The London Cycling Campaign's "No More Lethal Lorries" recent petition attracted 4,500 signatures when LCC volunteers took to London's streets to collect them as part of LCC's Day of Action. The petition asks all London councils to introduce cyclist-awareness training for all their lorry drivers and subcontractors.
26 cyclists have died in London in collisions with lorries over the last four years and despite frequent raising of the issue by cycling organisations and the cycling media, the problem doesn't seem to go away.
20 year-old student David Poblet died in a collision with a skip lorry in Bermondsey on March 22nd and another student, Dan Cox, died in an HGV collision in Dalston in February. LCC say that HGVs are responsible for half the cyclist deaths in London, and numbers aren't falling, even though road safety overall is improving.
Amongst other things, LCC are calling for cycle-awareness training for all city lorry drivers including on-bike experience, higher standards from lorry operators with the police cracking down on rogue operators and cyclists to be given the most accurate and up-to-date information on cycling safely around lorries.
Speaking about the Day of Action, LCC Chief Executive Ashok Sinha said, "Today we saw massive support for more lorry driver training from London's cyclists. We hope when we present the petition to the mayor and local councils they agree to implement this simple, cost-effective measure to improve cyclist safety."
The petition is still open - to sign it and/or make a donation to the campaign, go to www.no-more-lethal-lorries.org.uk.
A development which might help the cause is a recent success of a campaign for European legislation to require the installation of sensors and cameras on lorries to eliminate blind spots.
Eilidh Cairns was killed by a tipper lorry whilst cycling in Notting Hill Gate in 2009. Her family, friends and campaign supporters managed to persuade 369 MEPs to back a Written Declaration calling for the changes. This is a sufficient number to pass the Written Declaration and oblige the European Commission to produce proposals for such changes to the law.
It has been estimated that in Europe around 400 people a year (cyclists, motorists and pedestrians) are killed because of lorry blind spots.