In February 2014 the Road Danger Reduction Forum, along with the London Cycling Campaign; CTC: the national cycling charity; RoadPeace: the national charity for road crash victims; and TABS: the Association of Bikeability Schemes came together to explain our concerns to, and ask for action from, Transport for London. Last week we received a reply from TfL (see below). Because we think that this reply misunderstood the basis of our concerns, our organisations sent a reply today repeating them and suggesting ways forward, as follows: Continue reading
Photo from Local Transport Today 644 (4th April 2014)
Below is the text of a letter published in Local Transport Today 644 in response to a long letter from Professor Oliver Carsten in the previous issue showing how the UK’s “road safety record” is presented in an undeservedly “sunny” light. I state that the way he points this out is welcome, but needs to go a lot further… Continue reading
Photos: AA Charitable Trust
One million wing-mirror stickers are being sent out by the AA to remind drivers to watch out for two-wheelers on the road. The campaign is based on a poll for the AA showing that nine out of ten motorists admit that when driving, “it is sometimes hard to see cyclists”, with 55 percent of motorists claiming that they are often “surprised when a cyclist appears from nowhere.” It’s nice to see AA president Edmund King say that: “The AA Think Bikes campaign is definitely needed when half of drivers are often surprised when a cyclist or motorcyclist ‘appears from nowhere’. Those on two wheels never appear from nowhere (our emphasis) so as drivers we need to be more alert to other road users and this is where our stickers act as a daily reminder”.
So is this an unequivocal step forward? The main feature of this, as with so many other similar campaigns, is what it tells us about the beliefs underlying what passes for “road safety” – beliefs which we have to challenge.
So let’s take a look at the campaign and what underlies it in some detail: Continue reading
My last post argues in favour of the potential benefits from traffic policing, but that – unlike the apparent bias underlying Operation Safeway – it needs to be done differently. The key point is to prioritise law and rule breaking done by those with greater potential to endanger other road users. Otherwise the bias, which is not so much against law breaking cyclists as in favour of law and rule breaking motorists, will continue. So here are some ideas: Continue reading
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