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Training scheme should give a very different perspective on safety

Lorry drivers in Redbridge are to spend half a day riding bicycles on the roads thanks to a £250,000 grant to spend on improving cycling in the borough.

70 HGV drivers will complete their Safer London Driving course this month, part of Redbridge's commitment to becoming a Biking Borough.

Councillor Paul Canal who sits on the council's Cycling Liason Group told the East London Guardian: "If every HGV driver rode a bike and every cyclist sat in the cab of a HGV lorry, deaths would decrease by 90 percent."

According to Transport for London, more than half of all cyclist deaths in London are caused by collisions with goods vehicles.

Only one in a thousand (0.1 per cent) of collisions with a car resulted in the death of a cyclist in the 12 months to 2011.

That rose to one in 200 (0.5 per cent) where the vehicle was a taxi, and just under one in 150 (0.68 per cent) where small and medium goods vehicles were involved.

However, where the incident involved a large HGV or other oversized vehicle, 7.94 per cent – nearly one in 12 – resulted in the cyclist being killed.

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

18 comments

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 3 years ago
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0.1% with a car, but nearly 8% with LGVs? Blimey.

Sounds like a great idea, although I can just see a bunch of fat fellas riding slowly on sturdy mountain bikes going down a storm on a busy road. No doubt we'll get blamed for that as well!

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Sarah Barth [86 posts] 3 years ago
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notfastenough wrote:

Sounds like a great idea, although I can just see a bunch of fat fellas riding slowly on sturdy mountain bikes going down a storm on a busy road.

I'm concerned I come across as humourless here, but we cyclists don't like all being tarred with the 'whippet thin, lycra-wearing red light jumper' brush, so we're possibly better off not dealing in generalisations.

I'll hop off my soapbox now  1

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Darthshearer [134 posts] 3 years ago
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notfastenough wrote:

0.1% with a car, but nearly 8% with LGVs? Blimey.

Sounds like a great idea, although I can just see a bunch of fat fellas riding slowly on sturdy mountain bikes going down a storm on a busy road. No doubt we'll get blamed for that as well!

If it makes them more aware when driving then I couldnt give a sh!t if they were overweight.

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 3 years ago
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This can only be a good thing surely ..

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WolfieSmith [1244 posts] 3 years ago
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I suppose the cyclist riding in the cab could check the poor visibility of the HGV drivers mirrors and note that undertaking lorries on a bike is a dangerous thing...

Unfortunately sitting next to an HGV driver for a while the cyclist (and or pedestrian..) is unlikely to observe the primary reason for accidents involving HGV's: drivers texting on their mobiles, breaking the speed limit or turning off roads without signalling.

Generalisation? Possibly. But I would suggest that 30% of skip lorry drivers indulge in 2 out 3 of the above activities (sometimes simultaneously) on every journey they make.

It's primarily selfish, careless driving that needs to be addressed with regulation of both drivers and employers and serious prison time - not role playing to see each other's pain.

 22

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Gkam84 [9068 posts] 3 years ago
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Can we also send some cyclists along with LGV's to show them how it feels to be along side one, squeezed at junctions.....etc  19

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iDavid [47 posts] 3 years ago
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Redbridge is (I think) the 7th London borough to implement an Exchanging Places programme. Cycle awareness is also to become part of the annual proficiency requirements for HGV drivers. Would be even better if it became part of the car driving test, too.

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Hopalongsteve [46 posts] 3 years ago
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been saying for the last 2 years that ALL motorists should have to ride 200 miles (or suitable distance) before they get their licence to see what lifes like for cyclists. Create jobstoo as need to be chaperoned by a 'real' rider to get the miles signed off. They could do 40 5 mile rides or 2 100 ones as long as they do it!!

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kie7077 [833 posts] 3 years ago
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Taxi's are cars, why are they 5x more deadly than other cars?  39

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OldRidgeback [2554 posts] 3 years ago
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It's a great idea and a move in the right direction.

Cycle and motorcycle training should be compulsory for ALL vehicle drivers unless they have a disability. It would make a huge reduction in casualty figures for vulnerable road users. The scheme should require all vehicle drivers have to take the training within a set period, or lose their driving entitlement completely.

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stewieatb [292 posts] 3 years ago
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kie7077 wrote:

Taxi's are cars, why are they 5x more deadly than other cars?  39

Not sure. Heavier? Or maybe random variation.

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tommy2p [86 posts] 3 years ago
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Make learner drivers ride a bike as part of their lessons. That way they could still travel independently on the roads before passing their tests. It would enhance their road sense as well as providing cycling instructors with employment, boosting the economy and making them more 'cycle aware' It surely would not be that difficult to implement. And would normalise cycling in everybody's eyes.

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 3 years ago
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Sarah Barth wrote:
notfastenough wrote:

Sounds like a great idea, although I can just see a bunch of fat fellas riding slowly on sturdy mountain bikes going down a storm on a busy road.

I'm concerned I come across as humourless here, but we cyclists don't like all being tarred with the 'whippet thin, lycra-wearing red light jumper' brush, so we're possibly better off not dealing in generalisations.

I'll hop off my soapbox now  1

You're right, you do.  4

No, fair enough. Suitably chastised! I shall henceforth gain 2 stone in weight then go for a non-stereotypical ride as punishment.

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Darthshearer [134 posts] 3 years ago
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kie7077 wrote:

Taxi's are cars, why are they 5x more deadly than other cars?  39

They spend longer on the roads?
They are driven by unlicensed, uninsured drivers?

Looking from the other direction too, I have see some lunacy cycling in respect to HGV's and getting too close, going up the inside etc.

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hairyairey [296 posts] 3 years ago
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On the bus last night (27 from Warren Street to Notting Hill Gate for those that are interested) I was thinking that some bus drivers could benefit from this. There were several near misses with cyclists which were down to the drivers impatience (ironic really because he had to stop at one stop for a couple of minutes as he was too early). I've driven a bus as well so I know he could do better. I would not pass up the opportunity to drive an HGV, preferably an Eddie Stobart!

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Campag_10 [153 posts] 3 years ago
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@OldRidgeback

Why exempt drivers with a disability from compulsory cycle training?

Adapted bikes and trikes are available that can accommodate most of the impairments that disabled drivers have.

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Bez [585 posts] 3 years ago
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"Adapted bikes and trikes are available that can accommodate most of the impairments that disabled drivers have. "

And if they don't then there are e-bikes and mobility scooters, which would serve equally well.

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Mostyn [396 posts] 3 years ago
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However small a beginning, It's a start!