Met Police's cycle safety move welcomed

 
Met Police inspect lorry at Vauxhall on Monday The Met stopped 70 lorries and issued 15 penalties in the operation on Monday

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The move by the Met's traffic officers to make road safety their number one priority will be welcomed.

By next week there'll be 2,500 officers on the street policing all road users.

Interestingly, there was a smaller scale operation on Monday at Vauxhall where in just four hours, the officers stopped 70 lorries and issued 15 penalties for offences such as the vehicles not being fit for the road.

They also stopped 100 cyclists, who were given safety advice for things like cutting corners and wearing headphones.

Safety of London's cyclists under the spotlight

It shows the scale of the problem and it also shifts the debate away from infrastructure onto the road users.

This is a short term measure but I think London Mayor Boris Johnson had to be seen to be doing something.

The real issue will still be that there are record numbers of cyclists in the capital but the safe infrastructure is a long way off.

This intervention could save lives in the short-term but when the police go, what then?

And the calls for a daytime HGV ban are increasing in volume and frequency.

 
Tom Edwards Article written by Tom Edwards Tom Edwards Transport correspondent, London

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 40.

    30 years ago I was involved in an accident that was fatal for a cyclist. I can tell you all, you can never forget! Since then I have driven & cycled many hundred of miles. I have been disgusted & feared for my life from the treatment many motorists gave me as a cyclist, the best phrase I came across to describe those experiences "most drivers treat a traffic cone with more respect than a cyclist"

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 39.

    I cycle in Bath and before anyone says it I wear high vis, have lights front and back, wear a helmet and have insurance I also drive a car and obey road rules. My cycle to work is a nightmare! This morning I got sworn at because I stopped at a zebra crossing to let a lady with a pushchair cross
    I can't seem to win... drivers need to stop treating cyclists as second class citizens on the road!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 38.

    A few police around on my cycle along the notorious Cycle Super highway 2 this morning. It's always much worse in the evening though when the local thugs drive aggressively between fried chicken shops (usually parking in the cycle lane outside). No police around then. Driving standards as bad as usual.

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 36.

    Think cyclist should be made to take a course as a moped or motor bike rider,made to wear helmets,made to wear hi-vis with a licence number on and be accountable for breaking highway code rules ,as a driver in London if I drove a vehicle the way a lot of cyclist rode I would not have a license by the end of the day

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 35.

    Would be great to see some of the 2,500 RTOs used to monitor speeds of vehicles travelling up bus lanes to jump queues between 6 and 7am...

    As for the debate about whether helmets should be made compulsory. The case of the cyclist seriously injured by a speeding motorcycle in Brightlingsea sadly needs visiting. The judge's comments and decision was to reduce the quantum as no helmet was worn.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 34.

    I would say that on average, some 70 - 80% of lorry drivers are actively using their phones whilst driving. I see this whether cycling, driving or walking. I see this happening around Willesden Junction to Central London.

    I was standing at pedestrian light in Willesden Junction and 10 vehicles, cars, vans and lorries were all using phones whilst driving. The lack of concentration is shocking.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 33.

    I've no axe to grind, but no-one in this debate is in any way examining the health implications of shift work, and the possible increases in deaths of lorry drivers going all sorts of weird hours, if any peak time restrictions are imposed.

    Extra tired drivers might be more likely to have a crash.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 32.

    I commute by bike in Manchester. I mostly feel safe, but had a recent near miss when a lorry turned right out of a side road into my path. How could the driver not see me, with my bright flashing light and fluorescent jacket? Luckily I had room to evade.

    I offer three rules for all road users:
    1. Always be courteous
    2. Give way to the more vulnerable
    3. Assume everyone else is an idiot

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 31.

    @ gunnerdeptford: re. driving at cyclists - a small but consistent (and stereotypical) minority of drivers drive intentionally at speed into the space occupied by others on the road simply because they want to be there, and don't care that anyone else exists. For them, there are seemingly no consequences except failing to get there first.

    Traffic enforcement would be a good start.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 30.

    Is it too much to ask that ALL road users drive/ride/walk with a little bit more common sense? We can argue all day long over whether a helmet would save a life in a high speed impact (when a lorry is turning left there is no high speed involved). We can blame cyclists for undertaking or drivers for not looking.
    Either way, a little bit of common sense DOES prevent most collisions.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 29.

    Allthough tragic, the number of cyclists killed is insignificant compared to the numbers dying in the UK from inactivity. If your journey is less than a mile, and most are, go by bike. Your friends and colleagues may start to notice your silly little trips by car and start talking about how stupid you are.

    Cyclists are healthier, wealthier, and are more attractive to the opposite sex.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 28.

    Jacko - what is your point? How many pedestrians have been killed in the last 2 weeks? How many have even been hit by cyclists? I drive and I cycle in London and have done for over 25 years. The 4 accidents I have had in that time have ALL been the fault of motorists, in 3 of those cases it has been drivers turning right when I have been on the other side of the road - they just drive right at you

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 27.

    I am bemused by so many of the comments from drivers on here, as someone else has written it is cyclists being killed - not lorry drivers or pedestrians or car drivers. Yes wear a helmet and a his vis and of course never wear headphones but please try and address the fact that it is lorries that are killing people. Just imagine the outcry if 6 pedestrians had been killed by cyclists in 2 weeks!!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 26.

    London has several key problems:
    - lack of space for activities required
    - poor road layout/design for all users
    - poor driving/riding standards, again applies to all users

    To those add occasional wilful murderous aggression, ignorance and time-pressures; It's no wonder that people are being killed.

    Drivers AND cyclists both could help us all by just calming down when on the road.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 25.

    I drive in across London 4 hours per day in total. I try to give consideration to all road users. Unfortunately some cyclists behave deplorably on the road, weaving in and out of cars when cars are moving, jumping red lights, using every inch of the road except cycle paths, near misses or hits on zebra and traffic lights. Its time that some cyclists are held accountable for their actions.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 24.

    Boris is indeed pursuing "quick-fixes".

    I know there are many bad cyclists, but there are also many bad drivers. I feel safe to say if the average driver were forced to cycle for a while, they would see a very different picture.

    Some people call it a war between vehicles and cyclists, but how can it be a war when only one side bleeds?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 23.

    @20 How on earth is common sense to overtake when you know full well it's not safe to?

    And in answer to your question, if you're anything like the bus drivers in London, then you've already started manoeuvring before you've indicated

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 22.

    This is not about blame or who is right and wrong. This is about human beings getting crushed under vehicles. 6 deaths in 2 weeks. As drivers and road users we all need to adjust to make it safer if people decide to get on their bikes. Regardless of how they cycle. If it's you who ends up killing a father of 2, even if it's their fault, do you want that on your conscience?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 21.

    Yet again the mayor throws out a smokescreen to divert attention from the fact that his 'cycle superhighways' aren't fit for purpose and his 'vision' for cycling in London is lethally distorted. Yet again he blames innocent people who use his infrastructure and end up paying the highest price.

    His should focus on creating safe, continuous and segregated infrastructure such as in the Netherlands.

 

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