Category Archives: Road Danger Reduction

Is there a real “cycle safety crackdown” in London?

BorisJohnsonblitzEStandardMayor Johnson at launch of “mini-Operation Safeways” (Photo: Evening Standard)

Yesterday Mayor Johnson announced a reprise of last winter’s “Operation Safeway” with claims that this policing programme will increase cyclist safety.  We are very much in favour of law enforcement as a crucial element in reducing danger for cyclists and other road users – but we doubt that the “mini- Operation Safeways” announced will be it. Unless the lessons from Operation Safeway are learned – and there is no sign that they have been – TfL and MPS will continue to fail Londoners by not providing  non-discriminatory and effective law enforcement. Here’s why: Continue reading

What’s wrong with TfL’s Pedestrian Safety Action Plan?

Regrettably, Transport for London’s draft Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (PSAP)
fails from the start. Despite a rough attempt to consider what is meant by the term “pedestrian risk”, it is not clear about what it thinks pedestrian safety is. Having a well formulated set of approaches to the problem – which it doesn’t seem to have anyway – is not really going to be possible if we can’t be certain what the problem is in the first place.

Consultation on the draft finishes on May 9th. Below are our basic objections. Continue reading

Inadequate reply from TfL over “Cyclists stay back” stickers.

CyclistsStayBack1In 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

“Road danger reduction and road safety are not the same”

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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

The AA’s “Think Bikes” campaign: What it tells us about “road safety”.

bicycle-sticker-440x           motorbike-sticker-440x 

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