Slam-Bang Video Backs London's Year of Cycling

London Mayor Boris Johnson and Transport for London announced a comprehensive action plan March 9 to improve bicyclists' safety in the city. Working with police departments, trucking companies, and road and cycling safety groups, they delivered a plan that includes awareness training for drivers of heavy trucks, riding training for cyclists, police enforcement targeting irresponsible vehicle drivers, working with the London Criminal Justice Board on tougher criminal penalties for cyclists' deaths and serious injuries, the first two Cycle Superhighways with mirrors attached to stoplights so truckers can see bicyclists in the inside lane before they turn left, asking delivery companies to avoid deliveries at peak times on popular biking roads, and having bike retailers and manufacturers provide safety messages at the point of sale.

Transport for London has launched an "edgy" bicycle safety advertising campaign on television and in movie theaters across London. The newest ad shows a bank robbery that goes smoothly until a bicyclist approaches, unnoticed, and collides with the getaway car. The message to drivers: The more you look out for something, the more obvious it becomes. The Bank Job ad is online at along with some other TfL bicycle safety ads.

Colliding with a heavy truck is the leading cause of death for London cyclists, with nine of the 15 cyclist deaths in 2008 happening this way. "The arrival of spring in London is now accompanied by a glorious cornucopia of cyclists taking to the streets in a purposeful display of pedal power," the mayor said. "I want each and every one of those people to be as safe as possible, and for thousands more to join them, which is why we are working in every conceivable way to give Londoners the road awareness, infrastructure, and statutory support to stay safe. This is London's year of cycling, and we are working tirelessly with the police, cycling industry, safety groups, freight operators, and more to ensure it can be enjoyed by everyone, from seasoned commuters through to those taking up cycling for the first time."

"The number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on London's roads has fallen by around a fifth in the last decade, despite the fact that cycle journeys on London's major roads have more than doubled in this time. But with an anticipated increase in the number of Londoners joining the cycle revolution following the launch of the London Cycle Hire scheme and the first two Cycle Superhighways routes this summer, we are aware that there has never been a more important time to focus on cycle safety," said Ben Plowden, director of Integrated Programme Delivery at TfL.

Posted by Jerry Laws on Mar 11, 2010

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