At the “Cycle City Active City” conference in Manchester in July Road Safety Minister Jesse Norman commended the work on policing close passing of cyclists sby PCs Mark Hodson and Steve Hudson of the West Midlands Police Road Harm Reduction Team (WMPRHRT), saying his Department “plans to build on it – it is a very effective way of building awareness and reducing casualties”.
By now readers of posts on this site will be aware of the existence of operations policing the close passing of cyclists and related enforcement based on reducing road danger at source. Our last update of what is happening nationally is here.
This post is about the work WMPRHRT carry out in general. For us they have been setting the Gold Standard for road danger reduction policing with the typical resources (the Metropolitan Police being the exception that proves the rule here) of a Police Service.
Here are two different books which are required reading for anybody thinking about creating cities where cycling is a genuinely mass mode of transport: which, when you come to think about it, is anybody with a view of cities which are less dangerous, polluting (whether it be from noxious, greenhouse gas or noise emissions), unsustainable and unhealthy for those living and working in them.
At the “Cycle City Active City” conference in Manchester last week Road Safety Minister Jesse Norman commended the work on policing close passing of cyclists by PCs Mark Hodson and Steve Hudson of the West Midlands Police Road Harm Reduction Team, saying his Department “plans to build on it – it is a very effective way of building awareness and reducing casualties”. We’ll have a look at what this means.
We have also had headlines about 3rd party reporting of driver law breaking – and a new initiative in London. Let’s see what is actually happening – and what may, or may not happen – on the ground.
In broad terms, we support the ideas and recommendations set out by Cycling UK in their excellent “Cycle Safety: Make It Simple” report.
In this report we look more closely at issues such as: side road junctions and engineering convention, the issue of equality in transport design and practice, and the need for parity of spending for roads transport so that it is fairer to women, children and the disabled.
This document follows the structure set out by the Department for Transport CWIS Safety Review Survey.
1. Infrastructure and traffic signs
2. The laws and rules of the road
4. Educating road users
5. Vehicles and equipment
6. Attitudes and public awareness
We respond to questions with specific recommendations. Continue reading
First of all, an unequivocal endorsement of both these books from Island Press: They are essential reading for anybody concerned with the development of cycling as everyday transport for ordinary city dwellers – in fact anybody concerned with transport, public health, sustainability and urban life generally. And I am not someone who hands out plaudits freely! Continue reading
The annual government drink-drive campaign had a slightly different approach this year, which I review below. But let’s take a wider analysis of what the annual ritual is about – and what could be wrong with it. Continue reading
Following the Alliston case (discussed here and here) we have discussed the demands for parity between cyclists and motorists with regard to the response from the criminal justice system, not least from the Kim Briggs Campaign . In particular, we have studied the meaning of The Times instruction to cyclists to “respect the rules of the road like everyone else” . We showed
that this would in fact mean that “cyclists” (the term refers to everybody who may ever ride a bicycle) would actually have to break rules and laws a lot more, and have to endanger other road users far, far more. That’s the actual rule and law breaking: what about the responses of the criminal justice system once the rule and law breaking has been detected, and in particular once collisions have occurred? Continue reading