What is a “blind spot”?

salisburyplain

The problem of cyclist warning stickers started in London (for the last account of what this issue is all about, with reference to the time line see this post ). While there are more important issues to be dealt with in the area of lorry safety as described here  , sometimes relatively minor issues may well still need to be addressed.

This photograph of a vehicle on Salisbury Plain (HT Martin Baldwin) got me thinking: what exactly is a “blind spot”? The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary says:

“an area where vision or understanding is lacking”

As followers of this saga will know, for the vehicle above, there is no lacking of “vision” if the driver is using their near side wing mirror as instructed by the Highway Code. What is lacking is the “understanding” that they have this obligation.

The Cambridge Dictionary says:

“a subject that you find very difficult to understand at all, sometimes because you are not willing to try”

In this area, as in so many others, understanding – and willingness to try to understand – is important.

Our objective, along with other road danger reduction and cyclist stakeholders is that Transport for London, other highway authorities, bodies like CLOCS and operators , the Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS), drivers and police understand what needs to be done in order to reduce lorry danger. Achieving this objective may well involve chasing up bodies like FORS (that have clear criteria of which vehicles can have stickers on them) even if it is low on the list of priorities.

Perhaps it is the case that addressing the relatively minor issues can lead to more commitment towards resolving the main ones.

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