Cripes! Mayor Nearly Comes A Cropper

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 105 months ago
Cripes! Mayor Nearly Comes A Cropper

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Image / junketz
Boris Johnson and his mayoral team came frightfully close to snuffing it yesterday during a cycle ride in Limehouse. The group, which included Johnson, transport advisor Kulveer Ranger, and TfL commissioner Peter Hendy, were scouting out new cycle routes in east London. As they travelled along Narrow Street, the back door of a passing truck came unhooked, swung out against a parked car and dragged it into the middle of the road, narrowly avoiding the cyclists. A security camera caught the incident on film, and looking at it, the group had a very lucky escape: Mr. Ranger was said to be particularly shaken up, as the catapulted vehicle crash-landed mere centimetres from his bike. Nobody was hurt, but as a way of highlighting the necessity of Cycle Super Highways, which are aimed at addressing the capital's grim tally of bicycling deaths, the near-disaster could yet prove to be the perfect advertisement.

Last Updated 23 May 2009

Dave

After watching that video, I have to concur that it's a miracle that none of the cyclists were hurt. That's pretty scary stuff.

Having said that, I'm not sure that this advertises the need for Cycle Super Highways as much as it highlights the need for truck drivers to stop driving like lunatics.

The video seems to show the truck belting over a speed-bump at some speed as it passed the cyclists, and it looks like the door may have flung open as a result of this. But it wouldn't be just cyclists that could be at danger from such an incident – any pedestrians, or in fact anyone sitting in the car that was catapulted across the road, could also have been hurt or killed by this incident.

Much as I realise that sweeping generalisations can be unhelpful, I personally witness truck/lorry drivers driving dangerously, carelessly or aggressively on a regular basis. A few weeks ago a lorry drove into the side of my parked car, then drove off without leaving details. Only yesterday I was intimidated by a large truck, whose driver decided to make a point by accelerating towards my stationary car, before slamming on the brakes at the last moment.

And of course, the mounting numbers cyclists who are dying in collisions with trucks and lorries is already well documented. But I fear that it will take more than an increase in dedicated cycle lanes to solve this problem.