Category Archives: Road Danger Reduction

What traffic policing COULD be like

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

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

Hi-viz for cyclists and pedestrians: the evidence and context

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UPDATE: 24/04/2014- the scan below should now be readable! Below I post a scan of Chapter 9 from “Death on the Streets: cars and the mythology of road safety“. Since the subject of cyclist and pedestrian conspicuity has raised such interest, I took another look at the evidence for conspicuity aids such as h-viz clothing, and the context in which the advocacy of such items occurs. In the twenty years since publication, I am not aware of any fresh evidence which contradicts the conclusions to this Chapter, or the Precaution  which I suggest is taken when considering advocacy of hi-viz. Continue reading

How pro-cycling is Labour?

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Maria Eagle (Photo: Daily Telegraph)

In the parliamentary debate on “Get Britain Cycling”   it wasn’t just the CTC who thought that the most impressive speech came from Labour’s frontbench spokesperson, Shadow Secretary of State Maria Eagle”.

We look at her contribution below, in the context of the evidence we have to assess what Labour is likely to actually do if it comes to power. For while Labour formally endorsed “Get Britain Cycling” at their annual conference , there are key areas where necessary commitment to achieve the aims of the report is apparently lacking. 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

How pro-cycling are the Liberal Democrats?

The last post gave some detail on how anti-cycling this Government is. Of course, we are aware that the current government is a coalition with the Liberal Democrats in it. But the Liberal Democrats have now officially adopted the Get Britain Cycling report recommendations as Lib Dem policy , and it is fair to say that the Liberal Democrats have, on the whole, tended to be more positive on the cycling front. Indeed, they may well have been a corrective force against some of the worst of the Conservatives’ efforts  on transport policy. Let’s look in more detail at the Liberal Democrats and cycling. Continue reading

The “Get Britain Cycling” Parliamentary debate: Should anything be “done for cyclists”?

Now that I have your attention: the clue to my question is in the quotation marks. As we line up for the September 2nd House of Commons debate on cycling  , I discuss below how the phrasing of the question tells us about many of the problems confronting cycling. Continue reading