Trial of Roadside Safety mirrors for Cycle visibility

  • Published: Transport for London report 10016
  • Authors: Transporty for London
  • Date Added: 27 Jun 2013
  • Last Update: 16 May 2014
  • Format: pdf


Transport for London (TfL) has obtained permission from the Department for Transport (DfT) to undertake a trial of roadside safety mirrors, which are designed to improve the visibility of cyclists that have entered a large good vehicle (LGV) driver’s near side blind spot, thus reducing the risk of a collision between cyclists and LGVs, particularly when the LGV is turning left. These roadside safety mirrors have been installed at key junctions, primarily on the Barclays Cycle Superhighway routes.


51 LGV drivers were asked about their experience and opinions of the roadside safety mirrors. These interviews were conducted over the telephone. Only drivers that had either been spotted travelling along the route, or were confirmed to have used the route following an approach to their company, were included in the sample.

20 cyclists and 20 car/van drivers were intercepted and interviewed at natural stopping places (for example bicycle/car parks) after they had been through a junction fitted with a roadside safety mirror.

Key Findings:

  • Awareness of roadside safety mirrors - Almost half of the LGV drivers that had driven through the trial junctions recalled the roadside safety mirrors when prompted and over a quarter stated that they used them. A third of cyclists and car/van drivers recalled seeing the mirrors.

  • Understanding of roadside safety mirrors - LGV drivers understood that the purpose of the mirrors was to help them see cyclists and other road users in their near side blind spot. Almost all stated that the mirrors would improve the safety at the junctions for cyclists and LGVs. Three quarters stated that the mirrors would increase safety for pedestrians. Cyclists and car/van drivers understood that the mirrors would help increase visibility but fewer made the link specifically with LGVs.

  • Perception of roadside safety mirrors’ impact on safety - The majority of LGV drivers, cyclists and car/van drivers believed that roadside safety mirrors would improve cyclists’ safety, and most LGV drivers said unprompted that they were intended to help them either see cyclists better or reduce their blind spots.

  • Impact of roadside safety mirrors on behaviour - LGV drivers expressed concern about the safety of cyclists, many mentioning without prompting the dangers of cyclists entering their blind spots (particularly those on the near side of their vehicle, though this was not always specified).