THERE were 49 cyclists killed by goods vehicles in London between January 1999 and May 2004, according to the London Road Safety Unit Research Report.

A higher proportion of women cyclists (18 out of 21) were involved in fatal collisions with goods vehicles than with other types of vehicle.

The report suggests that this may be because women are less likely than men to run a red light. Over half of the collisions occurred as drivers made left turns, after both lorry and cyclist had been stationary at signals.

The report informed Transport for London?s (TfL) safety awareness campaign launched recently, which is being supported by Ford.

The company has agreed to display warning signs for cyclists on the back of more than 2000 Ford HGV trailers.

The campaign, which focuses on warning cyclists and HGV drivers to take extra care, is supported by cycling campaign groups, but they have criticised it for appearing to place the onus more on cyclists than on drivers to take care.

However, TfL say the poster, which features the image of a cyclist and HGV, and displays the message ?take care?, asks lorry drivers to take care when turning left, as well as warning cyclists to be aware of large vehicles.

The number of cyclist deaths caused by collisions with HGVs represents 56 per cent of the total number of fatalities for the five-year period. The majority of lorries involved were tipper vehicles.

In the 12 months to June 2006, 17 cyclists were killed on London?s roads; nine died following collisions with goods vehicles. Another 48 cyclists were seriously injured in collisions with goods vehicles.

Jenny Jones, The Mayor?s Road Safety Ambassador, said three cyclists were killed in one week after colliding with goods vehicles. ?Despite the overall fall in the numbers of cyclists injured, the numbers of cyclists killed by lorries continues to be way too high,? said Jones.

?Drivers have to learn to give cyclists more space and cyclists need to be aware of the fatal consequences of getting caught on the inside of a left-turning HGV.

TfL say London has seen a 72 per cent increase in the numbers of people of cycling since 2000, while the numbers of cyclists killed or seriously injured has fallen by 30 per cent.

A EU directive is calling for extra mirrors to provide all round visibility for drivers of lorries, to eradicate the blind spot on the left hand side of the cab.

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