Monthly Archives: November 2009

Let's get rid of "the vulnerable road user"

By which I mean, of course, the term “vulnerable road user”…


“Men are always trying to protect me, I wonder what they are trying to protect me from…”. Mae West

A lot of colleagues think that it is helpful to refer to pedestrians (particularly children and elderly people) and cyclists as “vulnerable road users”. I disagree: seeing people who just happen to be outside metal boxes as being special easily morphs into seeing us AS A PROBLEM.  It is often connected to what has been referred to as the “Fear of Cycling”. It misses out on the elephant in the room – or what the excellent Mikael Coville-Anderson of refers to as “The Bull in the China Shop”. Continue reading

Oh no, not seat belts again…

You might think that discussion about compulsory front seat belt legislation in the U K (introduced 26 years ago and confirmed 3 years later) is about the last thing that those of us interested in safety on the road should be considering at the moment.

Surely there is no need for detailed statistical discussion about this event, still less questioning what has become a – or the – major triumph for those officially charged with safety on the road?

But no. A recent debate has seen the proponents of compulsory bicycle helmet use drag the issue out again – and this time some revealing facts have been shown up. Some uncomfortable truths about the effects of the seat belt law in the UK  and the  “road safety” establishment  have critical relevance to everything that those of us working for safety of all road users should be aware of.

So, if you’re interested in real road safety, do read on… Continue reading