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VIDEO: Moment cyclist is hit by lorry entering cycle lane

Watford commuter was left lying in agony

A cyclist’s camera has captured the moment he was left lying in a bike lane after a lorry hit in in a supposedly protected area.

Damien McGrath, 34, was riding along a clearly marked cycle lane past a line of traffic in Watford, when a lorry pulls into the lane and knocks him flying.

He lies in the lane for almost a minute, clearly in serious pain, before a passer by comes to his aid.

The incident happened on March 6th.

“I never realised I was going to get hit. I was on a cycle lane, I had bright lights on, front and rear, I was highly visible and I was wearing a helmet,” he told the Evening Standard.

“I was in the cycle lane and then… he hit me and I lost control. The next thing I hit the curb.

“I could say I was lucky in that I was not dragged under the truck.”

Mr McGrath suffered back and hip injuries, as well as cuts to his knees.

“I don’t cycle to work anymore because it’s just too dangerous. I cycled to work to avoid sitting in rush hour traffic and the stress but then that happened,” he told the Standard.

A spokesperson from Hertfordshire Constabulary said: “Officers are aware of this incident and have been in contact with Mr McGrath since his initial report.

“We take every report of this nature very seriously and enquiries into what happened are on-going.”

 

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51 comments

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Rich_cb | 6 years ago
0 likes

The lorry driver is at fault here. If the lorry had been driven correctly then the collision would not have happened.

Until all drivers are safe and competent it is common sense to assume that none are and ride accordingly.

I'd rather not end up the victim of some terrible driving so cycle defensively.

Suggesting that others do the same is no more victim blaming than suggesting people lock their doors at night.

It is simply an acknowledgement of the world we live in.

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beezus fufoon | 6 years ago
1 like

I'm fairly sure the highway code advises you not to go up the inside of a moving vehicle

I'm also fairly sure that laying sprawled on the pavement is not a mark of cycling competence

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FluffyKittenofT... replied to beezus fufoon | 6 years ago
0 likes
beezus fufoon wrote:

I'm fairly sure the highway code advises you not to go up the inside of a moving vehicle

So you always follow that rule? Always? When cycling in a cycle lane alongside a queue of stop-start traffic, you constantly stop and start and speed up and slow down every minute, so as to never risk passing any given vehicle?

I don't believe you.

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beezus fufoon replied to FluffyKittenofTindalos | 6 years ago
0 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
beezus fufoon wrote:

I'm fairly sure the highway code advises you not to go up the inside of a moving vehicle

So you always follow that rule? Always? When cycling in a cycle lane alongside a queue of stop-start traffic, you constantly stop and start and speed up and slow down every minute, so as to never risk passing any given vehicle? I don't believe you.

no, I go up the offside.

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alansmurphy | 6 years ago
1 like

Those defending the lorry driver - either he (or she) or his (or her) - thanks Jess Varnish - vehicle is unsuitable to be on that road. Lifetime ban.

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oozaveared replied to alansmurphy | 6 years ago
1 like
alansmurphy wrote:

Those defending the lorry driver - either he (or she) or his (or her) - thanks Jess Varnish - vehicle is unsuitable to be on that road. Lifetime ban.

But they won't get a lifetime ban will they? Not even if they kill you. 

So.

You can either ride around being very cross at all the bad, dangerous driving but wierdly carry on trusting drivers to keep to the rules and keep you safe.  Or,  you can can look at what is happening in front of you everyday, start to recognise dangerous situations before you are in them and then adapt your riding to keep yourself safe.

 

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FluffyKittenofT... replied to oozaveared | 6 years ago
0 likes
oozaveared wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

Those defending the lorry driver - either he (or she) or his (or her) - thanks Jess Varnish - vehicle is unsuitable to be on that road. Lifetime ban.

But they won't get a lifetime ban will they? Not even if they kill you. 

So.

You can either ride around being very cross at all the bad, dangerous driving but wierdly carry on trusting drivers to keep to the rules and keep you safe.  Or,  you can can look at what is happening in front of you everyday, start to recognise dangerous situations before you are in them and then adapt your riding to keep yourself safe.

 

Or not cycle. Which seems to be a far more popular choice than your suggestions. Which won't, of course, 'keep you safe' anyway.

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davel replied to oozaveared | 6 years ago
0 likes
oozaveared wrote:
alansmurphy wrote:

Those defending the lorry driver - either he (or she) or his (or her) - thanks Jess Varnish - vehicle is unsuitable to be on that road. Lifetime ban.

But they won't get a lifetime ban will they? Not even if they kill you. 

So.

You can either ride around being very cross at all the bad, dangerous driving but wierdly carry on trusting drivers to keep to the rules and keep you safe.  Or,  you can can look at what is happening in front of you everyday, start to recognise dangerous situations before you are in them and then adapt your riding to keep yourself safe.

 

As if it's that binary.

I make myself safe AND spend a lot of my time commuting fucking furious!

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Flying Scot | 6 years ago
1 like

rming the overtake, his fault.

 

Idiotic manoeuvre. Who knows why the HGV moved left, perhaps the road narrows and there is an another road user he can actually see to his right.

Dont pass on the inside of a moving vehicle, certainly not a long one, definitely not near a junction, we know they cant see you and that is nt going to change in the short term.

Sometimes victims are to blame, in this case I think they are, but the main issue is the waste of paint of a cycle lane that drew the bike up there in the first place, its far too narrow 

I was a cyclist before I was a driver, but I still find it astonishing that many riders seem to think everything revolves around them, most drivers are incompetent, so dont expect them to play by the rules just because you're on a bike, expect the worst, ride in a position that forces vehicles round you and dont undertake vehicles with blind spots. Checking inside mirrors on a standard road is not part of any driving tests (it is in one way systems, dual carriageways and motorways) its an advanced driving technique. Though he shouldn't enter the cycle lane at all.

 

 

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Bikebikebike replied to Flying Scot | 6 years ago
2 likes
Flying Scot wrote:

rming the overtake, his fault.

 

Idiotic manoeuvre. Who knows why the HGV moved left, perhaps the road narrows and there is an another road user he can actually see to his right.

Dont pass on the inside of a moving vehicle, certainly not a long one, definitely not near a junction, we know they cant see you and that is nt going to change in the short term.

Sometimes victims are to blame, in this case I think they are, but the main issue is the waste of paint of a cycle lane that drew the bike up there in the first place, its far too narrow 

I was a cyclist before I was a driver, but I still find it astonishing that many riders seem to think everything revolves around them, most drivers are incompetent, so dont expect them to play by the rules just because you're on a bike, expect the worst, ride in a position that forces vehicles round you and dont undertake vehicles with blind spots. Checking inside mirrors on a standard road is not part of any driving tests (it is in one way systems, dual carriageways and motorways) its an advanced driving technique. Though he shouldn't enter the cycle lane at all.

 

 

If you expect the worst then you'd just never go out on the roads. 

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cdamian | 6 years ago
0 likes

When a cycle lane is not a cycle lane.

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beezus fufoon | 6 years ago
0 likes

yep, victim blaming - the cyclist is by default the victim and therefore incapable of taking responsibility for his own safety.

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FatBoyW | 6 years ago
2 likes

I can only second the comments asking you to consider that you are  vicitim blaming talking about what the cyclist could or should  have done.

 

At the end of the day we are all responsible for our vehicle  and safety has to be the primary concern. The lorry driver has to explain why he failed to proceeed without collision.  If the lorry driver had  checked well before that there was nothing in the cycle lane or likely to be on his left then he would have an excuse - clearly didn't do that. We make excuses for 'accidents' when they are nothing of the sort and you who hits another are at fault unless you can clearly show there was no way you could avoid it.

 

The lack of decent mirrors or proximiy detectors on lorries in this country, the attitude of teh authorities to dangerous and careless driving adn the leniency towards causing death with vehicles is a tragedy and scary. 

 

Our society is bonkers imho. 

And yes maybe cycling past a lorry on a narrow road would need thinking carefully about, that does not in anyway reduce the obligation on the driver having responsibilty to avoid contact with other road users.

 

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Bikebikebike | 6 years ago
5 likes

For people blaming the cyclists - what are you talking about?  Yes, don't pass on the inside near a junction, but on a straight road why would the lorry swerve at you?  And why is passing on the right better?  Surely a lorry is just as likely to swerve right as left.  He came up the whole length of the lorry - the blind spot does not cover that.  The driver should have been checking to his left before swerving.

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I love my bike | 6 years ago
4 likes

If there were no cycle lane markings, according to the police close-pass mat, there should be 1.5m between cyclist & lorry.

Unfortunately, I don't think the painted lines can magically make it equivalently safe.

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KINGHORN | 6 years ago
2 likes

No ones fault really, if you have HGV using that road, it isn't suitable for an on road cyclelane (just not wide enough), their obviously isn't any room.

The cyclist thinks he is safe, as he is in a marked cycle lane, problem here, is the markings, they are not solid, which means traffic can cross them.

So the cyclist thinks he is safe, the lorry cant see him no matter how bright he is, the only thing to blame here is the infrastructure! and never pass on the inside, if you must get in front, filter around outside.

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FluffyKittenofT... replied to KINGHORN | 6 years ago
1 like
KINGHORN wrote:

No ones fault really, if you have HGV using that road, it isn't suitable for an on road cyclelane (just not wide enough), their obviously isn't any room.

The cyclist thinks he is safe, as he is in a marked cycle lane, problem here, is the markings, they are not solid, which means traffic can cross them.

So the cyclist thinks he is safe, the lorry cant see him no matter how bright he is, the only thing to blame here is the infrastructure! and never pass on the inside, if you must get in front, filter around outside.

My reservation about this point is that its hard to avoid 'passing on the inside' in situations where there's a lot of traffic in the adjoining lane, and its moving slower than your normal cycling speed. What exactly are you supposed to do then? Wobble along at an awkwardly slow speed so as not to overtake anything? Or stay on the outside indefinitely?

Or its moving at variable speed, so you are making steady progress in your lane and the lorry in the adjoining lane slows down a bit and you suddenly find yourself passing it.

Agree that the infrastructure doesn't really make sense when combined with vehicles that mean the driver can't see what is beside them.

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Paul_C replied to KINGHORN | 6 years ago
1 like
KINGHORN wrote:

The cyclist thinks he is safe, as he is in a marked cycle lane, problem here, is the markings, they are not solid, which means traffic can cross them.

highway code specifically states the following:

Rule 140

Cycle lanes. These are shown by road markings and signs. You MUST NOT drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a solid white line during its times of operation. Do not drive or park in a cycle lane marked by a broken white line unless it is unavoidable. You MUST NOT park in any cycle lane whilst waiting restrictions apply.

my bold...

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50kcommute | 6 years ago
2 likes

Lucky to be alive and a huge misjudgement on the cyclists part, thankfully he lives to ride again.

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BehindTheBikesheds replied to 50kcommute | 6 years ago
4 likes
50kcommute wrote:

Lucky to be alive and a huge misjudgement on the cyclists part, thankfully he lives to ride again.

You mean huge misjudgement/loss of control 9to veer left for no reason) and not looking, ergo dangerous driving by the driver right?

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50kcommute replied to BehindTheBikesheds | 6 years ago
2 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
50kcommute wrote:

Lucky to be alive and a huge misjudgement on the cyclists part, thankfully he lives to ride again.

You mean huge misjudgement/loss of control 9to veer left for no reason) and not looking, ergo dangerous driving by the driver right?

 

No, I mean a misjudgement by the cyclist ...would you ride up the side of the lorry like that?  

The lorry driver shouldn't have veered to the kerb (and was most likely at fault IMO), but the cyclist should have been more defensive in his riding.

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hawkinspeter replied to 50kcommute | 6 years ago
7 likes
50kcommute wrote:
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
50kcommute wrote:

Lucky to be alive and a huge misjudgement on the cyclists part, thankfully he lives to ride again.

You mean huge misjudgement/loss of control 9to veer left for no reason) and not looking, ergo dangerous driving by the driver right?

 

No, I mean a misjudgement by the cyclist ...would you ride up the side of the lorry like that?  

The lorry driver shouldn't have veered to the kerb (and was most likely at fault IMO), but the cyclist should have been more defensive in his riding.

What is this with the victim blaming nonsense? It was the lorry driver that made a manoeuvre without checking that it was safe to do so and thus caused an incident.

Maybe you think it's a misjudgement to cycle on the same road as another vehicle just in case they swerve into you? It's complete nonsense to criticise the cyclist just because you may have chosen a different part of the road to cycle along.

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BehindTheBikesheds replied to 50kcommute | 6 years ago
5 likes
50kcommute wrote:
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:
50kcommute wrote:

Lucky to be alive and a huge misjudgement on the cyclists part, thankfully he lives to ride again.

You mean huge misjudgement/loss of control 9to veer left for no reason) and not looking, ergo dangerous driving by the driver right?

 

No, I mean a misjudgement by the cyclist ...would you ride up the side of the lorry like that?  

The lorry driver shouldn't have veered to the kerb (and was most likely at fault IMO), but the cyclist should have been more defensive in his riding.

Me personally in that situation, possibly I would have, there's no left turn, there's no apparent narrowing or ending of the cycle lane and as i said, there's no evidence in terms of cycling deaths that support the not going straight on past HGVs (or cars) if both are travelling in their lanes in a straight on direction because it's 'dangerous'.

Having seen numerous road incidents on the motorways over the years ending in death due to vehicles moving into anothers lane and indeed even the carnage in towns and cities between motorised vehicles when I was a serial car commuter into london/South East region, the numbers don't stack up in the scenario we are talking about.

Of course one has to judge things and seeing the lorry pull away I might have held back, I might have sprinted on as this person has, afterall there is an amount of space is exactly the same if the lorry is passing the cyclist from behind or any other large vehicle whilst he would be in that lane.

If a vehicle veers into your lane/path for no reason at all how can you possibly know that that won't happen when any vehicle is passing you (& it does frequently as we know) are we supposed to just not cycle on the road at all (which would delight motorists/government et al immensely) just in case any given vehicle veers in to the left into the cycle lane at any given moment?

As a commuter/utility rider for over 30 years I've seen it all, yes some scenarios you avoid but to put blame on the person here for this situation is way off the mark.

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Barraob1 | 6 years ago
1 like

Lorry driver at fault, awful driving. Didn't look that bad, I've had worse and walked away even if the bike was broken. Man up or plan better.

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szegerely | 6 years ago
9 likes

Driver, a trained professional, driving a large and notoriously dangerous vehicle in an urban environment drives into a cycle lane without knowing it's clear and people here  blame the cyclist? Yes he's an urban planner, so we all know they are not the sharpest pencils in the box. But that is a cycle lane, and it could just as easily be used by a child. 

Drivers of HGVs should take much more care when moving off. They don't, and that's how people die. 

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oozaveared replied to szegerely | 6 years ago
2 likes
szegerely wrote:

Driver, a trained professional, driving a large and notoriously dangerous vehicle in an urban environment drives into a cycle lane without knowing it's clear and people here  blame the cyclist?

I don't think people blamed the cyclist for the collision.  People merely said he could have protected himself much better.   Drivers do stupid illegal dangerous stuff all the time.  We know.  But instead of just knowing that and carrying on regardless, the sensible cyclist takes that into account and rides accordingly.  There is no way I would be in that bike lane up the inside of a lorry because I realise that what I am doing is relying on a lorry driver I don't know not to kill me.  I have no idea if he's drunk, tired, stupid, or what he is dealing with on the driver side.  So I am not going to trust him. 

If the traffic is moving along at a sensible speed I can maintain then I am going to be in the lane positioned so I can avoid rear ending the lorry.  If I need to overtake it will be on the outside and then back in the lane. If the traffic speeds up then I will take an appropriate position in either primary or secondary.  But I am never going to overtake traffic let alone a lorry I could end up being dragged under on the inside.  And I don't care that there is a bike lane.

This is not victim blaming.  This is trying to make people aware that they can do things to reduce the risk of being a victim.

 

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hawkinspeter replied to oozaveared | 6 years ago
10 likes
oozaveared wrote:

I don't think people blamed the cyclist for the collision.  People merely said he could have protected himself much better.   Drivers do stupid illegal dangerous stuff all the time.  We know.  But instead of just knowing that and carrying on regardless, the sensible cyclist takes that into account and rides accordingly.  There is no way I would be in that bike lane up the inside of a lorry because I realise that what I am doing is relying on a lorry driver I don't know not to kill me.  I have no idea if he's drunk, tired, stupid, or what he is dealing with on the driver side.  So I am not going to trust him. 

If the traffic is moving along at a sensible speed I can maintain then I am going to be in the lane positioned so I can avoid rear ending the lorry.  If I need to overtake it will be on the outside and then back in the lane. If the traffic speeds up then I will take an appropriate position in either primary or secondary.  But I am never going to overtake traffic let alone a lorry I could end up being dragged under on the inside.  And I don't care that there is a bike lane.

This is not victim blaming.  This is trying to make people aware that they can do things to reduce the risk of being a victim.

I don't particularly care about individual cyclists' opinions on the best defensive strategy (although I have my own preferences for road positioning and traffic management) - after all, the cyclist could have avoided any chance of being hit by the lorry by being in a bus, using the pavement or staying at home.

However, the cyclist decided to cycle on a public road and was doing so both legally and competently when he got hit by a lorry that was not driving in a safe fashion and thus not following the Highway Code. To then make comments about how the cyclist should never go on the inside of lorries/trucks is simply victim blaming (and I personally find it quite abhorrent).

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wycombewheeler replied to hawkinspeter | 6 years ago
1 like
hawkinspeter wrote:
oozaveared wrote:

I don't think people blamed the cyclist for the collision.  People merely said he could have protected himself much better.   Drivers do stupid illegal dangerous stuff all the time.  We know.  But instead of just knowing that and carrying on regardless, the sensible cyclist takes that into account and rides accordingly.  There is no way I would be in that bike lane up the inside of a lorry because I realise that what I am doing is relying on a lorry driver I don't know not to kill me.  I have no idea if he's drunk, tired, stupid, or what he is dealing with on the driver side.  So I am not going to trust him. 

If the traffic is moving along at a sensible speed I can maintain then I am going to be in the lane positioned so I can avoid rear ending the lorry.  If I need to overtake it will be on the outside and then back in the lane. If the traffic speeds up then I will take an appropriate position in either primary or secondary.  But I am never going to overtake traffic let alone a lorry I could end up being dragged under on the inside.  And I don't care that there is a bike lane.

This is not victim blaming.  This is trying to make people aware that they can do things to reduce the risk of being a victim.

I don't particularly care about individual cyclists' opinions on the best defensive strategy (although I have my own preferences for road positioning and traffic management) - after all, the cyclist could have avoided any chance of being hit by the lorry by being in a bus, using the pavement or staying at home.

However, the cyclist decided to cycle on a public road and was doing so both legally and competently when he got hit by a lorry that was not driving in a safe fashion and thus not following the Highway Code. To then make comments about how the cyclist should never go on the inside of lorries/trucks is simply victim blaming (and I personally find it quite abhorrent).

If the cyclist is riding in the cycle lane and the lorry passes on that position, is that overtake safe? no, it is too close. But apparently ok the other way round? Its true the cyclist presents no danger to thd HGV, but the danger to the cyclist of being in such close proximity to the HGV is no different. sometimes the road is not wide enough to overtake.

cycle lanes like this give the impression it is OK to overtake but this road is too narrow. They need to be banned.

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Bikebikebike replied to wycombewheeler | 6 years ago
1 like
wycombewheeler wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:
oozaveared wrote:

I don't think people blamed the cyclist for the collision.  People merely said he could have protected himself much better.   Drivers do stupid illegal dangerous stuff all the time.  We know.  But instead of just knowing that and carrying on regardless, the sensible cyclist takes that into account and rides accordingly.  There is no way I would be in that bike lane up the inside of a lorry because I realise that what I am doing is relying on a lorry driver I don't know not to kill me.  I have no idea if he's drunk, tired, stupid, or what he is dealing with on the driver side.  So I am not going to trust him. 

If the traffic is moving along at a sensible speed I can maintain then I am going to be in the lane positioned so I can avoid rear ending the lorry.  If I need to overtake it will be on the outside and then back in the lane. If the traffic speeds up then I will take an appropriate position in either primary or secondary.  But I am never going to overtake traffic let alone a lorry I could end up being dragged under on the inside.  And I don't care that there is a bike lane.

This is not victim blaming.  This is trying to make people aware that they can do things to reduce the risk of being a victim.

I don't particularly care about individual cyclists' opinions on the best defensive strategy (although I have my own preferences for road positioning and traffic management) - after all, the cyclist could have avoided any chance of being hit by the lorry by being in a bus, using the pavement or staying at home.

However, the cyclist decided to cycle on a public road and was doing so both legally and competently when he got hit by a lorry that was not driving in a safe fashion and thus not following the Highway Code. To then make comments about how the cyclist should never go on the inside of lorries/trucks is simply victim blaming (and I personally find it quite abhorrent).

If the cyclist is riding in the cycle lane and the lorry passes on that position, is that overtake safe? no, it is too close. But apparently ok the other way round? Its true the cyclist presents no danger to thd HGV, but the danger to the cyclist of being in such close proximity to the HGV is no different. sometimes the road is not wide enough to overtake. cycle lanes like this give the impression it is OK to overtake but this road is too narrow. They need to be banned.

WTF are you talking about?  When filtering you don't need to give the same space as a motor vehicle does when it is overtaking you.  To do so would mean you'd never filter.

Avatar
oozaveared replied to hawkinspeter | 6 years ago
1 like
hawkinspeter wrote:
oozaveared wrote:

I don't think people blamed the cyclist for the collision.  People merely said he could have protected himself much better.   Drivers do stupid illegal dangerous stuff all the time.  We know.  But instead of just knowing that and carrying on regardless, the sensible cyclist takes that into account and rides accordingly.  There is no way I would be in that bike lane up the inside of a lorry because I realise that what I am doing is relying on a lorry driver I don't know not to kill me.  I have no idea if he's drunk, tired, stupid, or what he is dealing with on the driver side.  So I am not going to trust him. 

If the traffic is moving along at a sensible speed I can maintain then I am going to be in the lane positioned so I can avoid rear ending the lorry.  If I need to overtake it will be on the outside and then back in the lane. If the traffic speeds up then I will take an appropriate position in either primary or secondary.  But I am never going to overtake traffic let alone a lorry I could end up being dragged under on the inside.  And I don't care that there is a bike lane.

This is not victim blaming.  This is trying to make people aware that they can do things to reduce the risk of being a victim.

I don't particularly care about individual cyclists' opinions on the best defensive strategy (although I have my own preferences for road positioning and traffic management) - after all, the cyclist could have avoided any chance of being hit by the lorry by being in a bus, using the pavement or staying at home.

However, the cyclist decided to cycle on a public road and was doing so both legally and competently when he got hit by a lorry that was not driving in a safe fashion and thus not following the Highway Code. To then make comments about how the cyclist should never go on the inside of lorries/trucks is simply victim blaming (and I personally find it quite abhorrent).

 

Then you are very silly.  I've been cycling in a club since 1973.  "not following the Highway Code" is irrelevant to me. I can see dozens and dozens of breaches of the highway code on my ride to work everyday.   If you cycle in a fashion that assumes all drivers at all times will follow the Highway code then you are just not payng attention to what must be happening all around you.

My point was that I wouldn't cycle down the inside of a lorry because I didn't trust the lorry driver. Why?  Cos I have been watching various lorry drivers doing all sorts of dangerous stuff for 4 decades now.  Why should I trust any of them?  Because they "should" obey the Highway Code.?  It's not a magic book that will keep you safe so long as you know what people "should" be doing.

Why not just assume that around half of drivers are below average drivers. Half are below average intelligence.  Keep in mind that a few may be drunk or on medication, that some will be new to driving, that some may be on their phone, distracted by the kids, have poor eyesight (as it is self certificated). Some may already be banned, or not ever have had a licence. And some will just be arrogant aggressive and deliberately dangerous drivers.

Hoping that they all drive in accordance with the highway code is not safe assumption.

It is not victim blaming to tell people the truth. Hoping and trusting that drivers will at all times follow the highway code so you safely ride up the inside of lorries is just plain dumb. 

Hope is not a good safety strategy in any walk of life.

 

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