Ultra Shocking Video about Lorry Blind-Spots

Video Posted on

TfL (Transport for London) have made a video showing just how blind lorry drivers are in some circumstances. This is great evidence for the argument that heavy-goods vehicles and bikes shouldn’t have to share the same road space.

I’d say more, but the video speaks for itself…

84 thoughts on “Ultra Shocking Video about Lorry Blind-Spots

    Jim said:
    November 19, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    No – it’s evidence for cyclists not pulling up alongside heavy goods vehicles.
    As a cyclist, I don’t want to be segregated into some narrow designated lane. Could you prohibit HGVs from occupying city roads? I doubt it…

      waltonharry responded:
      November 19, 2013 at 9:09 pm

      Jim, thanks for your comment.

      I believe that I said that this video is evidence in favour of the view that cyclists and HGVs shouldn’t share the same road space, and I believe that what I said still stands. While I would, of course, like to see city-wide networks of segregated cycle paths (like the ones that work so incredibly well in The Netherlands), Paris has implemented a scheme whereby HGVs and cyclists do not share the road space by limiting the times in which HGVs are permitted to enter the city. Indeed, this was perceived by some to be a radical solution, but it has proved successful as there have been zero cyclist deaths from HGV-related accidents in Paris since the scheme was put in place.

      This has already been proved to work, and so I can’t understand why you would be doubtful about it.

        Jim said:
        November 19, 2013 at 9:27 pm

        That the scheme has proved successful in Paris and the Netherlands does not mean that it would be equally so in as dense a conurbation as London – although nor does it follow that it wouldn’t be. What I don’t want to see happen is cyclists forced to operate in a single lane, wherein they could not overtake one another. The exclusion of HGVs has further ramifications – when and how will businesses be able to receive delivery of their stock? It’s an awkward situation and there are no easy solutions.

        Fela said:
        November 21, 2013 at 12:21 pm

        I’m a cyclist. I think it’s incredibly stupid to be on the left of ANY vehicle at the lights. I don’t understand why anyone would think it’s a good idea, especially at a junction. To blame HGV drivers is ridiculous – and really it’s common sense not to be on the inside at any time. Go in front, or wait behind. What is the problem with that?

        To exclude HGV’s from London is an absolutely ridiculous idea.

        I see an incredible lack of common sense among a lot of the cycling fraternity, and people generally being in such a hurry. A hurry for what?! Drivers are also guilty of this – everyone is on wheels for Christ’s sake so you’ll get there faster than everybody else who is on foot. A bit of patience would not go amiss.

        Bottom line is don’t go on the inside, ever. What’s the point.

        waltonharry responded:
        November 21, 2013 at 12:38 pm

        Ok, a couple of things.

        – No one is blaming HGV drivers. This video illustrates that they have a tremendously difficult job to do, and that it is their mirrors that are letting them down. Cyclists should definitely be aware of this, and yes, they should avoid being on the inside of big vehicles (although, as a cyclist, you should know that this is not always possible).

        – No one is suggesting that we “exclude” HGVs from London. What I believe I proposed was the Parisian solution to the problem, which sees HGVs making their deliveries at night time, thus avoiding peak hours. The Dutch solution is also very good, and sees HGVs depositing their cargo just outside the city where it is then transported into the city by smaller vehicles.

        – Patience is a virtue, I absolutely agree (this is all too often forgotten in London).

        – Cycle lanes run on the inside and allow cyclists to ‘filter’ to the front of the traffic queue instead of sitting in a smog of exhaust fumes. I think that’s the point.

      Nuno said:
      November 19, 2013 at 11:20 pm

      Yes and you can bike to the sticks to get your food..

      Fiona said:
      November 21, 2013 at 8:19 am

      It is proof that cyclists need to abide by the rules of the road and have respect . They should have insurance too, and should have to take a test. Cyclists are a law unto themselves.

        waltonharry responded:
        November 21, 2013 at 12:07 pm

        Cyclists do need to obey the rules of the road and have respect – I completely agree. However, I disagree that “cyclists are a law unto themselves”, and I think that radically unwarranted generalisations like this do no one any favours. Yes, some cyclists do break the law, and they stand out so you notice them more, but please don’t fall in fall into the trap of thinking that we’re all the same (and don’t for a second think that motorists don’t break the law as well). If cyclists are all to be judged by the behaviour of a minority of law-breakers, then it seems only fair to do the same back:

        ‘Drivers are all speeding lunatics who change lanes without indicating, thrusting their un-taxed, uninsured motor around the road while talking on their mobile phones, blaring out the Radio One Breakfast Show at unbearable volumes and smoking out of the window. Oh, and no motorist can pass a woman without leaning out and shouting ‘oi oiiii larvely! Fancy a shag?’ and beeping their horn incessantly.’

        How does it feel to be tarred with that brush? Cheers Fiona

      Trish said:
      November 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      agreed. As a cyclist myself I would never pull up into the blind spot of any vehicle in this situation.

      Lawrence-Designer said:
      November 22, 2013 at 10:23 am

      Its also evidence that HGV’s, especially articulated ones need better mirrors. Ideally some kind of active mirror that turns with the trailer so they can always see beside the trailer and road as opposed to just the side of their lorry.

    Paul said:
    November 20, 2013 at 12:00 am

    It is not realistic to segregate cyclists from other traffic as it can only be implemented on a small percentage of roads in cities. The only way to reduce bicycle accidents is to educate all road users. If road users are reminded enough they will begin to change their ways. One thing I would like to see is the police issuing fines to drivers who enter a bike zone at traffic lights, which also carries a 3 point penalty. This may seem harsh but it will make drivers realise that cyclists are road users as much as they are and not just an obstacle to get round.
    Also limiting trucks and HGV’s to 20 MPH on city roads would change the attitude of those truck drivers that seem to drive as fast as they want without taking into account road conditions or other road users.

      Ray Ashby said:
      November 21, 2013 at 11:28 am

      “truck drivers that seem to drive as fast as they want………” Not sure speed is an issue in most cycle fatalities. In London truckers would be only too happy to get up to 20mph much of the time

    Thomas 웃웃웃웃웃웃 Hogan said:
    November 20, 2013 at 1:24 am

    I ride a motorbike in London everyday. We are taught to never undertake a vehicle, be it a lorry or a car or even a bicycle. I see bicycles taking risks in London all the time and with some very basic training I’m sure individuals would reduce their own risks and save their own lives.

      Ray Ashby said:
      November 21, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Undertaking is illegal, I believe. Cost me £200 and points

    vicky said:
    November 20, 2013 at 7:27 am

    I might have massively missed something here but shouldn’t the focus be on eliminating HGV’s blind spots and the enforcing its use? There must be a way?

      Ray Ashby said:
      November 21, 2013 at 11:29 am

      HGVs with side-mounted cameras

    kevin said:
    November 20, 2013 at 8:56 am

    I am licensed to drive every vehicle class a licence permits, A very keen cyclist and working for the ambulance service makes me well aware of the injuries and accidents that occur.
    If everyone involved followed the rules of the road and did not pass such large high sided vehicles on the inside then we would get somewhere.
    Everyone is in a rush to the point that they end up getting in harms way. How many cyclists look over their shoulder before pulling out on the road? From what I see motorcycles and cyclists are the most flippent when it comes to personnel safety and consequences on the road. Everyone needs to be more aware, it could save your life!

    Mark said:
    November 20, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Jim, are you more concerned about road deaths or businesses having their stock..?

      Jim said:
      November 21, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Is that an either/or scenario? If you’ve got a point to make, then iterate it.

    Natalie said:
    November 20, 2013 at 10:14 am

    The only thing this video shows is that there is a blind point and how important it is not only to look in the mirror but also to look over the shoulder, i.e. turning the head to see what the mirrors don’t cover. This is something that should not be shocking, if you did an appropriate driver license.

      Jamie said:
      November 20, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      You can’t look over your shoulder if there’s no left back window you douche

        oliverfoggin said:
        November 20, 2013 at 11:54 pm

        Lol! I was thinking exactly the same. Watch the video. Without completely getting out of the driver seat there is pretty much no way to see those cyclists.

      James said:
      November 20, 2013 at 11:26 pm

      And which window would this be on an articulated truck ….?

    max said:
    November 20, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I don’t think London is a conurbation by the way. Also have you cycled in Paris? It’s amazing and the roads are really well done. I think you may be saying the roads aren’t wide enough to incorporate enough space, in which case I think going a bit slower is preferable to death. Something has to be done Jim, 6 deaths in 9 days is too much…

      waltonharry responded:
      November 20, 2013 at 6:36 pm

      YES! Lower vehicle speeds in cities are yet another benefit of building a dedicated cycle network

        Jim said:
        November 21, 2013 at 11:12 am

        How is London not a conurbation? It’s the archetypal conurbation, in fact, swallowing up towns as it grows outward.
        Anyway, of course something has got to be done, but there’s a difference between what one wants to be done, and what those in power will allow. I’ve commented elsewhere on this blog that first you need to change the general perception people have of cyclists. Then, once people are more sympathetic towards them, more radical solutions can be petitioned for.
        Finally, cyclists need to understand that positioning themselves alongside the left-hand side of a HGV is not a very clever thing to do, regardless of who has right of way.

    Dainius said:
    November 20, 2013 at 10:49 am

    If every cyclist would wear a helmet, reflective shoulder belts, would not jump red lights and flashing super bright LED headlights and listening to your iPod while on the road would be banned, then let’s talk about how to improve safety of everyone on the roads and if roads should be shared between motorists and cyclists. Just saying.

    Elliot said:
    November 20, 2013 at 11:01 am

    When cyclists pay road tax and are insured like everyone else as per road act law I think then we can talk, until then the Victorian contraptions are lucky enough to use the roads we pay for.

      waltonharry responded:
      November 20, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      Elliot – Road tax doesn’t exist. The tax disc that people display in their vehicles is a car tax, a tax on cars and other vehicles, not a tax on roads or a fee to use them. Motorists do not pay directly for the roads. Roads are paid for via general and local taxation. In 1926, Winston Churchill started the process to abolish road tax. It was finally culled in 1937. The ironically-named iPayRoadTax.com helps spread this message on cycle jerseys. Car tax is based on amount of CO2 emitted so, if a fee had to be paid, cyclists – who are sometimes branded as ‘tax dodgers’ – would pay the same as other ‘tax-dodgers’ such as disabled drivers, police cars, the Royal family, and band A motorists, ie £0. Most cyclists are also car-owners, too, so pay VED (vehicle excise duty) in their own way. Seriously mate, get educated.

        Matt said:
        November 20, 2013 at 9:53 pm

        Elliot – do you bear the same ill-informed views on Toyota Prius drivers? VW Blue Motion drivers? Ford Fiesta Duratorque drivers? unless you are just trolling?

      Jade said:
      November 21, 2013 at 7:44 am

      Motorists don’t pay road tax they pay vehicle tax based on the C02 emissions of the vehicle.

    MarkNesbit said:
    November 20, 2013 at 11:13 am

    I am a retail manager and the stock delivery issue can be fairly easily solved by moving delivery times either until late in the evening or early morning, before the morning rush hour starts. HGV’s and bicycles are a bad mix, but I also agree with Jim that us cyclists need to be a bit more careful when close to large vehicles. Makes sense, right?

    Mathew said:
    November 20, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Jim i agree that cyclist should not be sneaking up the inside of HGV’s but what shocked me(as an experienced cyclist, who gives all trucks and busses space) is the extent of the blind spots, there is almost a cars width between the pavement and the truck. You could easily get a small city car in there. I don’t advocate a ban on HGV’s but surely a simple measure would be to make these trucks that have such bad visablity travel with a co-driver/passenger while in built up areas.

    justJones said:
    November 20, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I agree with Jim, in that cyclists should be more careful about where they position themselves with respect to HGVs. But I also agree that the management of HGVs in cities should be looked at. Most city centre shops do not need delivery from an HGV – those that do are going to be box retailers who do not need delivery during rush hour periods, for example.

    David said:
    November 20, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    Don’t go on the left side of HGV’s and buses. Ever. Simple, no?

    ju lie said:
    November 20, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    My beautiful 27 year old daughter was killed by an HGV turning left at the lights in central London at 10am on a Monday 20 years ago– the cement lorry had no adequate close proximity mirrors… I started a campaign which was on TV and in the media…about the prevention of blind spots on older lorries…this has been somewhat rectified since than by legislation (the lorry which killed my daughter was pre-1988)…but the carnage on London roads still goes on…

    Phil Muller said:
    November 20, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    There are 2 things wrong with this example. The lorry is sitting at an angle back towards to the side of the road. This is unrealistic as the lorry would not start the actual turn into the corner until they are well into the first lane of the road they are turning ont in order to get the trailer tyres around the corner off the curbs. Secondly, the cyclists should never go up the inside of any vehicle making the short turn, especially not a large vehicle. As a result, this proves that cyclists need training and TFL need to be realistic about what a lorry can see. I am an avid cyclist and former lorry driver so I see the problems with the video from experience, but this shows the need for cyclists to be more aware as they are risking their own lives in circumstances as in this video and the lorry drivers will undoubtedly take the blame.

    Linda Blabla said:
    November 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Hang on.. You can’t compare The Netherlands and London as it comes to cycle behaviour.
    I’m Dutch, lived and cycled in London for two years. And there is a huge difference in the way people cycle in cities. In dutch cities the majority of people cycle on old fashioned, run down rustic 😉 bicycles and don’t generally speed as much.
    Quote on Londoners visiting Amsterdam: “Look how slow they cycle! Looks really relaxed. And no-one wears a helmet”.
    Well it doesn’t take you very long to cross the city. As opposed to London where cycling is much more a sport because of the great distances. It took me about 45min to get to work speedily, I loved it and I still miss it. But the culture here is completely different, which makes it even dangerous to cycle fast as people aren’t used it.
    People should realise the dangers of cycling and adapt their behaviour to the situation (drivers, cyclists and pedestrians equally).
    So I think one should invest in awareness, putting bicycle lanes in places where there isn’t enough space anyway will not solve the problem.

    Angus said:
    November 20, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Even if they haven’t indicated, never assume a car/truck isn’t going to turn at an intersection. Always be either in front of the truck or behind the truck.

      Jim said:
      November 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm

      Couldn’t agree more. That said, one of the people recently killed from an HGV executing a left turn was, according to witnesses, positioned in front of the vehicle.

      Here’s a thought: there exists two type of cyclists: the ‘pootleler’ – or ‘Dutch model’ – who has no interest in getting anywhere fast; and the ‘commuter’, whose speed matches that of most urban motorists. These different types of cyclists have completely separate requirements and you can’t design legislation that will protect both equally. The ‘pootleler’ will benefit from designated cycle lanes. The commuter will profit from a more benevolent attitude towards them: you almost have to operate as if you are a motor vehicle – no undertaking or sticking to the curb, ride in the middle of the slowest lane and make yourself seen and unavoidable. In essence, the pottleler would benefit from changes in infrastructure, whereas the commuter would benefit from a change in attitude.

      Finally, a word to those who abhor cyclists and would like to see them removed from our roads. There will always be bad cyclists and there will always be bad drivers – that’s human nature. The fact of the matter is that both forms of transport are legally entitled to be on the road. If you can’t live with that then I’m afraid that this means there is something of the fascist about you: you believe that the law should be representative of your tastes and your tastes alone, which is selfish, arrogant, myopic, unrealistic, and, quite frankly, rather immature.

        waltonharry responded:
        November 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm

        Jim – I like your distinction between the pootlers and the commuters. It might be comparable to the distinction between ‘people on bikes’ and ‘cyclists’ (http://gizmodo.com/this-is-a-really-interesting-problem-id-like-to-imagin-1467510958/@kcampbelldollaghan) and I intend to dedicate a blog post to this distinction in the near future. In my younger years I was definitely all about speed and keeping up with the traffic on the roads – I used to ride an alloy cyclocross bike with skinny road tyres and I’d take great pleasure in overtaking cars. These days, however, (at the grand old age of 25) I ride a slow and heavy (>20kgs) Dutch bike – I pootle at my own pace and generally try not to break a sweat when I’m riding.

        I do like your distinction, and I see why you think that segregated cycle paths might suit pootlers more than commuters. However, I think that strict liability laws need to be introduced in order to protect the commuters and also bring the UK up to speed with the rest of Continental Europe. These laws change the mindset of motorists and cultivate in them an increased awareness of the more vulnerable road users. I lived in Amsterdam for a year (last year) and saw how good infrastructure combines with good laws to achieve a harmonious balance and mutual respect on the roads. What are your views on these laws?

        James said:
        November 21, 2013 at 4:13 pm

        I suppose these laws could be used to foster an attitude that sees cycling as the norm, much in same way as making seat-belts compulsory and the lowering of the tolerance for drinking and driving has done in the past. However, there wasn’t a social dichotomy standing in the way back then, whereas now we have the avid motorist up against the hardened cyclist, with maybe the ‘pootler’ and the pedestrian standing somewhere in-between. Still, the traditionally recalcitrant British public have come to accept that drink-driving is a bad thing, so attitudes aren’t immutable.
        It’s a chicken/egg conundrum, I think: does the law encourage a change in perception, or does a mutation in attitude precipitate new laws that reflect this new demand? Liability laws are a good start, certainly, if only because it gives a clear signal as to where the authorities stand on the issue. Underlying all of this, I do think people have come to feel horribly entitled in their day-to-day lives, in this country at least. And I don’t mean ‘entitled’ in terms of civil liberties; I mean entitled in that nobody expects to have to compromise much any more. And it’s funny, because it’s those who tend to moan about liberalisation who seem to defend their self-interests so keenly.

        Rebecca Who, Esq. (@RebeccaWho) said:
        November 22, 2013 at 4:44 pm

        Well said!

    Joe said:
    November 20, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Surely this illustrates a design flaw in their mirrors?

    […] Not spotted: https://dutchbikeguy.wordpress.com/20…y-blind-spots/ […]

    Princess said:
    November 20, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    How and why are HGV’s with such current limited visibility permitted in a built up urban environment?

    Radical infrastructure changes are all well and good, if unlikely due to available budgets, and cycle training for all road users may at least increase awareness, but why not attack the problem of limited visibility by increasing the level of visibility?


    yrrab111Barry said:
    November 20, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Hi,My name Barry,nearly 20 years as a hgv driver.I have driven all over mainland Europe and i have seen only 1 country to TRULY embrace cyclists safety….Holland….
    They have brought into law the use of kerb view mirrors,so that it has made it mandatory for them to be fitted on all hgvs….But i THINK it is fair to say that there STILL isnt enough education for cyclists about the dangers on roads,so when a cyclist heads onto a road,they arent always keyed into whether or not a hgv can see them all the time….
    I think its unfair a lot of the time to assume a driver is responsible for everyones actions…education SHOULD be the key to making cyclists and ALL road users aware of the potential dangers on the roads…
    Also,i think cyclists SHOULD have to pass some sort of test for using the public roads,every other road user must be competent….
    Just a thought….Great video,should be shown in schools….

      Jammy Dodger said:
      November 21, 2013 at 10:47 am

      I totally agree

    yrrab111Barry said:
    November 20, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Oh,i just noticed some other things you were both saying….
    Dublin,where i am from,has time sensitive allowances for hgvs to enter the city,mostly for congestion….But it has also made the roads more cyclist friendly now too….and i THINK i am right insaying that the number of deaths has fallen as a result…..So i do agree that the mixture of cyclist and hgv is a dangerous one on congested arteries in city centres….

    richie said:
    November 20, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    The thing is, that I’ve seen plenty of cyclists going at speed, [b]undertaking[/b] buses and lorries, they should stay away from undertaking vehicles, there simply is no need to undertake vehicles. When I was cycling around London in my early years, I never once undertook a vehicle. Cyclists think that because they have all these cycle lanes, that bit of track applies to them and that it means they can undertake anyone, which clearly shows in this video is a blind spot. Drivers are just as human as the cyclists. Yes, drivers of all sorts should be wary of cyclists, but that doesn’t mean that cyclists shouldn’t be wary of vehicle blind spots

    Mark said:
    November 20, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Thats a pretty sobering film – I had to watch it twice to believe that 11 or so cyclists were out of view. The issue is two fold – infrastructure and education for both cyclists and drivers. Also we need a cohesive education program where councils across the UK pool their resources. Here our local county council have been running a “get on your bike education program” encouraging adults and children to use their bikes more – They are especially in favour of promoting cycling to school and thus meaning kids getting fitter and reducing emissions. Let my 14 yo cycle to school ? No ….i dont think so.

    Dano Kendrick said:
    November 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    this is an easy fix…. curved mirrors on the truck, welcome to the world of common sense.

      Jeremy PJ said:
      November 20, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      Fully agree. Most people seem to be missing the point here. There is a London Cycling Campain to make it law to fit full curbside mirrors so that drivers can see everything in their blind spots even when the cab has started to turn. http://lcc.org.uk/pages/why-safer-lorries.

    mark said:
    November 20, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    why has some one invented a motorised mirror that self tracks with the cab to eliminate blind spots… cant be that hard

    mark said:
    November 20, 2013 at 6:07 pm
    binkerballs said:
    November 20, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Boris idiotically embraced “bike friendly London” when any fool can see that it cannot exist without better technology to eradicate these needless deaths.
    Some form of technology such as image recognition with audio and visual alerts at critical junctions must be mandatory. Keeping lorries away from towns at certain times should have been enforced years ago. This would also safeguard the livelihoods of hgv drivers.

    Pawel said:
    November 20, 2013 at 11:01 pm
    Andy King said:
    November 20, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    Reblogged this on Cycling Nelly.

    […] This post was reblogged from Dutch Bikes in the UK […]

    Nina Bain (@crazybainy) said:
    November 20, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Should it then not also be the same that cyclists are fined for crossing red lights or not stopping at roundabouts? Motorists are required to take a theory test to learn about the road, to learn about the signs and to learn about dangers on the road, yet a cyclist can just jump on a bike. I feel that motorists are always blamed, we are always given larger fines or more points. I think of myself a careful driver but I have had near misses with cycles that are all over the road and have no idea what they are doing. Being able to ride or drive safely is a skill, not something everyone can do. I also used to have a motorbike so I know what cyclists should and should not be doing. I feel intimidated enough just being next to an HGV in a car, yet some cyclists seem to have no fear.
    I am more than happy to share the road with cyclists, but equally I pay road tax to also be able to use the road for a car as it was intended. I have a small runaround but I have to pay high car insurance in case I hit ane xpensive car, what happens if one of these cyclists hits my car? A scratch on paintwork can be expensive to repair, and I cyclist with no insurance is not going to stop to pay for that. If cycle lanes are put anywhere they should be on the pavement, away from cars.
    Oh and just as an aside I have actually been hit by a cycle when I was a pedestrian crossing the road because they went over a red light!

      waltonharry responded:
      November 21, 2013 at 1:22 am

      Sorry Nina, it’s late and I only have time to address just a few of the ridiculous things that you’ve said:

      1. Cyclists do receive fines for jumping lights – it isn’t legal, it pisses me off to see it happen, and the majority of people on bikes do abide by the law. HOWEVER, consider this: Sometimes it’s safer for a person on a bike to look both ways, check for traffic, and head off before that huge truck behind them grumbles into action and puts them at risk. While I personally don’t condone it, do you know want to know why I am often tempted to skip red lights? It’s the fact that it’s becoming rarer than rare these days to be able to pedal up a clear cycle lane and into the big, red, safe bike box at the front without a vehicle blocking the way. When it’s a choice between being boxed in between a ton of metal or nipping off early through the lights, there really is no contest. You’d probably do the same if you weren’t so attached to your car.

      And while we’re on the subject of breaking the law, do you get similarly irate when a driver edges up to 34mph in a 30mph zone? Cyclists running red lights gets on your nerves, it gets on my nerves, but when a person on a bike breaks the law like this it is most likely themselves who is being put at risk and not other road users (and definitely not road users encased in a ton and a half of metal).

      2. Road tax? No one in the UK has paid road tax since 1937 Nina. The roads are paid for through general taxation. The tax disc in your wind shield is to show that you have paid Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), which is a tax that you pay relative to how much CO2 your vehicle produces. Bikes don’t give off pollution in the ways that cars do, and so cyclists don’t pay this tax. Seriously, please educate yourself on this matter; bikes have exactly as much right to be on the road as you do (don’t be fooled into think you’re so entitled just because you have to pay through the nose to drive a car).

      3. Regarding your little ‘aside’ – I know this is a difficult idea to grasp, but that person who hit you by running a red light doesn’t represent every cyclist on the road, and so please don’t be tempted to tar us all with the same brush.

      If cyclists are all to be judged on that one person who annoyed you, then it seems only fair to do the same back.

      ‘Drivers are all speeding lunatics who change lanes without indicating, thrusting their un-taxed, uninsured motor around the road while talking on their mobile phones, blaring out the Radio One Breakfast Show at unbearable volumes and smoking out of the window. Oh, and no motorist can pass a woman without leaning out and shouting ‘oi oiiii larvely! Fancy a shag?’ and beeping their horn incessantly.’

      How does it feel to be tarred with that brush Nina? Yeah, thought so.

      So, by all means, let’s have a debate about cyclists, but please re-consider your views in light of what I have said.

    James said:
    November 21, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Education on both sides is the answer. I know from being both a cyclist and a driver, how to behave on the roads however for every ignorant & aggressive driver there are two stupid, reckless & ‘if you hit me it’s your fault’ cyclists. I used to hate cycling past lorries but if you are stupid enough to pull up on the inside of a HGV who’s indicating to turn left, then I’m sorry but you’re gonna learn a harsh lesson. How many times do you see cyclists who think the rules of the road don’t apply to them, running red lights etc??? I rest my case

      waltonharry responded:
      November 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      Just because some cyclists run red lights doesn’t mean that we all do. The case is by no means ‘rested’ just because you have made a radically unwarranted generalisation. If cyclists are all to be judged by the behaviour of a minority of law-breakers, then it seems only fair to do the same back:

      ‘Drivers are all speeding lunatics who change lanes without indicating, thrusting their un-taxed, uninsured motor around the road while talking on their mobile phones, blaring out the Radio One Breakfast Show at unbearable volumes and smoking out of the window. Oh, and no motorist can pass a woman without leaning out and shouting ‘oi oiiii larvely! Fancy a shag?’ and beeping their horn incessantly.’

      How does it feel to be tarred with that brush? Cheers James

    goll said:
    November 21, 2013 at 10:17 am

    the truck driver has already initiated a turn in this video so obviously the mirror is only going to show the side of the truck and very little of the rest of the road to the side! this video is misleading and does not represent what a driver would see if stopped at a junction in a normal position. before initiating the turn, the driver would have clearly seen the cyclists in the mirror.

    Paul said:
    November 21, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I was very surprised to see how extensive the blind spot was. If this is common, surely, as stated above by others this requires a requirement for different / additional mirrors on lorries ( the general view out of the mirrors appears to be inadequate in other ways)?

    The debate seems to be very heated and is falling into a “we have rights you must accommodate our needs” argument on each side. Although I am not advocating it I wonder what the reaction would be to banning cyclists from using the roads during certain hours? 🙂

    As well as addressing the question of the adequacy of the mirrors there is the problem of enforcement as there appears to be a general increase in vehicles not being maintained and the general standard of road use and awareness is awful.

    I don’t blame speed per se, it is inappropriate speed that is a problem – it is very rarely that 30 mph is an appropriate speed in city centres. Where it is safe and appropriate use speed. Be aware of conditions and other road users, particularly then numpties whether they be on foot, bike, motorbike or in car, van, lorry, bus etc.

    Nick said:
    November 21, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I drive in London everyday and the majority of cyclists are a joke!!!!! Not all cause some ride well and know road law!!
    Constantly jump red lights ride on pavements,most seem to think drivers are the devil and they own the road and we abide by them,3 times in a year a had my wing mirrors damaged by cyclists and lost out in the pocket. Something needs to be done for the cyclists safety and for drivers who have no insurance to claim off in situations when they damage your vechicle. Shame about the deaths but it pains me to say I’m not surprised one bit!!

      waltonharry responded:
      November 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      In the cases of the recent cycling deaths there is (as of yet) zero evidence that any of the people on bikes were doing anything wrong/illegal at the time of their accidents. Let’s not get distracted by personal vendettas – you may have had some minor damage to your wing-mirrors, but when bikes and cars get too close can you guess who it is that usually ends up MUCH worse off? People on bikes have it pretty rough out there, perhaps you should try cycling in London for a week or two to get an idea of what we have to go through. All the best

        Nick said:
        November 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm

        Firstly I was stationary all 3 times at traffic lights when these incidents happened so don’t give me that bull about getting to close!! Impatient riders trying to get infront of each otter at lights!!!!! So it’s ok for cyclists to damage my vechicle and ride off without giving a shit but when a car van etc damages them it’s always the drivers fault and they can claim on our insurance. ?! Is that right!!!????? No and you know it!!!! This isn’t no personal vendetta!!! I used to cycle to my last job daily for 5 years so know what goes on out there!! Yes some stupid ignorant drivers and some very selfish people on the road I know that,that’s why there should be some kind of training before you are allowed on the roads and that’s not just London!!
        You also made a stupid comment about car drivers playing there music loud,,, what’s worse an iPod wearing cyclist who can’t hear jack shit or a car driver listening to music?? And as for evidence that riders were not doing anything wrong/illegal at the time of their deaths well I don’t know that but was the driver??? Probably not In most cases!!!

        waltonharry responded:
        November 21, 2013 at 1:13 pm

        – It sounds like personal vendettas to me.

        – Have you heard of strict liability laws? Perhaps you should look them up regarding insurance…

        – The point that I made regarding loud music was made in irony to highlight the uselessness of generalisations about both cyclists and motorists. Please pay attention.

    Nick said:
    November 21, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Yes I know about liability laws but what can you do when they ride off through red lights and on oavements to escape you?? Chase them and leave my vechicle in the road?? No!! Not a personnel vendetta mate,just facts!! I’m a cyclist who happens to drive for a job in London and have experience on both sides!! You’re very blinkered as your a cyclist and a typical one who is as biased as they come..

      James said:
      November 21, 2013 at 5:27 pm

      And cars never jump red lights; or fail to indicate; or exceed the speed limit; or seem to think cyclists ‘are the devil’; or drive away from accidents.

      People are people and there are twerps everywhere, regardless of whether they ride a bike or drive a car. The thing is, when a cyclist runs into a twerp in a car, they don’t just lose a wing-mirror – they lose their life.

      I’m a cyclist, right, and I’ve received all sorts of grief from hostile drivers, but I don’t go around thinking that all people who drive cars are idiots: I can make the distinction between the person and the mode of transport. Why can’t you?

        Nick said:
        November 21, 2013 at 7:26 pm

        You obviously can’t read as I stated the distinction between good/bad riders and Arseholes in cars etc!!! And also stated a point saying there should be training and tests etc for cyclists.. Motorbikes and cyclists are in a very similar situation danger wise but they have an engine,they take tests so just for education and awareness of roads there should be training.. You must agree ??
        A lot of cyclists don’t drive so have never picked up a Highway Code book and know nothing of road law, not all but I’m guessing a lot,training and tests will surely benefit the cyclists and help save life’s!! If you don’t agree then I must be crazy!!!! Good evening to you sir

        James said:
        November 22, 2013 at 5:41 pm

        Sorry, I should have addressed your point more directly. However, I don’t think the issue is one of better education. Most cyclists do in fact drive, or have at least learnt to drive, so they know the rules of the road. They are generally well aware of the need to indicate, to give way to the right, stop at lights, etc. Moreover, if a cyclist drives recklessly, they are more often than not trying to adapt to the way traffic operates on the road. I’m not saying they always get it right; just that riding fast can often be safer than cycling along slowly.

        But the point I’m trying to make to you is this; why are you singling out bad cyclists as the cause of the problem when there are just as many bad motorists on the road. Idiots are idiots, and the form of transportation is irrelevant. You make the case that 3 times this year you’ve had your wing mirror knocked off. I’ve lost count of the amount of times this year I’ve had to brake hard because a car has decided to turn left in front of me without indicating, or pulled out in front of me without bothering to check whether the road is clear. I’m quite a savvy cyclist, so I’ve not been hit. If I wasn’t I would have been.
        Further, I’ve seen things thrown at cyclists from cars, and I’ve seen cars deliberately try to run bikes off the road. Please don’t try to persuade me that cyclists are somehow more aggressive and less road savvy than motorists. You may have lost a few wing mirrors, but the cyclist stands to lose something far greater.

        waltonharry responded:
        November 22, 2013 at 6:02 pm

        Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Vixtar said:
    November 21, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Scary that cyclists take that risk in positioning themselves on the inside of an HGV. Educating HGV drives AND cyclists is the way forward. Car drivers are given advice about HGVs when approaching junctions and roundabouts during driving lessons and are made aware of HGV blind spots… more education for both sides is needed/ warning signs on the backs of HGVs etc.

    Not sure what the answer is, maybe more info at bike shops or on billboards or road signs. or more mirros on the HGVs…

    I once made the (poor) decision in cycling down the inside of a police van, which then pulled towards the curb to let a motorcyclist pass on the outside in very slow traffic. The result was that I was (predictably) knocked off my bike. Although unhurt….. a much more wary cyclist, although this happened a few years ago, this has made me much more aware as a driver, I’ve since given up cycling.

    James said:
    November 21, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Cycling safely is very easy if you follow a few ‘rules’.

    Take the lane.
    Don’t undertake.
    Wear a helmet.

      waltonharry responded:
      November 22, 2013 at 9:37 am

      – Don’t jump red lights
      – It’s not a race
      – Get some good lights
      – Don’t be a dick

      etc. etc.

    jd said:
    November 22, 2013 at 12:05 am

    I was at the lights and a lorry pulled up alongside, thus meaning i was on it’s left inner side. what am i supposed to do in that situation? not all cyclists under-take!

      waltonharry responded:
      November 22, 2013 at 9:41 am

      in situations like this, I reckon that advanced green lights for cyclists only might be a solution (see here: http://road.cc/content/news/90436-cambridge-approves-uks-first-cycle-only-green-lights-notorious-blackspot-junction)

      I totally appreciate your situation though, and it shows how a person can do everything by the rules and still end up in a dangerous position…

      James said:
      November 22, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      JD – If you are at the front of the queue at a set of lights then use the box that’s marked for the occupation for cyclists. Don’t be afraid to place yourself in the middle if needs be – that box is for you and you can occupy it how you see fit. Do anything you have to do to remain IN FRONT of the vehicle. If you are worried about tempers fraying, then just raise a thumb as a way of thanks after you’ve pulled away from the lights, where after you can return to the side of the road. If there is a cycle lane then there will also be a box. If there’s not then you are not obliged to keep to the gutter anyway. Remember, you are entitled to keep a distance of a 1.5m (I think) between you and the curb – use it if you feel the need to protect yourself.

    Lynne said:
    November 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Don’t have time to read all the posts but I have cycled for 30 years, have a motorcycle licence, and driven a car for 47. Cyclists who run red lights are usually trying to get ahead so they can position themselves safely. Usually, it’s filter left or crossing with pedestrians. Some countries this is legal.

    I do think new cyclists should be required to do proficiency tests. I won’t let my 20 year old granddaughter cycle on main roads because I just don’t think she has enough awareness.

    What I haven’t seen any comments on is enforcement! Encroaching cycle lanes should be an offence including our visibility spot at the front at traffic lights. These are almost universally ignored. On the spot fines would soon focus drivers on cyclist rights.

    Keep safe!

      waltonharry responded:
      November 24, 2013 at 12:12 pm

      Thanks for the input.

      I agree that the provision of education + proficiency tests would benefit new cyclists. When I first hit the road at the tender age of 13 I definitely didn’t know the law – I had no idea how roundabouts worked!

      The enforcement of cycle lanes is shoddy, and I intend to do a post about motor vehicles encroaching on cycle space in the near future.

      All the best Lynne

    Lynne said:
    November 24, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Something else I find invaluable is a little wing mirror on my right handlebar. It helps me keep an eye on what’s behind me without the need to keep looking over my shoulder. I never see these on other bikes and wonder why?

    Tom Appleby said:
    November 25, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    I saw a cyclist killed in front of me once under exactly these circumstances. The lorry driver was devastated, but it was not his fault. Cycle lanes should NEVER finish on the left hand side of the carriageway where lorries may turn left, if some lunatic in the Council has designed a cycle lane like that, the rules of self preservation should take over and the cyclists should just let the lorry get on with it, regardless of the directions of the traffic furniture; It’s pretty obvious who is going to come out of it best.

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