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Trucks Are Cyclist 'Killing Machines', Warns Commissioner

Friday 15th November 2013


The Metropolitan Police Commissioner has warned that cyclists can be "one wobble" from disaster. 

hogan howe

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe told LBC 97.3 that large vehicles can be "killing machines" and cyclists can find themselves in the path of a lorry or bus with "one wobble".

Five cyclists died on London's roads in just nine days following a series of collisions involving buses and lorries.

Sir Bernard told Nick Ferrari: "It's a tragedy that we've had so many deaths in the last few days. I think overall it looks as though there are fewer cycle deaths per cycle journey, but that's no comfort to the poor families who've lost someone.

"We've all got to think about the way that we drive and the way that we cycle. It is difficult for the drivers. They're big vehicles, they can't always see out properly but they've got to take a little bit more care. When you've got such a big vehicle, then obviously they can be killing machines.

"Equally, if you've got your own cycle, you've got to abide by the rules of the road and you've got to think about your own safety."

The Met Police runs a scheme called Exchanging Places, where cyclists and lorry drivers swap to understand how each views the road.

Sir Bernard said: "We've got the Met's Exchanging Places scheme and that's where cyclists and lorry drivers swap places and see the roads from each other's perspective and 95% of the cyclists who took part said they would never have understood just how difficult it is for lorry drivers. There's huge blind spots.

"But equally, the drivers have got to think that but for a wobble, they could be in front of a vehicle. I think for many people, we've all got to think carefully about how we drive and how we cycle."

Yesterday, Mayor Boris Johnson told LBC 97.3 that cyclists need to stop breaking the laws of the road if they want to stay safe.