London mayor plans lorry fines to protect cyclists

Re: London mayor plans lorry fines to protect cyclists

Postby hexhome » Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:35 pm

My response to the FTA statement;

As an HGV driver I understand where the FTA are coming from but their timing and the content of their press release could not have been poorer.

There are several stretches of the truth in the FTA press release, such as 'FTA stated that HGV operators are already doing a lot to improve safety'. NO, SOME maybe, most are not. Take training as an FTA cited example. All HGV and PCV drivers now have to undergo 35 hours of training every 5 years. This is law, what isn't law is the content of this training. In fact, as long as the correct training hours are completed, it can be the same course over and over!

So what does the haulage industry decide to train their drivers? Her is an example list;
http://www.jaupt.org.uk/Centre+and+Cour ... =&LGV=true

See any vulnerable road user courses there? Of course not, they exist but you will have to search hard to find them. They are of no profit to the haulage industry.

So yes, the FTA members do undertake training, but not often to the benefit of cyclists. Unless the government make such modules compulsory within the DCPC, this is unlikely to change.

Equipment, actually I agree on some of the FTAs points here. If we have disjointed standards, it is going to be a mish mash. Though it must be said that historically TfL has led the way in improvements in HGV legislation in this country. It is expensive to enter London with a truck which doesn't meet higher emissions standards for example. HGVs do NOT currently have blind spots! It is possible to see all of the danger areas which are commonly outlined IF the driver looks. More mirrors/monitors etc. will not help. The problem is that drivers fail to look in an area where a cyclists might be - back to 'cycle awareness' training.
At present tipper vehicles are exempt from side skirts, there is a good reason for this but I believe that a workable solution could be easily found. This step alone would save lives.

Cyclist of course should (and do) take responsibility for their own safety. None of us collide with a vehicle by choice. I personally rarely travel up the inside of a large vehicle and often hang back rather than follow the pack. This does not take away responsibility from drivers who should never undertake any maneuver without ensuring that there is no conflict with other road users.

In my view, compulsory 'cycle awareness' training would reduce the number of these collisions substantially. So FTA, if you really want to solve this problem......
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Re: London mayor plans lorry fines to protect cyclists

Postby JohnW » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:07 pm

thirdcrank wrote:
Antan1 wrote:How many of the deaths were the fault of cyclists riding up the inside of these vehicles, I have a friend who is a very good HGV driver and comes across this bad habit almost every week.
It would be good to have more information


How often does the driver of an HGV begin to overtake a cyclist and then lose all interest in what happens to them?


Nicely put r2 - about half the time in my experience - or so it seems - they don't b****y look.
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Re: London mayor plans lorry fines to protect cyclists

Postby snibgo » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:55 pm

When an HGV overtakes me, often going not much faster then me, I often give a small wave with my left hand when his rear end has passed me.

When I give my wave, the driver often does the left-right-left flasher thing at me. When I don't wave, they never do that.

Thus, I conclude that drivers generally look in their left mirror to see if they have cleared me. This is out in the sticks, where the only other thing for drivers to look for is oncoming traffic.
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Re: London mayor plans lorry fines to protect cyclists

Postby JohnW » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:46 am

snibgo wrote:When an HGV overtakes me, often going not much faster then me, I often give a small wave with my left hand when his rear end has passed me.

When I give my wave, the driver often does the left-right-left flasher thing at me. When I don't wave, they never do that.

Thus, I conclude that drivers generally look in their left mirror to see if they have cleared me. This is out in the sticks, where the only other thing for drivers to look for is oncoming traffic.


Ah - I'm sorry snibgo - I tried that, as suggested by a relative who is an HGV driver - but all I got from one driver - who waited for me in a lay-by at the top of a hill - was something along the lines of : "............give me two fingers again and I'll kill you..........." - from his facial expression, I thought he was going to do there and then. But I'll try it again - although they're at their worst in the dark, and they can't see your hand - all they can see is your lights.

If I hear a big rumbling diesel behind me, and if I possibly can do, I pull off the road to the left to allow the HGV to pass me. I don't want to delay anyone - I do believe in treating each other right - but don't underestimate the idea of self preservation. Sometimes, an HGV driver will flash his hazard lights, and I thereby know he's appreciated what I've done, and it's nice to have generated a good relationship.

The thing is that the bad HGV man has pulled in to the left and taken your leg off before his tail end has passed you. It happened near me a couple of weeks ago, and the cyclist was in the cycle lane.

HGVs are dangerous by their very nature, and I don't trust them until they've got past me. This doesn't mean to say they're all bad - of course not - but you don't know until after.
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Re: London mayor plans lorry fines to protect cyclists

Postby snibgo » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:50 am

Sorry to hear about your wave being misinterpreted.

I got into the habit when I drove an ancient slow Land Rover. I would flash my lights when the HGV was clear, and they generally thanked me for it. It's most useful when there is oncoming traffic so the HGV doesn't have the luxury of staying out too long. (Of course, this is against the Highway Code rules.)

I feel you are right to mistrust HGVs. I keep clear of then when I can, and assume the driver haven't a clue I even exist. But I have no choice when an HGV is coming up behind me, and I do find the HGV drivers are (as a rule) far more considerate of me than are car drivers.
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