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It makes you cringe

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by steveindenmark, 2 Mar 2012.

  1. Although we live in a cycling utopia in Denmark, compared to the UK, we still have our problems.

    Since 2006 we have lost 23 cyclists due to lorries turning right at traffic lights. It is in effect a blind side turn, as we drive on the right here.

    We have recently lost 2 more riders and it has hit the news.

    The first cringe was a young lady in Copenhagen who was being interviewed out on the street for the local news. She spent 5 minutes spouting on about how inconsiderate drivers and how crap they are at driving. At the end of the interview she stuffed her ipod earplugs in her ears and turned it on and rode off, making a right turn at the traffic lights while they were on red.

    The second was a tv interview with a representitive of the Danish Cycle Union and some union guy who had something to do with lorries. The lorry guy said that maybe a solution would be 2 stop lines so lorries and bikes do not stop alongside each other. The Cycling Union guy threw his teddy out of the window and was ranting about how cyclists always get pushed behind lorries and why should the lorries go in front...rant...rave etc.

    The lorry guy waited until the rant stopped and just said " We don`t care who goes in front, we are just trying to save lives".

    It paints cyclists in a terrible light.

    In my opinion the only way they will solve this problem is to find a group of lorry drivers who are also cyclists and ask them to solve the problem. It was obvious that this Cycle Union guy had no idea of what it is like to sit in a lorry. I am not even sure he knew what a lorry looked like.

    Do you have this problem in the UK at lights?

  2. Dave 123

    Dave 123 Guru

    This week in Cambridge the local press have been on the "make cycling safer" theme. I can't see motorists (and some cyclists) warming to the RLJers, pavement riding, unobservant, unskilled, unlit idiots that make up a massive percentage of cyclists round here.
    There are 2 sides to every story, some motorists are crap, and the same goes for some cyclists.
    Lorries-A generalisation here, I think that the drivers are looking out for bikes. Maybe the 5 second headstart is the way forward.
  3. Moodyman

    Moodyman Veteran

    It's the biggest cyclist killer over here too - mostly female victims.
  4. deptfordmarmoset

    deptfordmarmoset Full time tea drinker

    Armonmy Way
    Judging by the copenhagenize post here, it may be that the Danish Cycling Union rep may have already have been outraged by the truckers' union when they claimed that it was cyclists that were dangerous.

    Indeed, as Moodyman says, there has been a disproportionate number of female deaths, particularly in London. The construction industry also seems to be disproportionately afflicted by ''dangerous cyclists'' in these deaths. There have been a number of initiatives where cyclists are encouraged to see the road from inside a lorry cab and lorry drivers to see the road from a bike but, inevitably, these initiatives won't reach the casual cyclist, and the more experienced cyclists will generally already have adopted a ''stay behind, it's not worth it'' strategy.
  5. Red Light

    Red Light Guest

    I adopt a steer clear approach when cycling in London but while I don't put myself in danger from lorries, I find myself continually being put in danger by the lorries - pulling in before they've finished overtaking, overtaking and then turning left into/across you, changing lanes as if you weren't there, trying to pretend they are driving a Ferrari, not a truck......
  6. OP

    steveindenmark Guru

    There are some similarities here.

    It is mostly women in Denmark who are getting caught as well and some reasons were suggested for this. One of them was that men are able to heave their bikes around more readily than women. So if they get into a dangerous situation they can get their bikes up onto the pavement quicker than women. Another reason was that men are thinking of the job in hand but women are also thinking about the children, the house etc.

    Another area that maybe has not been looked at but should be is red light jumping. The police in Copenhagen did a purge for 1 hour on red light jumpers recently. They ticketed 120 cyclists, most of them women.

    With regards to the Danish Cycle Union Rep, he was just a prize prat and the lorry rep was very sensible.

    I have recently come across some new rumble strips in Denmark. I have never seen these before and if you ride on them or drive on them they really shake your fillings out. They are so exaggerated they are quite unbelievable. Maybe this type of thing could be used to keep the vehicles and bikes apart at these junctions.

    But cyclists and motor vehicle users have got to start getting over this animosity between each other or nothing will ever get sorted. Even if it means cyclists have to take the olive branch to begin with.
  7. fimm

    fimm Veteran

    Interesting on the red light jumpers stats - one of the theories I've read about why it is mostly women who get killed by left-turning lorries in London is that women are more likely to be law-abiding and sit next to the lorry and only attempt to move off when the lights change - while the men are more likely to have jumped the lights and be out of the danger area to the left of the lorry.
  8. With that and menstruation and worry about their bums looking big and not being able to do maths or read a map and handbags and make up and shopping, it’s a wonder they aren’t just crashing into walls
  9. AndyCh

    AndyCh Senior Member

    jefmcg, 2 things you need to know:

    1) Denmark is not politically correct
    2) Danish women don't have big bums

    These two issues alone make it a great place to live!