No More Lethal Lorries - Petition

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  • That's very interesting - all of the HGV drivers on Pistonheads* insist that a) they genuinely can't see where they are going and that b) it's therefore not their fault when they run cyclists down, and finally c) it's impossible to look in all the mirrors they now have anyway, even if they were to show them what was around them.

    *Yes, I know.

  • I have 6 mirrors on mine, and the time it takes to check em all is worth it because I haven't squished anyone. The only real danger spot for a cyclist is the very front nearside corner, but we as cyclist, really shouldn't position ourselves there.

  • How close to the cab would an average size cyclist need to be front/nearside corner in order to be below the drivers eyeline? i.e. top of head out of eye-shot?

  • Roughly speaking, and dependent on angle of mirrors, bars level with front of cab, head below main nearside mirror, is probably the most dangerous place to be. If we as cyclists need to come down the inside of a lorry always make sure you stop in front of the cab, give the driver a look, if stopping further back make sure you can see the driver in the main mirror, if you can see him, he can see you.

  • Do remember that it's not necessarily the cyclist positioning themself there. They can stop at a junction and the lorry can then put them in that position.

  • Obviously. It seems you folks in London have the worst of it, don't know if it's sheer volume of traffic or just an overload of inconsiderate hgv drivers?
    All I can say if you find yourself anywhere down the nearside of a wagon, try and make sure the driver can see you. And be safe in the knowledge, if you find yourself down the nearside of my wagon you'll be safe.
    Stay safe guys. Peace n love. Jon

  • The assessment is based on the very simple observation that most riders who have been killed or seriously injured and on whom I could find information were quite short. Very, very few taller people (above 5'6") seem to be affected by this sort of incident.

    Now, I'm not saying that proves anything (it's not a scientific assessment and I'm not claiming a correlation, let alone monocausality), but it is a common thread among victims of the 'standard' crash pattern of left hooks, seemingly irrespective of the degree of driver error. I also haven't found any other factors that were common to all the victims. But, of course, the information available is limited (on many victims there is no information at all) and much is estimated. I'm still confident that this is a key factor--and I've spent years trying to understand these crashes, having many meetings and conversations about them.

    Needless to say, these measures would not completely eliminate dreadful driver error, and of course, as jontea says, drivers should check their mirrors, but if for whatever reason they don't, I'm convinced this can be more useful for prevention than any other measure.

    Obviously, you could still get a Dennis Putz character. There could also be a 'road rage' incident or some other reason for using a vehicle as a murder weapon. However, the vast majority of drivers have absolutely no connection to any of those scenarios. Virtually nobody wants to kill or injure, least of all people driving for a job. Initial feedback from drivers has reportedly been very positive.

    It's also worth emphasising again that the ultimate goal is to re-equip the lorry fleet with purpose-built bin lorry-like models:

    http://lcc.org.uk/pages/direct-vision-lo­rries

    Two of this type are now commercially available.

    So, yes, I'm optimistic about this. There are still going to be riders killed by drivers of other motor vehicles, and as I said, it will take years to replace the fleet, but ultimately I think the companies will see the value of this investment even from a commercial perspective as well as an ethical one.

  • jontea:

    Speaking as a wagon driver, it's got fook all to do with blind spots and lack of glass panels, but everything to do with the drivers inability/laziness to check their mirrors. Been driving hgvs for about 15yrs never once have I hit a cyclist or missed spotting one at turnings/junctions.
    Sure, lorry design isn't great, but it all comes down the pink squiggy thing in the drivers seat.

    Totally. Of course, the overwhelming majority of interactions result in no problems (apart, perhaps, from a sense of alarm at being passed by a large vehicle). It is only that relatively small class of crashes (see your remark on the front nearside below) which do result in major problems that require this sort of corrective. As you're well aware, many drivers don't have the cyclist's perspective (which is why the work done on cycle training for drivers is so important).

    Dammit:

    That's very interesting - all of the HGV drivers on Pistonheads* insist that a) they genuinely can't see where they are going and that b) it's therefore not their fault when they run cyclists down, and finally c) it's impossible to look in all the mirrors they now have anyway, even if they were to show them what was around them.

    *Yes, I know.

    I think this certainly points to the nervousness and, in some cases no doubt, denial that's felt around the issue. At a guess, most of the posters there would not have been involved in such crashes and are reflecting on their alarm at suddenly having riders appear when they didn't see where they came from.

    I have 6 mirrors on mine, and the time it takes to check em all is worth it because I haven't squished anyone. The only real danger spot for a cyclist is the very front nearside corner, but we as cyclist, really shouldn't position ourselves there.

    Roughly speaking, and dependent on angle of mirrors, bars level with front of cab, head below main nearside mirror, is probably the most dangerous place to be. If we as cyclists need to come down the inside of a lorry always make sure you stop in front of the cab, give the driver a look, if stopping further back make sure you can see the driver in the main mirror, if you can see him, he can see you.

    Yes:

    (From the same LCC page I linked to above.)

    This is obviously what direct vision aims to correct. As kl points out, there is also riders being stationary in the nearside position before a driver arrives, and several left hooks in London and no doubt elsewhere have involved drivers overtaking riders around a turn while moving.

  • Obviously. It seems you folks in London have the worst of it, don't know if it's sheer volume of traffic or just an overload of inconsiderate hgv drivers?

    It's several factors. Many of the fatal crashes have involved tipper lorries moving spoil from large building sites, e.g. around the time of the building of the 'Shard' there were three or four fatalities of cyclists around Tower Bridge Road. (I can't remember the exact number, or whether all of those were Shard-related.) As far as I know, there have been none there since that finished, despite London Bridge Station having a major refurbishment now. For a while, we had constant Olympic-related lorry traffic through some very narrow streets in Hackney, too. These schedules involve fleets of lorries operated to very exacting timetables, which increases risk, and management of risk away from building sites has much to catch up on compared to management of risk on-site.

    Extremely obvious factors are simply London's size and complexity. The overall percentage of fatalities and serious injuries compared to the volume of riders and overall road traffic has actually been going down, slowly but surely, over the last two decades or so, but the lorry factor has remained quite high, e.g. considering the amount of development that's been going on.

    I imagine, taking characters like Dennis Putz as evidence, that there are also a good few cowboy operators who will employ drivers without asking too many questions, but I don't know if that factor is different anywhere else.

  • ^ Good to see some tangible progress there, not just proposals and renderings.
    I used to work on Markfield road, directly opposite O'Donovans main yard. Dozens of trucks per hour coming in and out of the site, the place is always crawling with banksman directing business and generally doing a stand up job keeping riders and peds safe.
    The boss is a real nice guy and I'm not remotely surprised he's embracing the new trucks.

  • So, the Direct Vision Standard is not too far away. Despite the slowdown in the London construction boom, this is still a very important project:

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/p­s550-daily-fines-truckers-london-direct-­vision-standard-safety-cameras-b919964.h­tml

    Inevitably, it'll be hit by difficulties and delays in compliance even after the deadlines, but it's still very good.

  • @jontea (continued from https://www.lfgss.com/comments/16150399/­):

    Yeah I realise that, but the key change that needs to be made is driver mentality, lots of pressure on hgv drivers, some don't deal with it the way they should.
    You could make the whole cab of glass and people would still be hurt/killed.

    You're obviously right that the pressure and working conditions are a key factor, i.e. punishing schedules, working alone, and so forth. Ideally, there'd be a second person in every cab whose job it should be to watch out for riders. I'm also no fan of road haulage and for obvious reasons think most of it should be returned to rail. Finally, no 'technical' measure is ever going to be a panacea. However, improving direct vision for drivers is by common consensus the single most effective measure that can be undertaken failing improvements in the way the industry treats its drivers. It won't prevent all left-turning deaths, for example, but it'll prevent the vast majority of them, and no matter how much the pressure and working conditions might get to them, no lorry driver wants to kill someone.

    I'm asking this question in the light of these two recent lorry deaths, as it doesn't seem to me that in these two cases the lorries are likely to have been of an acceptable standard. Of course, were it to turn out that they were, I'd retract my words. I'm particularly interested in whether the scheme may have been hit by COVID-19-related complications.

    Planning and implementing a traffic scheme takes months or even years. Swapping a nearside lorry cab door for a see-through door is much, much easier and quicker.

  • Might I suggest that everybody ask of their GLA representative the number of Direct Vision System enforcements issued in their constituency?

    [Don't hold your breath; I asked a month after the DVS was introduced,
    and,
    inevitably, have yet to receive an answer].

    More people asking will force either the GLA or local authorities start to take DVS seriously.

  • Some companies are taking DVS seriously:


    1 Attachment

    • IMG_20210812_131116917.jpg
  • It worries me that MPs are talking about making it easier for drivers to get qualified as HGV drivers and that working conditions should be "relaxed". I assume in this sense this means allowing drivers to work longer hours without breaks.

  • Punishing working conditions aside in my minds eye all truckers are fat necked racists who hate bikes and love big naturals. Anyone from the URTU want to defend its members?

  • URTU represent less than 3% of drivers. Many more are in UNITE but sadly the majority belong to no union at all.
    Denigrating drivers as fat necked racists etc, is part of the problem. I can't understand why lorry drivers in this country have such low status compared to almost anywhere else in the world.
    I started HGV driving when there was a real shortage of drivers. Pay was good and going up. I earned enough in 16 weeks a year to live and pay my way though college. Since then relative pay and conditions have got progressively worse. It is really hard to recruit drivers who care about what they do if you treat them like shit.

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No More Lethal Lorries - Petition

Posted by Avatar for West_Green @West_Green

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