Sat 1 Mar, 2008 10:22 pm
Radio Netherlands Press Review Service
RNW Press Review - Thursday 28 February 2008
* Women cyclists
De Volkskrant reports that lorry drivers are happy with the alarm systems and blind spot mirrors installed on their vehicles in order to prevent them running over cyclists. In an attempt to cut the number accidents involving cyclists and lorries, government made blind spot mirrors mandatory in 2003. According to de Volkskrant, some trucks also have alarm systems installed that warn pedestrians and cyclists that a vehicle is planning to make a right turn.
The paper interviews the driver of a rubbish collection lorry who says he is extremely happy with the system but that there is a little problem with it, namely that it's illegal. The paper also reports that a woman cyclist was run over in Amsterdam on Wednesday. The truck was about to make a right turn and the driver did not see the cyclist.
De Telegraaf reports that women cyclists are more frequently victims of blind spot accidents than their male counterparts. The paper interviews an Amsterdam police officer who says, "we can't prove it scientifically but that's what our officers on the street say. It's because women cyclists wait until the traffic lights turn green before cycling on. This means they start off at the same time as lorries and get run over. Most men run the red light so they're already gone by the time the lorry turns".
It sucks when drivers don't signal their intent to turn. Generally when I'm riding, I cycle on when the other side's traffic light turns yellow, or I see that they're braking to stop. On the bike, you start to learn the traffic light patterns at the different intersections on your route, because it's a pain in the ass to have to unclip from the pedal, put your foot down and stop, clip back into the pedal and accelerate. Sometimes you can time yourself and coast to where you reach the intersection when the light is about to change.