of the lorry and the man (and it is a man in all the kit, despite anecdotally I think a majority of the victims of these incidents being women? Default cyclist alert) cycling don't match, making it not just victim-blaming but constructing a false reality. The truck is pulling ahead in the second shot but being undertaken in the first. They wanted to show a moment where the guy could have noted the truck and had opportunity to 'hang back', but they also wanted to have a decent length of the shot where the truck is pulling across.

This makes sense from putting across the brief the director was probably given, but it creates a scenario where the crash wouldn't happen if the guy on the bike hadn't stopped pedalling to allow the truck to catch back up (or the driver used his mirrors of course), and of all the scenarios I don't see that happening.

I would be interested in seeing an ad based on an actual incident - waiting in a feeder lane behind an ASL full of other bike users with a non-indicating truck first in the queue behind. People could use some informing about when infrastructure is inaquate, but not a general call to let the real traffic go first.

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mrchrispy [492 posts] 1 year ago
13 likes

Looking forwards to the next public information film advising women not to dress to provocativly incase they get assulted.  

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themartincox [553 posts] 1 year ago
8 likes

and don't forget to check that when you are walking there's nobody maneuvering a piano above you - because if their safety equipment fails it's YOUR FAULT for being crushed to death by said grand piano!

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gsavill90 [34 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Am I the only one that sees the cyclist undertaking the lorry at 27 seconds?

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nowasps [519 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

I'd be interested in hearing about how/why these things are made. Why wouldn't they seek advice from someone who understands the subject? Or are they just doing what the haulage lobby tell them?

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leroyb_edi [1 post] 1 year ago
3 likes
DaveE128 wrote:

 IMHO it is ok to warn people not to undertake vehicles that may be turning left. 

See, that's a problem right there .. because can you define to me in exact terms what a "vehicle that may be turning left" is? ... 

The only answer is "any and all vehicles" ...

or, vehicles where the driver has used his/her indicator to make their intentions clear. If a vehicle is positioned in the middle of the lane, and no indicator lights are blinking, I will assume that that particular vehicle will NOT be turning (left or right).

 

 

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Daveyraveygravey [535 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes
gsavill90 wrote:

Am I the only one that sees the cyclist undertaking the lorry at 27 seconds?

Nope, the bike is going quicker than the lorry at that point, and the lorry is NOT indicating.  

I think the ad is terrible, maybe at some point between the initial idea and the final release of the visuals it got chopped and changed.  

There should be a campaign about looking out for each other on the roads, whatever mode of transport you use.  There should be a campaign about NOT getting into road rage situations.  There should be a campaign about how the roads are there for us all to use, no-one has more rights to them than anyone else.  

Apart from uninsured, untaxed, un-MOT'd, previously convicted, phone-using, drink-and-drugged up clueless bastards, who should have some meaningful punishment and ban.

I wouldn't go down the inside of that lorry in that situation, but I do filter down either side of slow or stationary traffic, depending where there is most space, and where I can see furthest ahead.  

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Jimnm [258 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
hsiaolc wrote:
Jimnm wrote:

It's all about self preservation.

If a lorry/bus/van vehicle whatever does overtake you whilst approaching a left hand junction,  stop! or risk death. The Highway Code isn't going to save you. Never undertake or end up in the undertakers.

Just do everything you can to avoid other road users  and stay alive. Think of all other road users as morons and expect the unexpected due to their unpredictability. 

These are my rules by the way purely my ethos on surviving whilst out on my bike. 

 

We are not talking about self preservation here.  

Of course as a driver I can anticipate better (I think or feel) than those we doesn't and usualy I stay behind the lorries unless I feel confident enough or safe enough to over take them in the inside. 

However, it shouldn't be self presevation it should be that the lorry or any car should not over take the cyclist to cut off the cyclist and do a left turn. 

We don't have ABS brakes to stop fast enough sometimes when they make that kind of manuver. 

But even more important they should be educated property to not over take cyclist and to look two or even three times before left turn and stop to let any cyclists through. 

 

 

Forgive me for the misunderstanding, I interpreted the add to be about safety and self preservation, warning  road users about the perils that could befall you/me and everyone. Someone who makes a mistake on our roads can potentially  kill you/me/everyone. 

 

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keef66 [75 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

I don't ride in traffic very often, but when I do I tend not to filter on either side, figuring it's safer that way; I know the vehicles behind can definitely see me.  If the road's narrow I'll take a primary position so cars behind are not tempted to try to squeeze past, but give them a wave of thanks for waiting when they do pass safely.  As a driver around Cambridge whenever I'm turning left I indicate in plenty of time, and  make absolutely sure there's no cyclists filtering up the inside, and if they are, I wait till they've gone.  Most of the cycle lanes are so woefully narrow and start and stop in unpredictable ways, so I just assume wherever I am there's a strong possibility of a cyclist coming past me on the left.  I'm rarely disappointed.

I find the older I get the more patient I've become on the bike and behind the wheel.

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brooksby [2585 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Jimnm wrote:

Forgive me for the misunderstanding, I interpreted the add to be about safety and self preservation, warning  road users about the perils that could befall you/me and everyone. Someone who makes a mistake on our roads can potentially  kill you/me/everyone. 
 

You mean, like lorries with 'blind spots' the size of Wales (isn't everything indeterminably large, "the size of Wales"?) which turn left without indicating? 

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Must be Mad [622 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Quote:

I think the video does show a cyclist undertaking a lorry indicating left (the cyclist is moving faster than the lorry in the first very short clip shown with them both moving.) IMHO it is ok to warn people not to undertake vehicles that may be turning left. It's also ok to remind people that many lorries on the road currently have lethally flawed visibility (there must also be action to address that) and to therefore advise against going up the inside of a stationary lorry at a junction.

That was my initial reaction too.

However, that right there is litterially the entire point of the advert - and is flashed up and gone in a second, hidden behind a montage of arty-farty victim blaming clap trap which has absoutly nothing to do with road safty.

 

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Must be Mad [622 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

This advert will cop a lot of complaints - from people outraged that it shows a cyclist without high-viz....

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Tommytrucker [62 posts] 1 year ago
12 likes

Speaking as an hgv driver myself, I think the ad is horrendous. The driver would have seen the cyclist, you'd have to be a complete numpty to forget you'd passed him 5 seconds earlier and not bothered checking again.
That said, that's what the industry needs, full cycle awareness training. We do periodic CPC training, which involves various aspects of hgv driving, including drivers hours, safe loading etc, but I've not yet been to one which has included anything to do with cycling. For me, it's a no - brainer.
I cycle to work every day come rain or shine, to be fair, I've never had a problem with the majority of hgvs, just several left hooks by cars, including a trip to a and e when a lovely young lady rode straight across a junction into me.
I think in general, the car licence is too easy to pass, and there is not enough importance stressed to the learners on vulnerable road users.

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psling [255 posts] 1 year ago
5 likes

D'you know what, I was driving yesterday and was second vehicle in the nearside lane stopped at a red traffic light on a (rural) dual-carriageway. Both the vehicle in front of me and I were indicating to turn left at the lights. A (what I imagine due to the numbers and garb) club run was coming up behind us filtering through the stationary traffic and several riders passed me on both sides. To get by on my nearside they were having to unclip and put their left foot down on the kerb to squeeze past my wing mirror. They were continuing straight on but formed a stationery line to the left of both myself and the vehicle in front who, as already mentioned were both indicating to turn left.

Not a problem, I waited for the ones alongside my van to clear and ensured I had positive eye contact via the mirror with those coming up behind me before I undertook () the left turn manouevre. These days I'm rarely in a hurry to get anywhere so this wasn't really a problem for me but I did question in my head why these numptys were squeezing past a clearly signalling left turning van when they were wanting to continue straight on [no feeder lane, no ASL]. Those to my offside, chapeau; those to my nearside, idiots. I know you are allowed to filter either side of stationary traffic but common sense is very obviously not dished out equally at birth.

Just thought I'd share.

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Jimnm [258 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:
Jimnm wrote:

Forgive me for the misunderstanding, I interpreted the add to be about safety and self preservation, warning  road users about the perils that could befall you/me and everyone. Someone who makes a mistake on our roads can potentially  kill you/me/everyone. 
 

You mean, like lorries with 'blind spots' the size of Wales (isn't everything indeterminably large, "the size of Wales"?) which turn left without indicating? 

Yeah pretty much. Save the wales  3 

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Mungecrundle [866 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

To pull one nugget of hope from this poor effort of a road safety film, it does at least make the point that regardless of blind spots or how you find yourself to be in that position and regardless of who has made what kind of mistake. Being on the inside of a large vehicle near a junction is a really dangerous place to be and you had better be aware and prepared with a bailout plan. Far too many cyclists and pedestrians (you are not necessarily safe standing on the pavement at a corner) apparently oblivious of the danger.

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davidtcycle [76 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

The way I read the ad is simple, you are riding your bike down the road minding your own business when I truck overtakes you, turns into your path and kills you. Seems to me that's murder, no question. 

What this video should be saying is - Truck drivers if you do this - you will go to jail - except we all know nobody goes to jail for killing a cyclist, so no incentive or disincentive either way

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fukawitribe [1946 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
davidtcycle wrote:

The way I read the ad is simple, you are riding your bike down the road minding your own business when I truck overtakes you, turns into your path and kills you.

 

Well you undertake it first, then it overtakes you, seems to forget it just did that and then turns left. It's a shit and dangerous advert as it is, you don't need to try and make it worse by ignoring what happens in it.

 

davidtcycle wrote:

Seems to me that's murder, no question. 

 

It may do to you, that doesn't make it true though.

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Jimnm [258 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
davidtcycle wrote:

The way I read the ad is simple, you are riding your bike down the road minding your own business when I truck overtakes you, turns into your path and kills you. Seems to me that's murder, no question. 

What this video should be saying is - Truck drivers if you do this - you will go to jail - except we all know nobody goes to jail for killing a cyclist, so no incentive or disincentive either way

I totally agree with your last paragraph.

We cyclists are vertually invisible to motorists, also dispised for being on the roads, not to mention that we don't pay road tax. ( I do 'cos I've got a motorbike but they don't know that)  It's a major hate thing going on IMO 

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bohrhead [82 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

I'd rather do what I can to stop myself being killed than stubbornly make some kind of point about 'victim blaming'.

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psling [255 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

Just watched the video, was unable to earlier.

If that's not a classic left-hook, overtaking too close to the junction and turning across the bike rider, then I'm the queen of sheba!

Talk about getting their wires crossed showing an incredibly dangerous overtaking-followed-by-left-turn manoeuvre and suggesting they're advising bike riders not to go up the inside of lorries. Un-f#*kin-believable 

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tritecommentbot [2268 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
bohrhead wrote:

I'd rather do what I can to stop myself being killed than stubbornly make some kind of point about 'victim blaming'.

 

 Both, surely?

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Must be Mad [622 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes
Quote:

If that's not a classic left-hook, overtaking too close to the junction and turning across the bike rider, then I'm the queen of sheba!

I was thinking if we could cut the lorry & cyclist parts from the video, and then send them to the police and ask them to investigate the dangerous driving?

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