Lorry stickers warn cyclists of undertaking dangers

12.00 | 10 October 2014 | | 11 comments

A community safety partnership has launched an awareness campaign in a bid to prevent cyclists from being seriously injured by lorries and other large vehicles.

Developed by the Harrogate District Community Safety Partnership, ‘Stay back – don’t undertake’ highlights the dangers of cyclists undertaking lorries on the road. 

The Partnership says that while motorists have a duty of care to use their mirrors before turning across a cyclist’s path, a growing number of cyclists are being injured by left turning HGVs which have not seen them in their mirrors.

The campaign stickers can be fixed to the back of lorries and trucks and have been attached to Harrogate Council’s refuse vehicles. They have also been sent to local haulage firms asking them to support the campaign by attaching them to their own fleet of vehicles.

Councillor Margaret Atkinson, Harrogate Borough Council, said: “With the increase in the number of bikes on the district’s roads, it is important to remind cyclists of the dangers they face if they undertake large vehicles.

“These stickers serve as a visible warning to stay back from the vehicle in front, hopefully giving the cyclist a safer ride.”

For more information about the campaign contact Simon Aston, Harrogate Borough Council’s Safer Communities Officer, on 01423 500600 (ext 56986).


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    I agree with Richard Owen that data is vital.

    Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield
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    Richard Owen is correct with his analysis. Data is fundamental evidence but there are exceptions:

    As anticipated, Harrogate and the whole of Yorkshire have experienced an exceptional surge in cycling due to the Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire. You may recall the drama at the end of Stage 1 in Harrogate? In view of this significant change on our roads it was deemed sensible by the regional and local partnerships, including Harrogate, to be proactive in raising awareness among cyclists and all road users to each other. Various initiatives have been delivered this year, of which this is one. Others include developing an award winning Cycle App – launched in March 2014 and the Think Bike and Cyclist! publicity programmes that are on-going.

    So yes, routinely I would agree with Richard’s point. However, exceptional circumstances and to anticipate an emerging change and inform the public about it are also part of our statutory duties to our communities.

    Honor Byford, North Yorkshire County Council
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    The Coronor’s reports contain a great wealth of accurate information, but there is no mechanism for getting this information out into the public domain. Elaine Hardy has done a couple of bits of excellent research on motorcycle collisions and pedestrian fatalities in Northern Ireland that made extensive use of these reports. The fact that they are not in the public domain (unlike aviation fatality reports) should be extremely worrying.


    Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon
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    In a collision resulting in a fatality there will be a coroner’s report. Do these report, with any accuracy, the number of incidents where the lorry was indicating left throught, and on the approach to, its manoeuvre?

    Nick, Lancashire
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    I agree with Richard Owen on actually having evidence to back any campaign, not just emotion. Also in London, check the Accident Investigations/Inquests of KSI collisions of cyclist/HGV. Fault is attributed to the cyclist a (perhaps) surprisingly number of times.

    Martin Elliott, Guildford
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    Ron, for the record its not a ‘GB ReadSafety’ (or even Road Safety GB) campaign, it’s an initiative by the Harrogate District Community Safety Partnership.

    Simon, Norwich
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    I ride both bicycle and motorcycle, I don’t care if anyone ‘expects’ me to use any part of the carriageway, my common sense tells me not to put myself in a place of possible danger, it makes no difference who is to blame in this type of collision I would be the one to come off worse, so blame is of little consolation… all road users should be smart enough to look out for themselves….no one else will.

    Steve, London
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    When I have experiences like this: http://youtu.be/t6gOym67O1I I find the stickers and GB ReadSafety campaign insulting.

    Ron Reid
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    “The Partnership says that while motorists have a duty of care to use their mirrors before turning across a cyclist’s path, a growing number of cyclists are being injured by left turning HGVs which have not seen them in their mirrors.”

    You say more cyclists are being ‘injured’ (the word you need is ‘killed’, but let’s ignore that). These ‘injuries’ are happening because “[drivers of] HGVs … have not seen them in their mirrors.

    Surely the issue here is that either the DRIVERS are not looking, or the mirrors are not fit for purpose? In what universe is this the cyclist’s fault, if they are overtaken by an HGV that then turns left across their path?

    Mike Stead – Hampshire
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    Does Harrogate have any cycle lanes that take cyclists up the inside of possibly stationary lines of traffic? Are cyclists now expected not to use those if an HGV is waiting at some traffic lights?

    Luke, Hove
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    There have been a lot of headlines in London about cyclists conflicting with HGVs and it is indeed a serious problem in the capital, with 67 cyclists killed in collisions involving HGVs over the last 10 years (out of a total 145 cyclists killed).

    A quick peek at MAST has allowed me to look at the following circumstances:
    HGVs involved in collisions with cycles where the HGV was turning left.

    I cannot say whether the pedal cyclist was the casualty, but I can exclude those travelling in the HGV itself and pedestrians.

    Over the last 10 years there have been 728 HGVs that fit the search criteria.

    294 (40%) were in London

    1 was in Harrogate

    Numbers have stayed fairly constant over the last 10 years too, if anything on a slightly reducing trend.

    The quote that “a growing number of cyclists are being injured by left turning HGVs which have not seen them in their mirrors” is not borne out by the official statistics.

    I am a strong supporter of cycling safety campaigns having managed the local Berkshire campaign for many years. When starting the campaign I made sure I looked at the common problems and designed the appropriate messages to fit. Evidence-based campaigns are always preferable where possible.

    Richard Owen, Banbury
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