The effects of New Zealand’s cycle helmet law

Below is a  graph by Chris Gilham looking at cycling (those of all ages over 5) in New Zealand. Look at levels of cycling and the cyclist injury rate following the introduction of the mandatory cycle helmet law. More to come on the analysis of this graph in the next post.

NewZealandHelmetsv6For more detailed evidence on the effect of the NZ law, and what it means, see our post here

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

Do bicycle lights make any difference to cyclist safety?

After a week where cyclist safety in London has hit the headlines, it might seem strange to look at this issue. I was pleased to represent the RDRF at the Bow roundabout protest organised by the London Cycling Campaign addressing issues about danger to cyclists and pedestrians there.

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Spot the RDRF Chair at Bow roundabout protest (Photo London Cycling Campaign)

But actually the comments by the Commissioner of Transport for London on this subject – bike lights, that is – tell us a lot about the way “road safety” is thought of. Here are his comments: Continue reading

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

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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