The company behind the “How’s My Driving?” initiative that enables road users to provide feedback on how HGVs and other vehicles are being driven has launched a competition to design a logo warning cyclists to keep clear of lorries, with the designer of the winning entry set to scoop a prize of £1,000.
The In Tandem Road Safety Competition, which will officially be launched by Hows My Ltd this weekend, has the support of Cambridge MP Dr Julian Huppert, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group, who last month led a House of Commons backbench debate on cycle safety.
Quoted on the cycle trade website BikeBiz, Dr Huppert said: “This is an excellent competition which focuses on the real danger to cyclists from heavy lorries while at the same time making drivers and cyclists think about the action they need to take to minimise the risks.”
He added: “The sign, designed to complement other lorry safety equipment such as sensors, turning alarms, extra mirrors and safety bars, could go a long way to saving lives."
The competition’s organisers say that the winning design would need to highlight to cyclists the fact that “extra care is needed when passing a large vehicle on the nearside.”
Some would maintain, and all cycle safety professionals, that you should never filter up the inside of a lorry or other large vehicle, especially approaching traffic lights where they may turn left. However, many cyclists appear to find the need to occasionally do just that unavoidable in an urban context and while experienced cyclists will know that filtering up the inside of a lorry along a foot of gutter is a definite no-no, not everybody is so aware of the danger - particularly where that foot has been helpfully delineated by a protective line of white paint with periodic cycle logos dotted along its length.
An added issue here is poorly designed infrastructure, with cycle lanes leading up to junctions where left turns are permitted potentially creating a false sense of security for inexperienced cyclists in particular who may not realise that they are not visible to the driver, assuming they are looking out for bike riders in the first place.
The competition is open until midnight on 30 April and entries will be judged by a panel comprising Robert Smalley, Chief Driving Examiner for RosPA, Subash Ludhra, president of health and safety organisation IOSH, Gary Harringman of Studio Harringman and Amanda Jackson, MD of Tigerfish PR.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.