Cyclists urged to ‘hang back’ from HGVs

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Cyclists in London and Manchester are being encouraged to ‘hang back’ from lorries in a safety campaign launched by the Government.

The Think! campaign has been developed after statistics showed last year a fifth of crashes where cyclists were killed involved HGVs.

A large proportion of deaths happen when a cyclist is at the front left of the truck, and almost a third of all crashes between cyclists and HGVs happen when the lorry is turning left.

Transport minister Andrew Jones said: “We are investing £300 million over the next four years to help make Britain a cycling nation.

“Reducing the number of cyclists killed on our roads is a key priority. Since 2010 the number has decreased to its lowest level. This campaign will raise awareness amongst urban cyclists and help make our roads safer for those on two wheels.”

The campaign includes a film entitled ‘Things you shouldn’t get caught between’, as well as posters, carrying the message ‘Don’t get caught between a lorry and a left turn. Hang back’.

The campaign will also target HGV drivers with the help of the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and will be supported by tips for car drivers in general to raise awareness of cycle safety on the roads.

Christopher Snelling, head of national and regional policy at the FTA, said: “We need to make our busy urban roads as safe as possible for all users and it’s important that both HGV drivers and cyclists understand the risks created by sharing the limited road space and know what steps they can take to minimise them.

“This Department for Transport campaign highlights one of the key danger zones – the blind spot at the front left of a HGV.

“New design innovations such as transparent cab doors all have a part to play in improving safety in the long term but increased awareness can have immediate impact. FTA encourages all HGV drivers and cyclists to visit the campaign website to find out more about this important message.”

On top of the Think! campaign, the Government is investing £40 million into Bikeability training over the next four years, which will provide more than one million children the key skills to keep them safe on the road.

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