A City trader’s passing on the 25th June in hospital took the cyclists’ death toll in London to eight.
Fifty one year old Jerome Roussel had a collision with a lorry on Pentonville Road near King’s Cross railway station on the 2nd May.
Roussel had moved to the UK in 2001 along with his interior designer wife. He was unusual in his business in that he was still on the trading floor at that age, but did it for the love of the job.
No speed fiend
A keen cyclist, his Strava profile showed that Roussel cycled more than 300 miles a month. He wasn’t dangerous with it – a close friend who cycled past the accident (unaware it was his friend who was the victim) pointed out, “He wouldn’t jump lights, he wasn’t a weaver. I just think it was one of those complete freak things.”
While there are a number of cyclists in London who take risks on the road, the point this raises is that all cyclists are at risk of being hit and killed on the streets of London. There are a number of female cyclists who get into serious trouble every year (women are more cautious by and large than men), and this goes to reinforce the fact.
Transport for London and lorries
No arrests have been made by the Met Police over the accident that killed Roussel. This suggests that the investigation concluded that it was an accident and not bad driving on the part of the truck driver.
Recognising that a disproportionate number of cyclists get killed and seriously injured on London’s roads due to collisions with lorries, Transport for London has put in two schemes that should reduce the problem significantly: the Safer Lorry Scheme (SLS) and the Direct Vision Standard.
The Safer Lorry Scheme is designed to make it difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to get tangled under the wheels of trucks on London’s roads. The new Direct Vision Standard (DVS) is designed to enable truck drivers to see more of the road around them, notably the left-hand side at road level should they be doing a left turn and potentially take out an unwitting cyclist.
While trade bodies such as the Road Haulage Association criticise the move, saying that it costs hauliers money to meet the regulatory standards for safety on the city’s roads, it should start improving safety overall.
An Inquest will be opened on the 8th November and it will be interesting to see what the Coroner’s verdict will be. Could further changes be made to cycling habits or driver training that haven’t already been made already?
For a cyclist in London today, while the roads are the safest they have ever been proportional to the number of cyclists on the roads, it does pay to take care when nipping up a lorry’s blindside.
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