A Waterford bicycle user who participated in the making of a Road Safety Authority video designed to highlight the danger of “blind spots” which can’t be seen by truck drivers says the video was faked.
He had replied to an advert posted on the Waterford Institute of Technology Facebook page and reposted on the student union page. He contacted IrishCycle.com after a large number of commenters on the Road Safety Authority (RSA) Facebook page said that the video was edited or “faked”.
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“I took part in the most recent RSA video with the truck and the cyclists and the claims [that the video was faked] are right if you would like an insight,” said Eoghan Patrick O’Hara.
The RSA video starts with the camera in driver-seat of the cab of a HGV truck, the camera looks to empty mirrors on the left hand side of the truck, before the camera person gets out of the truck and walks around to see a number of people on bicycles who were not visible in the truck’s mirrors. The video is designed to be a copy of similar video made for Transport for London.
However, with the RSA video it is claimed that the people placed at the side of the truck should have been at least partly visible in the truck’s smaller, wide-angled mirror. This is backed by the location of the RSA logo on the truck and horizontal markers on the ground behind the truck.
“Basically while the camera man was inside the cab looking in the mirror, all the cyclists were on their bikes close to the fence. During the time, while the camera man was leaving the cab and walked around, the cyclists moved into place,” said O’Hara. “In the beginning they placed us in the ‘finish’ position but it didn’t work so that was there idea that we move into place.”
He added: “I saw this on the WIT website, I got a forty euro Oneforall voucher and I have a letter from the RSA thanking me for my participation.”
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The RSA has denied that the video was faked.
A spokesman for the RSA, Brian Farrell, said; “The video was not faked. It is an adaptation of the Transport Research Laboratory video in the UK, whose permission we sought to replicate it here in Ireland.”
Farrell added: “Some support for the campaign instead of efforts to discredit it would be much appreciated and more constructive.”
The comments of the RSA’s official Facebook page have gone unchallenged by the RSA — with no engagement by the authority with commenters.
One commenter, Robert Mitten, said: “I have looked at it a few times now, in the mirror you can see the orange square on the trailer and the wheels….when the driver goes around you can see cyclists under that orange square that would have been viable. I know the point of the video but don’t need to over state it.”
Shaun Innes said: “I 100% get the point but at least make a real video!!”
One commenter, Gary Hogan, claims to be a truck driver and complains about the behaviour of those who cycle in Dublin, said “I’m a HGV driver and for one he should see then in his mirrors even where they are at the point you reveal them if his mirrors where positioned correctly as the wide angle mirror.”
Another, Lester Gale, writes: “I understand the importance of that vid and it would be very foolish to go anywhere near that truck or any other whilst it’s manoeuvring….BUT that vid is fake. The reflections in the mirrors would easily show most of those riders. (Pause it).”
Diarmuid Cogan said: “I know they’re trying to make a point but this video is complete BS! Five seconds in you can see the trailer wheels, side crash bars & surrounding tarmac fully in both mirrors, yet when the camera swings around they’re completely hidden by the cyclists.”
Here are the stills from the video: