NOW is the time for action

by Gkam84   November 8, 2012  

I don't know how, but I know that NOW is the perfect time for action to make the roads safer for cyclists.

Everyone in the country know's who Bradley Wiggins is, if someone doesn't then they must live in a croft without any contact to the outside world Devil

With his unfortunate accident being published everywhere and on all the major news channels, along with that of Shane Sutton.

Now is the time to act and get things moving in the right direction and back into the public eye.....

How to do it?

Sensible suggestions welcome, smart arse's and stupidity are welcome elsewhere Devil

25 user comments

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Move to Denmark / Sweden/ Germany ?

posted by Some Fella [715 posts]
8th November 2012 - 22:08

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It's a difficult one but here goes:

1: driver training needs to include bike and road awareness.

2: frequent re tests, say every 5 years for 10 or more years driving and every 3 for less than 10.

3: much, much better road systems to include "proper" cycle lanes, not just a white line painted onto the road. These make less space for cars and as such cars just enter the cycle lanes.

4: some sort of test for cyclists (touchy subject, but there are some quite horrific cyclists out there).

5: reduction in car insurance (mentioned by another member and its a good idea) if you take regular retests.

Thats about it for now but will have a think about it.

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2664 posts]
8th November 2012 - 22:29

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Bit extreme Some Fella, but I do like the idea, I love Germany Wink

Stumps, I was more thinking about getting cycle safety into the general public's heads.

Infrastructure takes to long to implement, although I'd love a nationwide cycle lane scheme. Putting something about awareness of cyclist's into the driving test would be good. But doesn't help for all the drivers at the moment, just future one's.

Retesting is an idea, it would also serve to weed out those unfit/unsafe to drive. But as with everything, it would be open to manipulation. Although a reduction of insurance premiums is a good idea for regular retesting.

Harsher penalties would also be greatly welcomed on my part.

But I'm thinking something catchy, of the time and soon before the story dies off and more cyclist's are killed or injured.

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posted by Gkam84 [8680 posts]
8th November 2012 - 22:49

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It seems myself and DB are on the same wave length http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20262117

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posted by Gkam84 [8680 posts]
8th November 2012 - 23:10

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Think bike sticker on the back of every car?

Ask the people who make them for 50 and stick them on the first 50 that you see.

Alternatively, 500, 500000 or 5000000.

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
8th November 2012 - 23:26

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Raleigh wrote:
Think bike sticker on the back of every car?

Ask the people who make them for 50 and stick them on the first 50 that you see.

Alternatively, 500, 500000 or 5000000.

Good idea mate, i would cetainly take a few. Stick them on all the panda's at work lol Laughing

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

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posted by stumps [2664 posts]
8th November 2012 - 23:52

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Think bike being a motorcycle campaign?

What about these?

http://www.thinkbicycle.com/

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posted by Gkam84 [8680 posts]
8th November 2012 - 23:59

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Some Fella wrote:
Move to Denmark / Sweden/ Germany ?

Bye bye then!

posted by Mostyn [400 posts]
9th November 2012 - 0:18

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Public awareness information and media publicity for the safety of our most vulnerable road users, ie, cyclists.

posted by Mostyn [400 posts]
9th November 2012 - 0:22

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I've been thinking about this too and the obvious conclusion is that driver raining is pants. Basically, all the emphasis is on getting through the test, which leaves the newly minted motorist to do their learning on the job.

I personally think a different licence should be required for vans, flatbed trucks and 4x4s and a course in road safety included.

As for 4x4s - I live in a town with a private school and from 8am onwards it is carnage as mums in their Range Rovers, X5s, Tauregs and Q7s transport their precious cargo to the school gates. I know it's glib to have a go at women drivers but if you put a 5.5 foot mum in something where she can't see the nearside of her front bumper, let alone gauge where it is, there's going to be trouble.

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posted by nostromo [65 posts]
9th November 2012 - 8:42

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Mostyn wrote:
Public awareness information and media publicity for the safety of our most vulnerable road users, ie, cyclists.

The use of Brad, Cav, Sir Hoy etal as part of a national cycling safety campaign across all the PSB channels in the UK was an ideal opportunity missed by the DfT at the end of the Olympics.

Everyone was so focused on not screwing it up that perhaps no one thought about the fact we could win all the medals we got and started to build a campaign, but then they were all probably on freebies at the Olympic events.

Maybe the recent incidents with Brad and Shane Sutton could still be used as the start of a campaign, there must be some media types lurking on here somewhere.

Not sure about the retesting, although it's an opportunity for driving instructors to offer a top-up service. It seems hard enough to book a test at the moment without increasing the number of tests by 10 - 15%
each year. The biggest problem will be convincing drivers to cough up more money and risk losing their licence while there is still the percepton that any idiot can get on a bike and cause mayhem without consequence.

Did Nightrider 2013 for Parkinson's UK, doing it again this year just for the fun of it and to raise more money.

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posted by jova54 [584 posts]
9th November 2012 - 9:18

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A we quote from Sky Press!

"Cycling is not an intrinsically dangerous activity but there is much more to be done to improve conditions for cyclists on the roads. British Cycling is calling on the government to put cycling at the heart of transport policy to ensure that cycle safety is built into the design of all new roads, junctions and transport projects, rather than being an afterthought."

After thought is the thing to remove from the minds of all motorists. Too late to think Bicycle when you've killed or injured someone.

posted by Mostyn [400 posts]
9th November 2012 - 10:11

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It's hard to strike a balance with this, but can we make cyclists more human? When a driver is in their tin box, a cyclist is a thing, an obstacle - not a person. Some sort of awareness campaign showing that every cyclist is a brother, a sister, a daughter or father may help.

Olympic heroes are almost supernatural and therefore people don't think they could actually be in their 'hood just like any other person.

Also portray a driver saying something like "I did XYZ just because I was impatient and never thought about the person I nearly killed. Turns out it was a mate / neighbour / friend's son/... "

At the same time, I don't want to portray cycling as something that's dangerous. It generally isn't. Or definitely shouldn't be.

(Of course infrastructure is another very important element to this - which I work on, well, at work)

posted by CraftyDutchie [5 posts]
9th November 2012 - 11:59

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Wiggo for "Think bike" type TV ads?

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
9th November 2012 - 12:00

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Check some of the comments. There are drivers around who genuinely think that its OK to run over a cyclist because of some astoundingly misguided beliefs*. These drivers won't have their mind changed by any amount of advertising or awareness campaign. It can only be a generational change, like drink driving. In the mean time the only thing to improve safety now is to prosecute those drivers who show no ability to drive safely.

* Its OK to run over cyclists because;

  • they ride in the middle of the road, what do you expect when they get in the way of cars
  • they ride right in the edge of the road, so they can't be seen
  • they ride on the pavement
  • they weren't on the cycle path
  • they don't pay road tax so have no right to be on the road
  • they don't have to pass a driving test
  • they don't have insurance
  • they swerve all over the road
  • they run red lights
  • they don't wear helmets, hi-viz and don't have lights
  • they go too fast
  • they go too slow
  • they go down one way streets the wrong way
  • they wear lycra

posted by qwerky [130 posts]
9th November 2012 - 14:14

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qwerky wrote:
Check some of the comments. There are drivers around who genuinely think that its OK to run over a cyclist because of some astoundingly misguided beliefs*. These drivers won't have their mind changed by any amount of advertising or awareness campaign. It can only be a generational change, like drink driving. In the mean time the only thing to improve safety now is to prosecute those drivers who show no ability to drive safely.

* Its OK to run over cyclists because;

  • they ride in the middle of the road, what do you expect when they get in the way of cars
  • they ride right in the edge of the road, so they can't be seen
  • they ride on the pavement
  • they weren't on the cycle path
  • they don't pay road tax so have no right to be on the road
  • they don't have to pass a driving test
  • they don't have insurance
  • they swerve all over the road
  • they run red lights
  • they don't wear helmets, hi-viz and don't have lights
  • they go too fast
  • they go too slow
  • they go down one way streets the wrong way
  • they wear lycra

Seems stupidity does become them!
An element of NUMPTY BRIGADE.

posted by Mostyn [400 posts]
9th November 2012 - 14:30

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stumps wrote:
It's a difficult one but here goes:

1: driver training needs to include bike and road awareness.

2: frequent re tests, say every 5 years for 10 or more years driving and every 3 for less than 10.

3: much, much better road systems to include "proper" cycle lanes, not just a white line painted onto the road. These make less space for cars and as such cars just enter the cycle lanes.

4: some sort of test for cyclists (touchy subject, but there are some quite horrific cyclists out there).

5: reduction in car insurance (mentioned by another member and its a good idea) if you take regular retests.

Thats about it for now but will have a think about it.

Agree with Stumps that long term plans need to be implemented, 1, 2 and 5 in particular would help as discussed at length in the Wiggins accident article.

I may be wrong but I'm under the impression that a fixed %age of the DfT budget is given towards 'cycling' projects. At the minute that is used in lumps at specific points around the country for one off projects.

I'd suggest an overhaul of this system so that a fixed %age of the cost of ANY road project must be allocated specifically to making said project safer for cyclists. That may mean a %age is used to build segregated cycle lanes, a painted cycle lane and cyclist filters on signals are implemented or other means depending on budget etc.

By forcing planners and councils to consider cyclists in EVERY project, not just a few, we'd improve the whole road system over time.

posted by drheaton [3429 posts]
9th November 2012 - 14:58

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How about starting a crowdfunded advertising campaign? I've been thinking about doing this for a while. Post it on somewhere like kickstarter, get some funding in from cyclists around the country, ask the big names to pile in for the good rather than payment, and take out some high-profile adverts.

No-one else is doing it for us.

It would somehow need to acknowledge that either:
All cyclists need to obey the law as well
or
Don't lump us all together and decide that just because a cyclist cut you up yesterday, you can kill me today...

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2929 posts]
9th November 2012 - 15:54

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* Its OK to run over cyclists because;

they ride in the middle of the road, what do you expect when they get in the way of cars
they ride right in the edge of the road, so they can't be seen
they ride on the pavement - they shouldnt be riding on it
they weren't on the cycle path
they don't pay road tax so have no right to be on the road
they don't have to pass a driving test
they don't have insurance
they swerve all over the road - some do you wouldnt like a car doing it
they run red lights - again they shouldnt you would be ipssed if a car did...
they don't wear helmets, hi-viz and don't have lights same as above imagin a car with no lights
they go too fast - up to police discression i beileve.
they go too slow
they go down one way streets the wrong way - shouldnt be doing it.
they wear lycra - sexy Wink

it annoys me because a lot of cyclist give others band names, but its the same here the amount of comments i see when someone is knocked over is - bet the idiot was on the phone, or speeding, or a young boy racer. its not any different both side have the same attitude at times.

i agree safety could be improved for cyclists by training drivers but in the same way as mentioned above, cyclists could improve there own safety by obeying the law and using common sense.

posted by Lost faith in t... [119 posts]
9th November 2012 - 16:55

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Lost faith in the brand wrote:

i agree safety could be improved for cyclists by training drivers but in the same way as mentioned above, cyclists could improve there own safety by obeying the law and using common sense.

Amen, yesterday evening I followed (in my car) a 'proper' cyclist who jumped 3 red lights in less than a mile, wore dark clothing and had no lights.

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posted by Crosshouses [169 posts]
9th November 2012 - 17:06

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Crosshouses wrote:
Lost faith in the brand wrote:

i agree safety could be improved for cyclists by training drivers but in the same way as mentioned above, cyclists could improve there own safety by obeying the law and using common sense.

Amen, yesterday evening I followed (in my car) a 'proper' cyclist who jumped 3 red lights in less than a mile, wore dark clothing and had no lights.

But shame on you for following him through the red lights Wink Big Grin

On a more sensible note i agree with most of the ideas above especially as it is now so high a profile.

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posted by cidermart [456 posts]
9th November 2012 - 17:37

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Crosshouses wrote:
Lost faith in the brand wrote:

i agree safety could be improved for cyclists by training drivers but in the same way as mentioned above, cyclists could improve there own safety by obeying the law and using common sense.

Amen, yesterday evening I followed (in my car) a 'proper' cyclist who jumped 3 red lights in less than a mile, wore dark clothing and had no lights.

He/she? Was in stealth mode and immortal? or a total idiot?

posted by Mostyn [400 posts]
9th November 2012 - 22:50

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This is a very difficult set of problems to overcome and there is no one answer, as most people above seem to have pointed out driver training is at the core of the problem. perhaps an ad campaign directed at these individuals would be the way forward, as with the ads about drink driving seemed to work making the public's perception of a drunk driver as a menace to all. Maybe include a subtle reminder to good drivers that bad drivers cost them money (ie a %age of our car insurance goes into the central insurance bureau to cover idiots that don't bother having insurance)Each incident on the road costs x amount to investigate x amount to clean up afterwards etc etc.. this has to be paid for out of our council taxes and/or other taxation.

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posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [568 posts]
10th November 2012 - 11:24

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One area I feel gutted about is, generally if a cyclist is hit by a car/van/truck/bus then usually the driver has no 'real' punishment (the press shows this)- heaven forbid, the driver who hit Wiggo, she may even get driving without due care and attention,,,,, and he's a gold medalist and TDF winner and in all the press - what would have happened if that was me on the way to work????? 'Another stupid cyclist' no doubt.

However, if the cost of the damages done to the bike/rider/family/loss of work etc were directly against the driver (if he/she is guilty) and affects thier no claims (which most drivers are more worried about than hitting a cyclist into the bushes)then perhaps drivers may think twice.
Please don't shoot me for the suggestion, but the only way we could get this off the ground is if we have strong comp insurance also, for our defence - our claim goes into them for the incident and then they go up against the drivers insurance - the Police would HAVE to then investigate the accident for sure.

I am not too sure how much a cycle comp policy would be but it could get all to understand we are legitimate road users. This backed up by advertising and awareness info (some of the revenue could be used for that) could be the thing we are all looking for - just to be respectfully treated as another road user, and not an annoyance, or worse, a statistic. I understand this would not be popular, have lots of problems like 'what age', how much, who has to, enforcement etc but something HAS to be done to rectify this problem. I just get so frustrated when I see the smirk on the face of the car driver, who has really impressed his girlfriend, when he has just come so close to frighten most then as he sneers and drives off in his protective tin box.

Come on Mr Cameron, you are good at looking after bankers and using our money to bail them out, why not look after those who cycle to work a bit more, who are trying to keep this country afloat and the cities and roads a cleaner and a less congested place.

Breath, Breath,,,,,, ah' better now.

Trikeman. Wink

Grunt, puff, pant and groan goes the old man - but he gets there in the end. ;o)

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posted by trikeman [348 posts]
10th November 2012 - 12:09

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I have one simple suggestion.

Although we don't know if mobile phone use contributed to either of the recent high profile colisions, there is no doubt that it contributes to many others.

So I suggest lobby the current Transport Manager for an increase in the penalty when prosecuted for this offence. My own view is a suspension of driving licence. What is yours ?

By the way, if you see a UK HGV or bus driver using a phone, note the registration number, date, time and location and make a formal complaint to your region's Traffic Commisoner's Office (see www.VOSA.gov.uk)

The Traffic Commisioners have the legal power to suspend a driver's vocational licence - that is his HGV or PSV entitlement. They won't be banned from driving a car, but will be banned from driving trucks or busses - in other words, they won't be able to work.

I have reported several in the West Midlands area and the Traffic Commisioner has taken appropriate action. Not many people (including HGV drivers) know about the TC's powers in this area.

posted by Littlesox [89 posts]
10th November 2012 - 18:46

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