Wednesday 23 June 2010 8.03pm
I saw the aftermath of today's accident while heading north along BHS to turn right into Great Dover St. and then left into Long Lane
Noting that it was a Keltbray truck, and seeing the mangled bicycle my first thought was that I hoped to God the cyclist was okay.
My second thought was, as soon as I log on to the forum this evening, as sure as night follows day there will be a line of posters clamouring for a ban on trucks, or claiming that Keltbray drivers are the modern day equivalent of Rome's charioteers.
First off, I have NO idea whatsoever of who was at fault in this incident, but as the holder of a Class 1 HGV licence, albeit not having driven one for 20 years, I can attest to the fact that a left turn from GDS into BHS is one hell of a lot easier with an articulated vehicle than with an 8 wheeled tipper, (I know they have more than eight wheels, but they are called 8 wheelers because they have 4 axles).
They just do not have the steering "lock" to make it an easy manoeuvre. The truck would have to be virtually in the right turn lane prior to turning left in order to successfully negotiate the turn.
Nothing wrong in that, providing he had his left turn indicators flashing.
Part of the problem in these incidents is the fact that other road users, cyclists, motor cyclists, car drivers etc. do not appear to have the ability to "read" a given situation, or can "read" it but choose to ignore the obvious.
If a truck or other large vehicle was in the offside lane but clearly indicating a left turn, they seem to think (a) he's got the wrong indicator on, or (b), I can see that he's going to turn left but I can get up the inside before he does turn.
I reiterate, I have NO idea whether the cyclist took a chance and tried to go round "with" the truck as it turned, or whether the cyclist was ahead of the truck and the driver passed him/her, then made the turn.
I am just saying that as someone who drives the streets of London daily, I can state with a certainty that it emphatically is NOT always the truck driver at fault.