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
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
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
Spain’s proposed anti-cycling law is still being confronted. We received the following thanks from the excellent Conbici : Continue reading
We normally restrict ourselves to what happens in the UK, but the Spanish government’s proposed anti-cycling law is significant for Europeans, and many of our readers are potential cycling visitors to Spain. So check up on what is proposed here and if you want to support the excellent Spanish cyclists of Conbici do write in as suggested to the Tourism Ministry. You can do this in English, but below we present you with our letter to the Traffic Directorate in Madrid with a Spanish version provided by the RDRF translation service. Continue reading
The use of the “accidental death” verdict has been campaigned on by our friends in RoadPeace . Let’s look at two recent cases:
“A man who used to chauffeur the stars of Carry-On films around Pinewood Studios died after being involved in a head-on crash while driving on the wrong side of the road near Poitiers, France. Douglas Lewis, 75, and his wide Pamela, 77, of Slough, Berkshire, were returning from their Spanish villa when they crashed into an oncoming van at 50 mph last April. Mrs Lewis was killed instantly, while Mr Lewis died three months later from his injuries. The Windsor Coroner returned a verdict of accidental death”. (The Times, 2nd February , 2013) Continue reading
Let’s be clear: I really do not want to rubbish Britain’s greatest ever racing cyclist (and my ex-club mate) yet one more time. But there are some more remarks he made last year which need to be
looked at. Plus here is my appearance at the beginning of Wiggogate on Sky News after 2: 41 at 11.34.43
Let’s get to the core of Bradley Wiggins’ (since partly retracted) comments which have caused such frenzied debate. We are actually going to have a brief look at the accumulated evidence on the
effects of cycle helmet wear – something which is rarely done. What this indicates is a remarkable lack of evidence of benefits. (This is apart from the diversionary – “red herring” – and the “dangerising “effects of helmet advocacy which are themselves worryingly negative.)
Although my view is that cyclists should indeed be allowed to wear helmets, this is on the basis of allowing all kinds of behaviours which have minimal, zero, or indeed negative benefits for the
user. It would be quite possible for “road safety” professionals with a commitment to prohibiting certain behaviours to do so. The point is to show the absence of positive evidence and to open the Pandora’s Box of road user response to danger, as we do below… Continue reading