Five cyclists and three pedestrians have been killed in London in the last ten days; Four of the cyclists were killed by trucks or buses. Mayor Boris Johnson does the usual thing and blames the victims:
Unless people obey the laws of the road and people actively take account of the signals that we put in, there's no amount of traffic engineering that we invest in that is going to save people's lives.
In fact, in most cases, they were older men (one a prominent 69 year old architect) who were following the rules and yes, wearing helmets, which are not much use when you are squashed by a bus. They were mostly victims of what the British call SMIDSY moments. (‘Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You’). Some were young, like Venera Minakhmetova, whose sister pleads that London should do something about the roads.
She had a purpose to achieve something, so let's achieve all together the end of such tragic deaths by doing something, by letting know people around that the situation on the streets isn't to be ignored.... the system isn't working.
Christian Wolmar writes in the Guardian:
Britain is dependent for its future on attracting bright young people, They are the ones most likely to hop on their bikes and consequently they make up a disproportionate number of these tragedies. They deserve the infrastructure to travel safely, arriving at their destination in one piece, rather than having their lives shattered by a 40-tonne truck or a double-decker bus – and we should recognize it is our duty to safeguard their futures in this way.
The same can be said for any city.
A British Law firm, Osbornes, has sponsored an infographic that is full of good tips on maintenance and safe riding. There are some suggestions that you don't usually see like "if a driver behind you is getting impatient, don't feel that you should move to the kerb" and "Cyclist Solidarity"
Being British, you have to translate a bit of it. In the "how to handle large vehicles" remember they are on the wrong side of the road, and that North Americans should never pass a truck (lorry) to the right, not left. And a kerb is a curb.