Katharine Giles was sadly another victim who died on 10 April 2013 while cycling on London’s busiest roads. Dr Giles was a research fellow and lecturer at University College London and was crushed under the wheels of a HGV tipper truck during London’s rush hour.
She is sadly the second cyclist who has died on London’s busy roads this year alone, which calls for further action to be taken by Mayor Boris Johnson in protecting cyclists on the road. His Cycle Safety Action Plan, is to ensure the growth of cycling in London, reducing the number of casualties; increase the perception that cycling is safe and an attractive transport option; and to make progress to reduce cyclists being killed or seriously injured. But will people feel safe cycling on London’s road after these accidents continue to occur? In my previous blog my client Ms G who suffered an accident cycling on the road, stated that she had lost confidence following her accident, she did not feel safe anymore.
However the recent fatality has fuelled campaigns for the government to take further action to protect cyclists against road users, and in particular against HGV drivers. Mike Cavenett from London Cycling Campaign, has stated that the lorries are banned from the streets overnight and therefore, they are out first thing in the morning to make their deliveries, at the same time as cyclists. But this is still a problem.
In other cities like Paris and Dublin, HGV drivers have been banned at certain times in order to protect the vulnerable commuters during rush hour, and it seems that Mr Johnson is now considering a similar solution. A point raised in the Times Cities Fit for Cycling campaign, is that roads need to be made safer for cyclists, therefore large vehicles and lorries should be properly fitted with equipment to detect cyclists in their blind spots as well as roads being better designed with the use of more cycle lanes.Following on from this, Boris Johnson has said: “No lorry should be allowed in London unless it is fitted with safety equipment to protect cyclists, and driven by someone fully trained in cycle awareness”. He also went on to say that “What we’re going to be doing in the future is stipulating that no HGV can enter London unless it is properly compliant with cycle safety equipment…” It is encouraging to note as there is a movement to making London’s roads safer, and to stop these tragic deaths happening on the roads.