The message is to “hang back”, and it is communicated by way of the following video.
The video has been near-universally panned online, however (including by West Midlands Police) because it appears to show a “left hook” manoeuvre; where a driver overtakes and then turns left, leaving the rider nowhere to go. In other words, it shows a collision which is not the fault of the rider and over which they have very little control, and therefore where the message of the film is impotent.
Once the scene has been set by images ranging from the aggressive (boxing) through the surreal (a falling piano) to what some considered distasteful (meat being butchered), the viewer is shown a rather odd sequence of events.
First the rider is shown seemingly passing the lorry to its nearside. (Note that the lorry driver is not indicating to turn left, and is driving on the wrong side of the carriageway: the placement of the on-road “20” signage indicates that this is a two-way road. Edit: it is, it’s Monier Road in East London.)
This is a manoeuvre which, whilst not strictly illegal, is understandably disadvised—notwithstanding the fact that separate cycle lanes often appear in this exact location. But it’s also a manoeuvre which, on a free-flowing road such as the one shown, is extremely unlikely because of the normal speeds of each vehicle, which makes this section of the film appear very contrived.
The circumstances in which such passing would ordinarily occur are where flow is restricted and traffic is moving slowly, and the Highway Code has clear guidance regarding this: for instance, rule 151 says that “in slow-moving traffic you should be aware of cyclists and motorcyclists who may be passing on either side”.
The next cut in the sequence, however, shows the HGV clearly moving faster than the bicycle. The driver is now indicating left and pulls across in front of the rider.
Again it is possible to point out Highway Code guidance. Rule 182 is very clear: “Do not overtake just before you turn left…watch out for traffic coming up on your left…cyclists in particular may be hidden from your view.”
The film-makers now allow all their metaphors to reach their conclusion: the boxer is right-hooked (missing an obvious trick, there), the piano explodes, the meat is cleaved, and so on. And we are left with the final shot of the collision scene, with the overall style of the film highly reminiscent of Top Gear’s deliberately confrontational efforts.
Unfortunately, when anyone is injured or killed by a left turning HGV driver, the public’s assumption—and this can be seen clearly in comments on the web whenever this is reported—is that the victim must have consciously put themselves in this position. It rarely seems to occur to people that it often happens by way of a left hook, and this film serves only to cement that narrow and prejudicial view.
Some commenters have pointed out the ASA’s online complaint form.