Bicycle riders need to take more responsibility for their own safety in the wake of a spate of cyclists’ deaths, one of London’s top police officers has said.
Chief Superintendent Glyn Jones’s comments came after launching a new initiative that will see 2,500 officers being asked to reinforce traffic rules in the capital’s most notorious black spots from tomorrow.
The initiative was in response to the worrying statistic that six cyclists have been killed on London’s roads in two weeks.
Mr Jones said while he “didn’t want to point the finger at anyone”, cyclists were at an obvious disadvantage on the roads.
“I think the more vulnerable you are, the more careful you need to be - even if the law is on your side,” he said.
“It is no comfort to a grieving family, but yes, the more vulnerable you are, the more care you need to take.”
Mr Jones said a major problem area was cyclists trying to pass a lorry or heavy vehicle on the left side before it makes a left-hand turn.
More than half the cyclists who have died on London’s roads since January 2010 were killed in this way, he said.
“I’m not saying they’re doing anything wrong,” he said.
“What I am saying is if you approach a junction and there’s an HGV (heavy goods vehicle), it might be more prudent to hang back than try to overtake the HGV on the inside.”
Mr Jones said police would be enforcing all road rules during the blitz, including failing to stop at red lights, failing to stop at advance lines for cyclists and using mobile phones.
The initiative would not cost New Scotland Yard anything because resources would be allocated from other areas.
An unnamed man, believed to be 61, was killed after his bike and a lorry collided at about noon yesterday.
Last Wednesday, a 21-year-old male cyclist, who is also yet to be named, died after a collision with a double-decker bus at the junction of Whitechapel Road and Commercial Road.
Earlier that day, Russian Verena Minakhmetova, 24, was killed after her bike and a lorry collided on the Bow roundabout in east London.
A day earlier, IT consultant Roger William De Klerk, 43, of Forest Hill, died after a collision with a bus outside East Croydon railway station. He died in St George’s Hospital shortly after the incident.
On November 5, architect Francis Golding, 69, was in a crash with a coach in Southampton Row, central London. He died three days later in St Mary’s hospital.
Just hours earlier, hospital porter Brian Holt, 62, died at the scene of a collision with a tipper lorry on Mile End Road.