Page last updated at 12:50 GMT, Thursday, 16 July 2009 13:50 UK

Cyclists warned of killer lorries

Mural of Lisa Pontecorvo
This mural of Lisa Pontecorvo was painted after she was killed by a lorry

A campaign launched by Transport for London (TfL) will warn cyclists about lorries - which caused more than half the city's bicycle deaths in 2008.

Nine of the 15 cyclists killed last year were hit by trucks.

Now TfL has released a film outlining four "golden rules" for vehicles and cyclists to help prevent accidents.

But critics say a campaign alone is not enough - and all lorries should be forced to use a frontal mirror they say could save many lives.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "I want Londoners to feel 100% confident about getting on their bikes.

"It's crucial lorry drivers and cyclists look out for one another and behave in a way that keeps them safe."

Emily Thornberry MP
I welcome the campaign but it's not enough
Emily Thornberry MP

TfL also hopes cyclists will take training - offered for free in many London boroughs - to keep them safe on the roads.

Mr Johnson added: "I urge drivers and cyclists to watch this short film and would encourage everyone to give cycle training a go."

But Emily Thornberry, MP for Islington South and Finsbury, said a campaign alone was not enough.

Her friend, cyclist Lisa Pontecorvo, died last year in Holloway under the wheels of a cement mixer.

It was not fitted with a mirror.

Cyclists should avoid undertaking lorries on the left-hand side, especially at lights
If cyclists cannot see a lorry's mirror, the driver can't see them
To be seen, cyclists should position themselves far ahead of lorries when stopped in traffic
Lorry drivers must keep checking the left wing mirror for cyclists

Ms Thornberry told BBC London: "It's very important that people realise how dangerous lorries are - so I do support the campaign.

"But it is even more important that lorries are fitted with mirrors so they can see cyclists."

Ms Thornberry wants all lorries to be fitted with a 'class six' frontal mirror so drivers can see cyclists under the level of their windscreen.

But at the moment they are only compulsory on vehicles built since 2006.

She added: "I welcome the campaign but it's not enough."


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