Brockley cyclist survives after crowd lifts car off her

Brockley resident Claire Pepper survived being hit by a car in Spitalfields after 10 people rallied round to lift the VW Golf off her, almost as though the spirit of Brockley was flowing through their veins. The Standard has the full story.

She says: “The last thing I remember is cycling from work in Kingsland Road. I woke up at about 2am this morning but I have no recollection of what happened. If I had not been wearing my helmet I would have died."

We wish Claire a speedy recovery. It's also good to know that there are nice Londoners everywhere.

And here's a link to her photography portfolio, which seems like the least we can do.

18 comments:

anonymous said...

Thanks goodness you were wearing a helmet. I wish the media focused more often on stories like this to raise awareness of how wearing a helmet can save lives. I'm from Australia where it's illegal to not wear a helmet and has been for as long as i can remember. I've lived here for 12 years now and I still can't believe after all that is said and done about bike safety, a simple law about helmets can't be introduced which would save more lives like Claire's on our roads. While they are it, listening to music while cycling on the road should also be banned. Hope you have a speedy recovery Claire!

thesp said...

Really?

"She said the helmet she bought just two days ago was destroyed."


That helped then. Evidence suggests that anywhere that a compulsory helmet law has been introduced, cycling rates have plummeted. Just look at Australia.


Helmets are an attempt to plaster over the problem when we need to deal with the issue at source. Inadequate, antiquated road design that overwhelmingly favours motor vehicles. Speaks volumes that in countries where road design is the focus (Netherlands, Denmark), people rarely use helmets.

Guest said...

Honestly, of course most people are good, decent and kind.

terrencetrentderby said...

Unless you can magically reduce car usership and widen roads for dedicated bike lanes helmets will have to do. Don't see London being cycle friendly anytime soon, crappy dangerous cycle "superhighways" notwithstanding. in fact as the population goes up it's only going to get worse. Cycling in London during rush hour is rubbish and lethal.

Meirion said...

Research shows kids should wear helmets but much less clear about adults. Drivers go much closer to cyclists wearing helmets and knock them over more often. Story could be just as easily 'cyclist knocked off bike because wearing helmet' as 'cyclist not killed because wearing helmet'.

Something needs to be done said...

You may not have noticed but it is becoming more and more expensive to own and run a car in London. There is nothing magical about increased taxes, congestion control zones, parking zones and zealous traffic wardens.

Cycling could be made safer with proper cycle highways and redesigned junctions rather than a bit of blue paint.
It seems hardly a month goes by without another death.

Our famously cycle-happy mayor needs to be on the case.

Claire Pepper said...

In this case though, it seems the driver didn't see me and it was a full force collision which I imagine the most serious accidents are. If I hadn't been wearing a helmet I would be dead or have a very serious head injury, that's a fact, which is more reliable than trying to psycho-analyse drivers I think. Claire x

Paul Bell said...

Get well soon Claire.

maisie_moo said...

Article in the Independent about this: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/it-is-the-bystanders-who-helped-lift-a-car-off-a-cyclist-at-spitalfields--and-who-saved-me--that-represent-the-real-britain-8937218.html

Meirion said...

Yours is a great survival story. Glad you made it. I was just pointing out that there is research suggesting you're more likely to be hit if you're wearing a helmet but I can't imagine you'd ever cycle without a helmet after that experience.

headhunter said...

The law obliging cyclists too wear helmets in Australia had certainly reduced the number of cycling fatalities but it has also massively reduced the number of cyclists. In fact the number of cycling fatalities has not fallen by as high a percentage as the number of cyclists overall putting huge doubt over the validity of the law. cycling is a hugely accessible exercise for most people but as soon as you put hurdles in the way may people simply stop cycling and drive instead and the cost of this is higher pollution levels, higher obesity levels and general ill health the cost of which ultimately falls to the nhs and the taxpayer. Cycle helmets are generally tested to withstand impacts of up to around 10 mph against a stationary object but of course most accidents between cyclists and moving traffic involve far faster speeds than this. What the UK and indeed Australia for that matter needs to do is focus on making cycling MORE accessible and to stop putting the onus on the potential victim and create car free, accessible cycle routes rather than force cyclists to wear helmets. Look at possibly the 2 most cycle friendly countries in the world, Holland and Denmark, do people in those countries wear helmets? No!

Anon said...

How is having to wear a helmet "a hurdle"? Buy a helmet, put it on your head. Easy.

Penny Farthing said...

Because I may be older I remember same sort of discussions re wearing seatbelts. Really it's a no brainer, your civil liberties really are not being infringed. Just lessen the odds and help yourselves. I cycled in London, I got knocked off and was pleased I had a helmet on. Now I drive every morning and traverse Lewisham roundabout-it's a nightmare for car drivers, god knows how terrifying it it for cyclists either showing streetcraft or otherwise. Don't fight so hard and up the odds of staying alive.

headhunter said...

Doesn't bother me, I always wear a helmet but if you're not a lycra/all the gear cyclist like me and want to ride your bike gently in normal clothes or even a suit, having done your make up and hair etc, (as is the norm in Denmark and Holland) sticking a helmet on and subsequently having to lug it around all day is a hurdle. If helmet wearing was made law then Boris bikes would be dead in the water and all those people would then be on the tube, buses, in cars etc.

Headhunter said...

A lot of people bring up the seatbelts in cars argument when discussing helmets for cyclists however there is very clear and definite evidence that seatbelts help in the majority of accidents involving motor vehicles, as do airbags, crumple zones etc. There is NOT clear evidence that helmets help in most cases with accidents involving cyclists.



We're talking about a plastic coated piece of polystyrene which is tested to withstand direct impacts of up to around 10-12mph (British testing standards). Many accidents with motor vehicles involve combined speeds much higher than this. Additionally, as someone mentioned above, there is definite evidence that motorists (consciously or unconsciously) take more risks and drive more closely to cyclists with helmets.



People seem to believe that helmets are some kind of force field for cyclists, preventing all injury, although they help in some situations, they're really not the panacea to safety some people seem to believe they are and like it or not, they present a significant hurdle to general cycling by the average man/woman who just wants to get around on a bike...

Anonymous said...

Why not force helmet sellers to display the speed it is tested up to? Then helmets will start being designed for higher speeds. Not many people are likely to decide a 10-12mph helmet is good enough if there are 30mph helmets.

headhunter said...

As far as I'm aware, no helmets are designed to withstand impacts at any higher speed. The British standard test forcycle helmets involves strapping the helmet to head shaped hammer device and then driving it into a flat, stationary surface at about 10-12 mph. That's it. No consideration for side impacts, no consideration for the fact that in most accidents, cyclists hit moving objects with much higher combined speed. The problem is, without making cycle helmets even bigger and bulkier like a motorbike helmet, not a lot can be done. Hence my earlier comment that people need to focus in supporting proper car free cycle facilities if we're really serious in this country about getting people to get out of their cars and cycle more. Ultimately helmet wearing is a patch remedy at best...

cyclemania said...

London gets blue paint and a lot of bluster.

Other countries take cycling seriously.

Look at this wonderful suspended cycle roundabout in The Netherlands.

http://vimeo.com/71511991

No lorries or buses there.

London could do with the few of these.

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