Anti cycling editorial in Truck & Driver magazine.

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  • Anti cycling editorial in Truck & Driver magazine.
  • Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    We all know the militant “lycra lout” types who run red lights

    No, I don’t actually.

    The people I see running red lights aren’t wearing lycra, they’re normally wearing a tracksuit and riding a knackered Asda full-suspension bike.

    Even if they were wearing lycra they’ve got nothing to do with me!

    Edit: I was nearly turned into a smudge on the tarmac by a HGV a few weeks back. I was riding along, a metre away from the kerb when a HGV overtook much too close, as the cab passed me he then started moving in towards the kerb. I realised what was happening, used my ‘buffer’ to the left to get out of the way of the rear wheels. By the end of te overtake the wheels of the trailer were running over the bit of tarmac that I’d been occupying just before.

    Driver stopped half a mile up the road to murder some prostitutes/buy jazz mags so I said “you were this ¦—¦ far away from me then”. He just told me, several times, that I was riding too far out, so it was my fault. 🙄

    Most HGV drivers are fine, but to make out that the danger from HGVs would completely vanish if cyclists didn’t undertake them is pretty daft.

    I sort-of agree with his point. As a cyclist, my main priority is looking out for number one, and understanding that if I nip up the inside of a big artic then it’s asking for trouble. His point is that a number of inexperienced cyclists put themselves in harm’s way and that’s avoidable. I agree with that.

    I don’t think his point and the bulk of the article is particularly anti-cyclist, although his ‘lycra-clad anarchists’ line probably shows his true colours.

    These guys in big trucks do put themselves at risk of litigation by the nature of their work and I have sympathy for them wanting to protect themselves – I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all. In fact, the majority of lorry drivers seem pretty decent and understanding of cyclists. It’s the occasional moronic car drivers I worry about who a) don’t pay enough attention and b) think cyclists don’t deserve to be on the roads.

    edlong
    Member

    Truck drivers (my father being one), taxi drivers and bus drivers – all scum of the road.

    I refuse to use taxi’s and bus’s on the principle they people operating them are complete cretins

    The bus and truck drivers round here (Leeds) are unfailingly good on the routes I ride. What peeves me greatly is double decker buses managing to find enough space to pass safely, but the small hatchbacks and rep-mobiles following them have to pass close enough that they brush the hairs on me legs.

    I won’t contradict you about taxis though.

    On the sexism accusation about the article, I’ve read stats somewhere about young women being disproportionately represented in the cohort of cyclists going under the wheels of lorries. Can’t remember where but it may well have been The Times when they did that big campaign last year, but as it’s paywalled and I won’t give Murdoch my money, I can’t help any further.

    This morning I was at a set of traffic lights at Kings Cross. Three lanes of traffic, cement lorry in the nearside lane, indicating to turn left, audible warning signal too.

    Most cyclists kept to the right or behind the lorry, but when the lights changed I heard its horn sound – yup, some twit on a pushbike was trying to squeeze in the gap between it and the kerb.

    If the cyclist had been killed, there would be more anti-lorry hysteria when actually it would have been, fairly and squarely, the cyclist’s fault. I know there are some very dodgy lorry drivers out there, but cyclists have got to take responsibility for their actions too.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    I don’t think many people would argue cyclists are never at fault but whenever a cyclist and a truck have an accident it’s always the cyclist that comes off worse. All a cyclist can do is improve the way they ride but that should only be a part of the solution, not the focus of it. Things like transmitters and additional cameras aren’t just there to save the life of an incompetent cyclist, they’re aids to competent HGV drivers who don’t have x-ray vision. Besides given that one solution involves the cyclist carrying a transmitter I don’t see why he then tries to make the point the onus is totally on the HGV side to make things safer.

    jackthedog
    Member

    He talks about the “individual bearing the primary responsibility for their own safety”, as if nobody should be expected to have a duty of care to their fellow man.

    That’s an easy thing to believe when you’re sat five feet from the ground in the sound insulated, air conditioned, steel framed cab of a 44 tonne truck. The truck driver’s “own safety” is pretty much guaranteed from the moment their arse hits the air sprung Recaro, and it is from this position that they claim safety is everyone else’s problem.

    I don’t buy it.

    HGV drivers are unable to see vast swathes of the road they occupy. The industry needs to do whatever it can to overcome this inherent drawback, and anyone objecting to such measures shouldn’t be considered fit to hold a license on grounds of unacceptable attitude.

    We are all responsible for our own safety, but we are also equally responsible for the safety of those affected by our actions. Responsibility rises in line with power, and when you wield a 44 tonne, 16 meter long vehicle you have a lot of power to do a lot of harm very easily.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    to make out that the danger from HGVs would completely vanish if cyclists didn’t undertake them is pretty daft.

    This!

    It’s all very well saying cyclists shouldn’t go up the side of trucks – and I completely agree with that – but that doesn’t cover cases where HGV drivers run over cyclists who are in plain view directly in front of them, or where they overtake and pull in too early crushing the cyclist.

    e.g.

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-ujuJXNq3w[/video]

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpHdhePAVzI[/video]

    Dickyboy
    Member

    think the suggestion that cycle training could be improved is good but if only in schools that means generations before get any impact and i’d argue that current scheme misses many of those that would benefit most (eg i’ve seen kids on bmxs told as not road legal can’t do)

    Headed up the cycle awareness course* in local school for 6 years or so, then bikeability came in & tutors had to have a number of days training @ £ & then charge schools for running courses – my employer was good enough to let me have the Friday afternoons off for ten weeks each year but obviously couldn’t get into a semi professional thing with bikeability – result no bike training at local school anymore as it became yet another burden on parents finances when asked to cough up.

    * cycle awareness course was at best a good introduction for road safety given the starting point of road awareness & cycling ability of some students, but we worked on a basis of any improvement was better than none so didn’t exclude people unless they presented a definite safety hazard 😯

    I just contacted a friend of mine who is the editor of a magazine based in London to see if this guys publication was based in the same building and whether it would be appropriate to walk past his desk and flick his ear. However, it is not (based in the same building that is, the ear thing is fair game).
    What did emerge from the conversation was that my friend was knocked down by a cyclist on a pedestrian crossing this week. The lights had started to flash yellow just so the cyclist claimed he had the right of way, which he didn’t obviously as the flashy yellow one means proceed only if the crossing is clear. My friend had to give up cycling last year after being hit by a car (not in London) and both his elbows broken, one shattered to the point where his restricted movement means he cannot ride.
    I guess my point is varying perceptions of what ‘a cyclist is’. To us its someone who enjoys outdoor activities, the great british countryside, going fast on bikes and getting covered in the countryside in the process. I guess if you live in London ‘a cyclist’ can more typically be described as an ‘Anarchist in Lycra’, particularly in the case of the guy who knocked my friend over.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    I think he has some valid points which he delivers in a manner that makes it hard to listen to them. He should sign up on here.

    Also,

    samuri – Member

    People’s Front of Whitesnake

    deserved more recognition!

    samuri
    Member

    What have people got against the “Anarchist in Lycra” bit?

    We all know the militant “lycra lout” types who run red lights and give us cyclists a bad name. They’re an embarrassment to us all. Why so defensive?

    I wear lycra, I’m neither an anarchist, I do not carry out ‘antics’ on the road and any frustration incurred by powered vehicle drivers is a result mostly of them being sat in their own self-created traffic jams. I’m helping the situation.

    I could refer to all lorry drivers as fat, arrogant buggers in yellow jackets but that would be displaying some anti-lorry driver feeling.

    If the article was supposed to be factual and aimed at the government (as I said, he blames a lot of other people for the issues he’s talking about), he should stick to the facts and blame the government rather than letting his personal feelings come into it.

    Of course it’s an editorial and it’s supposed to be inflammatory which is up to him but then there’s no protecting him from his anti-cyclist comments. Statistically he;s correct.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    A club near me was going for a visit to a hauliers to experience life in the cab so that the cyclist could see what it was like and where the blind spots are for the driver

    Just as a matter of interest do truck driver clubs arrange similar exchange programs where they ride road bikes whilst “lycra anarchists” drive like **** passed them in 40 tonne trucks? I’ve heard of a few cyclists seeing the drivers perspective exercises but none the other way round.

    natrix
    Member

    HGV drivers are unable to see vast swathes of the road they occupy. The industry needs to do whatever it can to overcome this inherent drawback,

    This is a key point. See http://www.seemesaveme.com/

    fourbanger
    Member

    All those saying it’s not anti-cyclist – did you miss the bit where he complains about shifting the blame onto road transport operators and drivers? Now correct me if I’m wrong, but given all the available evidence, isn’t that the correct place to shift the blame. He wants to shift it onto the cyclist.

    I read it as a reaction to the industry developing technology to keep cyclists, who may or may not be in the wrong place, safe. A bit defensive perhaps.
    But as already stated, it needs to be attacked from both ends as long as both cyclists and drivers make mistakes.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Said it before and I’ll say it again:

    Drive a truck round at a plant/depot/factory where workforce are moving about and “Health and Safety” will insist you drive very slowly, you’ll likely require one or more people outside the vehicle to guide you and may need other extras like mirrors, sirens etc. Basic “Duty of Care” to the other employees.

    But the minute that truck leaves the depot the corporate Duty of Care evaporates and it can go as fast as it legally likes, through busy city streets that are considerably less controlled than the depot it left, and with blind spots big enough to contain a dozen other road users.

    That is simply mental.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    I read it as a reaction to the industry developing technology to keep cyclists, who may or may not be in the wrong place, safe.

    Yes – he appears to be suggesting it is unnecessary if you train up the cyclists – the ones who put themselves in danger deserved it, those who didn’t were just unlucky.

    butcher
    Member

    Most cyclists kept to the right or behind the lorry, but when the lights changed I heard its horn sound – yup, some twit on a pushbike was trying to squeeze in the gap between it and the kerb.

    If the cyclist had been killed, there would be more anti-lorry hysteria when actually it would have been, fairly and squarely, the cyclist’s fault.

    Whilst obvious to most of us, when cycle lanes usually run up the left hand side to the traffic lights and people get irate with you for cycling anywhere else, can you really blame the cyclist? Yes it’s a stupid thing to do, but an easy one too.

    Pushing blame on to cyclists is not the answer and has absolutely zero chance of reducing the number of accidents (I would think most people value their lives more than the law).

    I once had a large van pull up on my right at a crossroads. I was maybe 1.5 meters from the curb, ready to go straight ahead, while the van didn’t even hesitate and began to pull out indicating left! My only option was to accelerate ahead of him so I was back into his field of vision, where he could see me calling him a ****** **** and think about the error of his ways. And in my experience this standard of driving is not uncommon around cyclists. It is NOT just cyclists that need educated. And they should not be treated as an anarchistic and uncontrollable group that should be punished. Most go out of their way so as not to inconvenience other road users, often to the point of putting themselves in danger. It’s one thing to endanger yourself, but it’s a whole different kettle of fish to endanger others.

    Cycling needs invested in if it is to become safer. And the article in the original post makes no positive contribution.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    when cycle lanes usually run up the left hand side to the traffic lights and people get irate with you for cycling anywhere else, can you really blame the cyclist?

    eggsackerly. I only know about the enormity of lorry blind spots because of threads on here and looking into other road safety stuff, prior to that i was not aware of just how dangerous being near a lorry is. Education of cyclists and drivers is a good thing, as i said I’ve seen cycle education things* but what about drivers? Are there any awareness campaigns? Only educating the cyclists looks like shifting the blame and responsibility onto cyclists. sure some companies like cemex have made massive improvements but that was only brought about by Cynthia Barlow after a tragedy. Stats seem to suggest** its mainly drivers that cause most accidents and disproportionately lorry drivers of course an advantage to going for the lorry drivers is that you already have names and addresses of them and their employers.
    If there is a concerted effort to educate cyclists they haven’t booked prime time tv slots have they, how are they getting the message to joe public cyclists?

    *presumably cyclists are sat in a cab and shown a safe cycle overtake and then an unsafe one with cyclist disappearing into the blind spots of the lorry. So how about getting haulier drivers cycling down a road and have a lorry pull a safe overtake then a dangerous one? Might give them an appreciation of what it’s like cycling on our roads as whenever I’ve tackled a driver about a dodgy overtake they’ve basically said “are you lying broken and bleeding in the road? No, so STFU” and drive away.

    **ive no doubt there’s a number of minor/no injury cyclist fault accidents that go unreported but we can only work with the numbers we have.

    Selectively referencing the case of women cyclists undertaking a left turning truck is no better than the usual “The all run red lights and none of them have got lights. It’s their own fault when they get run over”.

    Justifying his stance by quoting irrelevant statistics at the end is misleading too. I don’t see how anyone who buys food from a shop can deny that road transport plays an important role in the UK economy. It’s got nothing to do with road traffic accidents though.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Yep, I wonder what the response would be if the same people were asked “Should HGVs be allowed to drive round your child’s school at drop off and picking up time?”

Viewing 20 posts - 46 through 65 (of 65 total)

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