"No Excuses" for Truck Blindspots: New Campaign to End Unnecessary Deaths

bike truck blindspot photo

Since this image is from Transport for London all those bikes really are in the driver's blind spot, the driver sitting on the right side of the vehicle. In the US and other countries where the driver sits on the left, the blind spot would be on the opposite side of the vehicle.

We already know what the single most important tip for staying safe on a bike is. But activists and road safety experts are stepping up their efforts to do something about truck blind spots. From bereaved mothers campaigning for technology to keep cyclists safe through to traffic lights that alert drivers when a cyclist is alongside, plenty has already been done to tackle the problem. Now activists have persuaded London transport authorities to step up their efforts too. According to The Guardian, the new campaign to tackle the problem of bike accidents caused by truck blind spots is taking a three pronged approach, including installing technology for increased visibility, improving education among truck drivers, and launching a broader awareness-raising advertising campaign (pictured above). But activists are calling for efforts to concentrate predominantly on drivers:

Educating Cyclists is Good - Educating Drivers is Better
"Educating cyclists is sensible but educating drivers is much more effective because they're professionals, with a legal and moral responsibility to ensure the safety of all other road-users, even unskilled cyclists and unwary pedestrians.

So how can lorry drivers avoid killing cyclists and pedestrians? Well, the first thing is for them to expect more cyclists on the road around them. The most popular streets for cyclists, such as Hyde Park Corner and Clapham Road, now carry over 1,000 bikes per hour at peak times. New lorries have potentially life-saving extra mirrors to reduce hidden areas, and the best companies have installed nearside cameras and sensors to help drivers. All this kit should be standard."

No doubt this focus will anger some in the road lobby who see many cyclists as irresponsible and careless, and one could argue that it's a much easier (and hence cheaper) proposition to persuade a cyclist that pulling up alongside a truck is probably a bad idea. But then that argument works both way—if the easiest thing to do is to educate cyclists, then we should do that through the cheapest methods possible, and focus the more intensive resources on the drivers—who after all are the ones at the wheel of a potentially lethal threat.

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