Thursday, 23 February 2012

Cyclesafe debate - Hi viz and Helmets

I didn't have the opportunity to watch today's debate on cycling safety, but it is available online now, so far I have made do with reading The Times' live blog of it. It seems like a good show all round.

The best quote I have read so far is
"Wouldn't it be great if you didn't *have* to wear all this safety clobber, and you could just go out your front door, jump on your bike and go. Wouldn't that get more people cycling, if it were just safe to do so?"
Which pretty much sums up the entire thing. I shouldn't have to dress like a twat because someone else can't be arsed to look where they are going. Hi viz and helmets is not a solution, it's what you have to resort to when you don't have a solution. Just ask any Health & Safety professional, personal protective equipment is at the bottom of the risk control hierarchy and should only be implemented when no other solution can be found.

I'm sure everyone has their own ideas of ways of improving things and what they would put in their own cycling manifesto and if I could pick one thing that I've not heard much about that I would include it would be....
  1. The proposed cycling commissioner would have to approve every road being built and every junction being redesigned and that every junction being redesigned must include a "Dutch" level of cycle provision whenever possible.
If they have to redesign the junction anyway it's not going to cost much more to lay a few extra kerbstones or red tarmac to segregate cyclists and motorists. That way we wouldn't have to put up with substandard proposals such as the recent example from Liverpool.


  1. Sadly this is an argument that a lot of *cyclist* just don't get. I have often been told be serious cyclist that by not wearing a helmet I am setting a bad example. Bad example to who?

  2. Just found this:

  3. I see too many articles here in the US where a cyclist is hit from behind while riding a bike with the legally required reflectors, and the cyclist is blamed for not having lights or a glow-in-the-dark clown suit, when they have lights they are blamed for not having enough lights and the clown suit. There was a hit-and-run in AL last week the trike was covered in reflectors and lighted like a Mardi Gras float and it was still run over from behind. I haven't heard anything about who LEO are blaming for that wreck, but in the comments to those wreck articles people blamed the cyclist for riding at night on a road "built for cars", so really until cycling is normalized we will still get blamed for getting hit by motor vehicles even when the wreck is deliberate on the part of the driver.