Category Archives: Cycle helmets

What’s wrong with Halfords’ “Cycling Top Tips”?

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From Halfords cycle2work leaflet

 Halfords, as well as being a large car parts and servicing business, is a major cycle retail business and operates a “Cycle to Work” government approved initiative to enable employees to use a bike and accessories to cycle to work. We think the extract from their “cycle2work” leaflet sends out the wrong message about cycling. Here’s why: Continue reading

What is the Advertising Standards Authority for?

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Health warnings on car ads?

First, the good news. The idiotic ruling of the ASA described here has been withdrawn following a veritable storm of protest. It is good to see that a diverse (and normally often disunited) community of cyclists and others concerned about a civilised approach to cycling and safety on the road can swiftly summon up good quality arguments and have an effect.

But this is just the start. This matter is far from being resolved, and it may well be that the outcome is a quite unsatisfactory judgement about the portrayal of cycling. We need to examine the issues regarding ASA judgements on matters of safety on the road in more detail. Continue reading

An idiotic judgement by the Advertising Standards Authority

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 You are not supposed to see this picture

A piece of idiocy by the ASA has caused justified anger among cycling groups and others concerned with a civilised approach to danger on the road.

 

You can read about it here here here  and also here the CTC’s comments are here:

 The RDRF objects to the ASA’s decision on the basis that: Continue reading

The effects of New Zealand’s cycle helmet law: The evidence and what it means.

Our post on the effects of the NZ cycle helmet law  has had more views than any other so far on www.rdrf.org.uk . Prompted by this, below we:

(i)              Give fuller references to the evidence.

(ii)             Suggest the reason for the observed changes (particularly the apparent adverse effects on cyclist casualty rates).

(iii)              Look at helmet advocacy in the context of a car dominated “road safety” culture.

Continue reading

The effects of New Zealand’s cycle helmet law

Below is a  graph by Chris Gilham looking at cycling (those of all ages over 5) in New Zealand. Look at levels of cycling and the cyclist injury rate following the introduction of the mandatory cycle helmet law. More to come on the analysis of this graph in the next post.

NewZealandHelmetsv6For more detailed evidence on the effect of the NZ law, and what it means, see our post here

Is there a police blitz on unsafe driving in London?

Clare in the community: Phoney war

Harry Venning of the Guardian’s take on the “blitz” in “Clare in the Community”

After a spate of cyclist deaths in London, cyclist safety is on the national agenda. For some, getting cyclist safety in the public eye is inherently good – we’re not so sure. The key issue is, after all, to do the right things for the safety of cyclists. Last week we were told that there is a “new zero-tolerance approach”  with a “huge escalation” in policing involving “stopping lorries and cars and where there is unsafe driving they will be taken off the road.”

But is a blitz on unsafe driving – under what is called “Operation Safeway” in London – actually happening? We don’t think so. So what exactly is going on? Continue reading

Victim Blaming News Bulletin 3rd October 2013

If you are reading this on www.rdrf.org.uk  or are an addressee, you shouldn’t need to know what is so vile and destructive about this.
But there are important explanations required.
We need to understand how self-blame can – albeit ultimately destructive – can give a false but seductive relief from the grief of losing a loved one.(Although, of course, it is also deeply offensive to so many of the loved ones of those who have also died in this way).
We also, yet again, have to state the “bleeding obvious” that wearing a cycle helmet does not stop a human body being crushed underneath a lorry.
But we need to go a lot, lot further.
We need to go further than showing that cyclists  “taking a test” isn’t the issue when reducing danger at source – for the safety of all road users – is.
We need to show how the pride and “owning the road” mentality of all too many drivers comes at least partly from their “driving test”. We need to reveal the absence of evidence on the positive effects of wearing bicycle crash helmets in general.
We need to reveal how these and other elements of this culture perceives “road safety”  are indeed, part of the problem of danger on the road.
And that a civilised approach to getting about has to tackle this ideology at root and branch,
Dr Robert Davis, Chair, Road Danger Reduction Forum

2013 – 20th year of the Road Danger Reduction Forum

The “real reason” for Bradley Wiggins’ lack of results in 2013

After Bradley Wiggins’ annus mirabilis of success in 2012, his progress in 2013 has been disappointing:  missing out on his aim of winning the Giro d’Italia and now announcing the end of his Grand Tour ambitions. We can now reveal the “real reason” for this – the same as for his injury and consequent failure in the 2011 Tour de France. Continue reading