Everyone’s in a hurry

This is an excerpt from the Bike Show Blog:-

“I attended a Road Safety Forum organised by the City of London police, at their Snow Hill police station, near Smithfield Market. It was a good meeting, well attended by a range of officers, including at a senior level, plus those responsible for implementation on the streets. There were also representation from Corporation of London and Transport for London. Among the most interesting things I learned was that during a single day of random spot checks of lorries (HGVs) by City of London Police on 30 September this year, every lorry stopped was found to be breaking at least one road safety law.

The meeting began with five presentations covering a lot of ground including the latest trends in statistics for cyclist deaths and injuries, which have shown an increase from 2000 to 2006 (although this year and last the trend so far looks to be slightly down). Overall, two issues dominated the meeting and both have their own acronyms: HGVs and ASLs. Lorries killing cyclists has been in the news lately following a spate of fatalities on London’s streets. City Police were clearly concerned about this. Sergeant Alan Rickwood, dubbed ’statto’ by one of his colleagues, gave a presentation of the latest figures on collisions involving cyclists and other vulnerable road users. He said he’d share his powerpoint with me and I’ll post it up here as soon as I get it. Two trends struck me from the numbers:

– injuries and fatalities to cyclists peak in the morning rush hour (around 8am) and, to a lesser extent, the evening rush hour (around 5pm). It’s not clear why the morning is worse than the late afternoon/evening

Well, I think it is pretty obvious that there are more accidents in the morning rush hour as people don’t want to be late for work or school. The employers will give people the sack if they’re regularly late and businessmen and women don’t want to be late for meetings. Their mind is focussed elsewhere. Lorry drivers want to deliver on time because they may have loads of other deliveries to do and if they’re carrying food, they need to be rush. Problems of a tight schedule. Not all employers have flexitime and offices still have the old 9-5 routine forcing a lot of office workers to jump in their cars, particularly as the tube is often over crowded and unpleasant.

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