Action on “Cyclists stay back” stickers

cycle sticker1

Following the initial concerns raised on our website before Xmas 2013, the Road Danger Reduction Forum has come together with other organisations to explain our concerns to, and ask for action from, Transport for London.  Along with the RDRF they are the London Cycling Campaign;  CTC: the national cycling charity; RoadPeace: the national charity for road crash victims; and TABS: the Association of Bikeability Schemes:

The organisations that have signed this document have agreed the following statements about stickers aimed at cyclists on the rear of commercial vehicles in London.

 (1) The ‘cyclists stay back’ wording is not acceptable for use on any vehicle, because of its implication that cyclists are second-class road users who should defer to motor vehicle users. It also undermines the responsibility of drivers of such vehicles to use their nearside mirrors as required by the Highway Code in Rules 159,161,163, 169, 179, 180, 182, 184, and 202. Non-use of nearside mirrors is associated with a significant proportion of incidents where cyclists are hit by motor vehicles.

 (2) It is not appropriate to have stickers aimed at cyclists on the back of any vehicle smaller than a heavy goods vehicle.

 (3) Stickers are appropriate on the rear of high-cab lorries, because of these vehicles’ blind areas, and the resultant danger to other road users.

 (4) Stickers on lorries should be worded as warnings rather than commands, with appropriate graphics. A suitable graphic is attached 



 Possible wording is:                                                         CyclistsBeware

 Accordingly, we ask for the following to be done immediately:

 (1) FORS to instruct their members to remove ‘cyclists stay back’ stickers from all vehicles except high-cab heavy goods vehicles, by the end of March.

 (2) London Buses to instruct operators to remove ‘cyclists stay back’ stickers from all buses, until such time as a more appropriate design and wording is agreed with cycling organisations, by the end of March.

 (3) TfL to inform all other vehicle operators, such as Hackney carriages (LTDA etc.) that TfL do not want such stickers to be used on their vehicles, by the end of March.

 (4) TfL to develop and produce a more appropriate sticker for heavy goods vehicles, similar to the one attached to this statement, and agree the design and wording with cycling organisations, by the end of May.

 (5) TfL to supply the new sticker to freight operators, with instructions only to use it on high-cab lorries. This should be in widespread use by the end of August, with no ‘cyclists stay back’ stickers remaining after this date.

 (6) TfL to invest in designing and promoting use of lorries that do not have blind spots around the cab. Stickers are, literally, a sticking-plaster solution. The long-term solution includes designing out the source of the danger by engineering lorries to reduce or eliminate the possibility of cyclists and pedestrians being crushed in collisions with them, engineering the highway to reduce potential conflict, eliminating lorry driver “blind spots”, and by training drivers to check their mirrors properly when turning or changing lane.


for CTC, Roger Geffen

for LCC, Charlie Lloyd

for RDRF, Dr Robert Davis

for Roadpeace, Amy Aeron-Thomas

for TABS  (The Association of Bikeability Schemes) David Dansky


Do see   this and this example of what we are concerned about:2014-02-0309.00.30

8 thoughts on “Action on “Cyclists stay back” stickers

    1. rdrf Post author

      Indeed Kim, which is why we mention enforcemnet, training and redesigning lorries to minimise danger to peds and cyclists

  1. Dave H (@BCCletts)

    A long-winded version might read,

    Be sure to make eye contact with the driver when sharing the road with this vehicle.

    This is a 2-way message rather than an order, encouraging the use of eye contact as a key way to be aware of each other road user. The message can be repeated – for example at locations where a significant pedestrian traffic is likely to cross the carriageway, reminding both pedestrians and wheeled road users to make that ‘handshake’ connection when their paths are likely to cross.

    Or more succinctly with appropriate pictures/cartoon images for front and rear and side of vehicle.

    make Eye Contact
    the Only Contact
    you have with
    the driver & this vehicle

    At rear photo from rear of cyclists head looking forward via external mirror at driver’s eyes or view from behind driver’s head, looking back through mirror at cyclist looking at driver via mirror.

    At side view of cyclist looking across in to cab OR view from behind driver’s head looking directly or via mirror at cyclist looking back

    At front view of cyclist looking back from ASL through windscreen to driver looking at cyclist, or view from behind driver’s head through screen to cyclist looking back at driver.

    This message has the near universal application to the relationships between all road users, on foot, on horse, on cycles, in cars and driving buses and trucks. It applies to all of them.

    For wheeled user-pedestrian interface there might be

    Eye Contact avoids Crash Contact
    Make sure they’ve seen you and you both avoid a collision

  2. Fred

    If these companies want to put up notices to improve safety, it is not unreasonable to expect them to put up notices for those most able to prevent accidents.

    I suggest prominently in every cab a sign is put up with:

    – ONLY overtake where there is sufficient space and it is safe to do so.
    – ALWAYS look for cyclists in Advanced Stop Zones and cycle lanes BEFORE setting off from junctions.
    – CHECK mirrors BEFORE turning or changing lanes.
    – NEVER text or use a mobile phone when driving.
    – DO NOT drive in bike lanes, do not stop in Advanced Stop Zones.

    (or similar)

    Should we be asking for all companies who put signs on the back to put big signs in the cab?

    1. rdrf Post author

      Good points Fred. Also don’t break speed limits, check what YOU have to do according to the Highway Code etc.

    1. rdrf Post author

      I have received a response from TfL yesterday (Tuesday 22nd Aeil). I have e-mailed the other signatories to find out what they think, then we will respond to TfL and I will update everybody then,


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