Mostly Left Turns

© Graeme Weston

“Mostly Left Turns” is a project visually documenting the locations of all cycling fatalities in London during 2015. It consists of a series of photographs depicting the last movements of the eight cyclists killed so far this year. The title reflects the fact that all but one these deaths were caused by left-turning lorries. The one exception being the death of Clifton James in Harrow who was killed by a car. Of the seven cyclist killed by lorries it’s notable that six of these were women.

The eight fatal accidents presented here are in chronological order. Each photograph is taken at the site of the accident, and a light trail depicts the last moments of the journey of the cyclist. Where the light trail ends is the spot the cyclist was struck, and more often than not, killed instantly.

The light trails were created by a cyclist riding towards the camera set to a long exposure, their bike fitted with a very bright, but commonly available, bike-light. It seemed important somehow that a bicycle be used as an integral part of making these images. In every instance myself and a friend, Tim May, rode to the scenes at dawn in order to take the photographs without any traffic present.

Last year cyclists undertook a record 23 million journeys in the capital. This is expected to rise by ten per cent in 2015. Despite 2014 being called “the safest year on record” by Transport for London, 13 cyclists died on London’s roads — “safest” maybe, but certainly not safe.

“Mostly Left Turns” won the Lens Culture 2015 Visual Storytelling Award.

click to view the complete set of images in the archive