This is our response to the DfT’s “A consultation on changes to the treatment of penalties for careless driving and other motoring offences” . It states that the Government recognises that “careless driving is a serious road safety problem”. Do the proposals treat it as such? No, we don’t think so. The measure proposed is pathetic with regard to the scale of suggested FPN ticketing, with inadequate fines and an unjustified reliance on remedial training of offenders. Here is our response: Continue reading
Let’s look at the rest of TfL’s “Towards a Road Safety Action Plan for London: 2020” It is basically the usual confusions, distortions and misguided mythology of “road safety” ideology. We have outlined some of the typical problems here, and, as always, suggest a look at: John Adams’ “Risk and Freedom: the record of road safety regulation” and a short discussion in his “Managing transport risks: what works?” Let’s consider some of the points made in the TfL document: Continue reading
Transport for London is holding a consultation process about this document until 28th September 2012. Obviously we wouldn’t expect a break from traditional “road safety” ideology in such a
document, but this one is particularly bad. Our colleagues in the CTC, for example, have criticised it for victim blaming and not moving forward from the 1960s. And there is one absolutely disgraceful feature to it. Continue reading
OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY: an area in which a person lacks understanding or impartiality; COLLINS: a subject about which a person is ignorant or prejudiced, or an occupation in which he is inefficient
We are pleased to support “See Me Save Me”. It is an organisation entrenched in the road danger reduction approach : and as such committed to reducing danger from lorries – towards pedestrians as well as cyclists – at source. We believe that doing this will require examining what exactly is meant by a “blind spot”. This not so much a question of technical fixes, but like all questions of safety on the road, about the power of some road users to endanger others. Continue reading
Photo: Victor Patterson
As we approach the 27th anniversary of one of the first “road safety” conferences I ever attended, “Ways to safer cycling” , I recall the words of the key speaker there: Minister of State, Lynda Chalker: “To the “Three Es” of road safety: Engineering, Education and Enforcement, we should add a fourth “E” – Encouragement – we should be encouraging cycling”. It serves as an introduction to a progress report on current campaigning for cyclists’ safety.
In some ways, we have moved forward since 1985. At the same conference I also remember the words of the Chairman, Lord Nugent of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), to the effect that the onus of responsibility was on cyclists when it came to cyclists’ safety , because “You’re the ones who are vulnerable”. These words seemed to upset the Department of Transport minders: he was off message then, and you wouldn’t get away with it now. Also, the notorious words of the Chief Engineer from Cambridge City Council: “If you are thinking of cycling in a modern city: don’t”. You wouldn’t get away with that either.
But how much has actually changed? Continue reading
Eilidh Cairns;Gary Mason; Tom Barrett; Photos from:RoadPeace; The Times; RAF
If any of the campaigns for cyclist safety are to actually achieve anything there is an absolutely central problem which needs addressing. This is the ability of the motorised to shift responsibility for their lethal behaviour on to their actual and potential victims – through the simple act of saying that they don’t “see” their victims. Below we look at two current and one recent case of cyclists killed in London .
While reading these cases, consider Rule 126 of the Highway Code:
“126: Stopping Distances: Drive at a speed that will allow you to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear.” Continue reading
Photo: Jack Thurston (The Bike Show)
Last night RDRF Committee members Dr. Robert Davis and Ken Spence took part in the “flashride” organised to show cyclists’ presence to MPs ahead of today’s debate. It was a happy and peaceful event with hundreds (or more) turning out to support ways to reduce danger to cyclists and others. We’re pleased to be part of this movement, not least with the joyful way it manifests itself.
Unfortunately, my view is that little of benefit will come from today’s debate. I hope this is wrong – but here’s why I’m pessimistic. Continue reading
We signed this note since it states some very simple and basic points which any reasonable person or organisation should be able to support. The down side is that - precisely because it is so basic -we will need something a lot more forceful and detailed if we are to get a genuine commitment towards achieving a properly civilised approach to the safety and well being of cyclists (and indeed other road users). After all, if it hadn’t been so basic the AA would not have signed it. (And don’t hold your breath for seeing the RDRF logo alongside the AA’s again!) Continue reading
Now that I have your attention here’s a dictionary definition of that word:
dangerous Pronunciation: /?de?n(d)?(?)r?s/ adjective able or likely to cause harm or injury
Because what I think we need to do is examine the Paradox of Safety on the Roads: doing so should enable us to more accurately work out what the problem of safety for cyclists is about. Unless we do so, there is a very real danger (that word again…) that the current campaign will be fruitless. Continue reading