Two cyclists crushed to death by lorries on the same day

Two cyclists have been killed today on the streets of London. My heart goes out to their families at what must be unbearable news. I do not know the names of the two men that died but, according to press reports, one cyclist was in his 20’s and one was in his 30’s.

I feel incredible anger each time I hear of sad news such as this. Far, far too many young people have died on bikes in London in recent years. Although each case gets publicity to varying degrees, little or no progress seems to be made in increasing safety. The police will investigate. Sometimes there is a prosecution, sometimes there isn’t. When a prison sentence is imposed, some sense of relief is felt that the driver has been punished. But what I would like to see is that the “accident” does not happen in the first place.
Boris needs to give serious consideration to a Strict Liability law. If a driver hits a cyclist, he should be held 100% responsible for the collision unless he can provide firm evidence that he was not responsible. This needs to be introduced immediately in order to persuade drivers that they cannot drive recklessly and get away with it. The Government is constantly trying to promote more cycling yet offers very little safety incentives other than feeble cycle lanes.

 

Additionally, we need a 20mph speed limit throughout London. Because the speed limit is 30mph, many drivers drive at nearly 40 mph. Whenever I cycle, I find that van drivers and lorries rev their engines and drive dangerously close.

According to the Highway Code, drivers are supposed to give 6 foot clearance to cyclists as they pass. Whilst I realise this is often difficult or near impossible in London, a 3 foot clearance rule should be introduced inside the M25. I don’t think that drivers realise just how frightening it is for a cyclist to drive so close. I have often had drivers pass within inches of my handlebars and I know that other cyclists regularly experience this.

There is so much that could be done to help and yet so many excuses as to why the Government won’t introduce new measures. A desperately serious situation.
There is an Evening Standard report here
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