A new film by the Met Police is designed to show the dangers that can arise from a typical interaction between a cyclist and a driver.
It’s a useful film, which shows how easy it is for a cyclist to disappear in a blind spot.
It’s certainly well intentioned and I hope that as many cyclists, pedestrians and drivers in London view it, which is the reason I’m sharing it here.
This applies not just to new cyclists, but also to experienced cyclists who are worth reminding of the dangers.
Education is certainly part of the solution to making the roads safer, however it has its limits.
As I write this, the video has been viewed by 6,000 people. London is a city of nearly 10 million. Obviously, the reach is limited. Even if we could get 10 million to watch the video, accidents would continue.
Doctors are educated, they know about the dangers of obesity, yet you still find plenty of fat doctors.
We all know we should recycle more, yet if it isn’t convenient we won’t do it.
You can grab a cyclist, slap them round the head and tell them to never ride on the inside of a HGV but they’ll still probably do it as some stage.
Changing behaviours is difficult. I’d encourage cyclists to go on an actual cycle training course and have that tactile experience, as it is more likely to ingrain the behaviour.
What will cause a deeper reduction in deaths and injuries is the way we design our roads. The majority of people who will hop on a bike tomorrow, will have no idea about the dangers of Heavy Goods Vehicles. They won’t have seen this YouTube video, or been on a training course, or been stopped by a police officer as part of the recent initiatives or read this cycling blog.
The only way to keep those people safe, is by designing our roads in such a way that we reduce dangerous interactions between drivers and cyclists.
If you found the video interesting and useful, forward it to your friends who cycle. I’d be interested in seeing how many total views the video can get. The more people it reaches, the greater the chance it has to make a difference.
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.