Bicycle Diaries: Fewer cagers = safer streets?

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Fewer cagers = safer streets?

not with more tucks...

With no end in sight for rising gas prices, I've started imagining how this will alter street traffic here in The City of Big Shoulders. While we may well see fewer and fewer SUVs and large pickup trucks, I doubt there will be fewer commercial trucks or semis. On the one hand, products still need to go from Point A to Point B. On the other hand, most companies will be able to absorb gas costs more easily than individuals. Or they'll simply pass along the increasing costs to consumers.

I'd rather share the road with cars.

We've already had a number of bike accidents from collisions with commercial trucks and even buses. The same has been happening in London; so much so that The Evening Standard launched the Safer Cycling Campaign. Of its 12 points these are the most interesting for our situation here:
4) [Commercial trucks] to be fitted with special cyclist safety mirrors

5) Compulsory cyclist awareness training for all bus drivers and new [Commercial truck] drivers
London mayor Boris Johnson has since distributed 10,000 safety mirrors to truck drivers. This is because the police are concerned following a number of bikers deaths in recent years, many involving heavy goods vehicles. So mirrors should help truckers spot bikers in their blind spot.

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Anonymous Karl McCracken said...

"So mirrors should help truckers spot bikers in their blind spot"

If they look. Many bike vs truck accidents occur when the cyclist is either overtaking on the inside while the truck's waiting to turn right (USA & Europe) / left (UK & the rest of the Civilised World), or end up waiting in that blindspot next to a truck which is also turning off.

Mirrors might help, but that's cure rather than prevention - as cyclists we should all be riding defensively. That means being assertive when the situation demands so as to prevent drivers being tempted to try moves that put us in danger. It also means being passive - not riding up the inside of that truck, but waiting behind. Not moving forward might turn out to be the smart thing to do!

20/6/08 11:49  

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