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HGV drivers also being stopped in Road Safety Week project

Met Police stopping unhelmetted cyclists to provide “advice and education”

As part of Road Safety Week, the Metropolitan Police is stopping cyclists and lorry drivers in three locations in central, east and south London to offer “education and advice” to cyclists who are seen riding dangerously. Conrtoversially, the police are also stopping cyctlists who are not wearing helmets.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard told road.cc that cyclists were being stopped “where there are concerns about their behaviour - for instance cutting corners, performing other dangerous manoeuvres or wearing headphones while riding.”

He also acknowledged that officers were stopping riders who were not wearing helmets. While there is no legal requirement to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle in the UK, the spokesman said: “If you want to be safe it’s a very good idea to put one on.” That’s an opinion that some in the cycling community might perhaps take issue with.

London Assembly member Jenny Jones told road.cc she had contacted the Met and a superintendent had agreed that helmets and high vis are not required by law.

Baroness Jones said: "The Met’s ‘advice’ on cyclists wearing a helmet and high vis is not based on any scientific research. As an informed cyclist I ride my bike without either. Their efforts would be better focussed on enforcing the laws we have, for example on not driving vehicles while using a mobile, not driving a vehicle into ASLs when the lights are red, which would make our roads much safer. 

"Clearing our roads of illegal and dangerous drivers has to be the priority, not hassling cyclists who are obeying the law."

Scotland Yard said that the intention was not enforcement and when asked if, for example, a cyclist riding through a red light would be issued a fixed penalty notice, said that no fixed penalty notices had been issued to cyclists. “It’s about advice and education rather than cracking down,” said the spokesman.

A total of 45 officers are involved in the operation, and police are also stopping lorry drivers. Their vehicles have been checked for any issues and in one instance a lorry was found to have a dangerously over-inflated tyre that left it unfit to continue its journey.

According to LBC, police at one location have stopped 20 HGVs and found a total of 60 offences, including vehicles in dangerous condition and drivers who had been working too long. 

Chief-Superintendent Glyn Jones, who is in charge of the operation, told LBC: "If you're going to cycle in London, wear a helmet, wear high-vis, make sure your bike has the right lights, don't wear headphones and obey the rules of the road.

"That way you will be a lot safer."

In a ten-day period to last Thursday, five cyclists were killed in collisions with large vehicles on London's roads. It is not known how many of them were wearing helmets or whether their riding was a factor in the crashes.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

133 comments

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farrell [1946 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
giff77 wrote:

Their time would be better spent picking up on ASL and cycle lane encroacher's as well as the thugs who indulge in punishment passes.

The slight problem with ASLs, as GMP handily revealed last week, is that whilst PCSOs can pull cyclists for all sorts of bullshit reasons including "dangerous weaving", a PCSO can't do anything about a car in an ASL.

It needs to be a proper police officer, and he needs to be able to see that the light was on red and be able to see the driver as he enters the ASL. At the same time.

CCTV footage can't be used.

In short, there is no way of nicking someone for this offence.

Mint!

(This may only apply to Greater Manchester though).

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bendertherobot [1494 posts] 4 years ago
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On the assumption that every single one of those lorry offences was insurance or mechanically related then none of them should have been permitted for onward travel

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utm_swest [4 posts] 4 years ago
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giff77 wrote:

utm_swest. How the hell did you manage to land head first if your bike slid from under you? Normally your arms break your fall unless you hit the kerb or a pothole and perform a face plant. Learn to fall mate.

Thanks for the advice, I'll bear that in mind next time.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1976 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
farrell wrote:
giff77 wrote:

Their time would be better spent picking up on ASL and cycle lane encroacher's as well as the thugs who indulge in punishment passes.

The slight problem with ASLs, as GMP handily revealed last week, is that whilst PCSOs can pull cyclists for all sorts of bullshit reasons including "dangerous weaving", a PCSO can't do anything about a car in an ASL.

It needs to be a proper police officer, and he needs to be able to see that the light was on red and be able to see the driver as he enters the ASL. At the same time.
.

Saw a police car drive into an ASL while the lights were red just last week. Third time I've seen this at the same junction in the last couple of months.

When are the police going to 'crack down on' the police?

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Strathlubnaig [114 posts] 4 years ago
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As these latest spate of unfortunate accidents and deaths have taken place in London, and London is the centre of the universe, it will follow that new country wide laws shall be passed to enforce helmets and YJA's and daytime running lights on bikes, sad but true. I am all for free choice and common sense however.

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oozaveared [937 posts] 4 years ago
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Oh for crying out loud. The Police should know better than this. Perhaps the cyclists not wearing helmets should educate the police on why helmets don't provide much protection for some types of collision and contribute to head injuries for some others.

I am going to assume the best here though. If they are stopping cyclists with earphones in riding stupidly that are also not wearing a helmet, that's one thing. But if they are stopping experienced cyclists behaving properly and giving them half baked advice on wearing a helmet then that is not on.

Some useful questions for a police officer giving advice on cyclists wearing helmets.

Q How common is head injury when cycling?
A Less common than for pedestrians
So should pedestrians particularly joggers wear a helmet

Q What protection do cycle helmets offer?
A Hardly any. In fact they offer less protection now than they used to in the 1990s because the standard has been diluted to make them easier and cheaper to manufacture.

The FIM standard helmet for Moto GP would still be insufficient to protect a cyclist from lethal head injury in a 30mph impact by a car. That's a standard of head protection as high as it gets.

Q Is there any significant difference between the number of cyclists suffering head injury who die as between those that wear and do not wear a helmet?
A No there isn't

See above about Moto GP helmets. That's why. and a piece of plastic laminated polystyrene is no use at all. It helps to stop minor head injury (grazing /gouges) in cycle sport. It almost no protection in vehicle crashes of any significance.

Q How many of the recent deaths in London have been as a result of a fatal head injury as opposed to being crushed?
A Most cyclists killed on the road die as a result of multiple trauma including crushing, not exclusively head injuries.

I bet the police officer trying to educate cyclists doesn't know much about cycle helmets themselves.

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124g [38 posts] 4 years ago
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Like most posters on here I think they are talking shite to start the "you should be wearing a helmet" and "high vis" I'd like to see the scientific evidence to support this assertion.

Should an eight or eighteen wheeler turn into me I'm fecked, wearing my helmet ain't going to help me.

If they want to do something to benefit me nail those driving such vehicles who are committing offences on a regular basis.

They have no right to stop you whilst riding a cycle unless you have committed an offence, running red light etc, politely say thanks but no thanks and go on your way.

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darranmoore [35 posts] 4 years ago
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....  39

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giff77 [1291 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
farrell wrote:
giff77 wrote:

Their time would be better spent picking up on ASL and cycle lane encroacher's as well as the thugs who indulge in punishment passes.

The slight problem with ASLs, as GMP handily revealed last week, is that whilst PCSOs can pull cyclists for all sorts of bullshit reasons including "dangerous weaving", a PCSO can't do anything about a car in an ASL.

It needs to be a proper police officer, and he needs to be able to see that the light was on red and be able to see the driver as he enters the ASL. At the same time.

CCTV footage can't be used.

In short, there is no way of nicking someone for this offence.

Mint!

(This may only apply to Greater Manchester though).

If they can stand by the roadside and flag a cyclist down to advise then to wear a helmet they can bloody well stand beside a set of lights and give the driver a bollocking for encroaching the ASL.

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FluffyKittenofT... [1976 posts] 4 years ago
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If they MUST have a go at cyclists, I'd rather they pulled over those who cycle after dark with no lights. There seem to be a hell of a lot of those in London. And that one is actually covered by a law, unlike helmets. No need to fine them, just point out to them that it is actually a legal requirement (and direct them towards the nearest 99p/poundshop!)

Besides, I'm never going to accept the police hassling cyclists until they actually start doing something about the utterly absurd levels of dangerous and illegal parking. It constantly amazes me where motorists think its OK to park.

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bendertherobot [1494 posts] 4 years ago
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FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:

If they MUST have a go at cyclists, I'd rather they pulled over those who cycle after dark with no lights. There seem to be a hell of a lot of those in London. And that one is actually covered by a law, unlike helmets. No need to fine them, just point out to them that it is actually a legal requirement (and direct them towards the nearest 99p/poundshop!)

Besides, I'm never going to accept the police hassling cyclists until they actually start doing something about the utterly absurd levels of dangerous and illegal parking. It constantly amazes me where motorists think its OK to park.

Agreed. Though, just like the lorries, that illegality should see them also prevented onward travel.

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giff77 [1291 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
utm_swest wrote:
giff77 wrote:

utm_swest. How the hell did you manage to land head first if your bike slid from under you? Normally your arms break your fall unless you hit the kerb or a pothole and perform a face plant. Learn to fall mate.

Thanks for the advice, I'll bear that in mind next time.

No problems mate.  4 I'll not even charge you for it.

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darranmoore [35 posts] 4 years ago
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Why do UCI sanction the mandatory use of helmets for competition use? What evidence anecdotal or not did they base the regulations on?

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jmaccelari [254 posts] 4 years ago
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Poor ol' Met. Damned if they do and damned if they don't. At least they are trying, albeit a tad misguided...

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darranmoore [35 posts] 4 years ago
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John Stevenson [311 posts] 4 years ago
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darranmoore wrote:

Why do UCI sanction the mandatory use of helmets for competition use? What evidence anecdotal or not did they base the regulations on?

Evidence? All the UCI knows to do with evidence is how to bury it.

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northstar [1107 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
farrell wrote:
giff77 wrote:

Their time would be better spent picking up on ASL and cycle lane encroacher's as well as the thugs who indulge in punishment passes.

The slight problem with ASLs, as GMP handily revealed last week, is that whilst PCSOs can pull cyclists for all sorts of bullshit reasons including "dangerous weaving", a PCSO can't do anything about a car in an ASL.

It needs to be a proper police officer, and he needs to be able to see that the light was on red and be able to see the driver as he enters the ASL. At the same time.

CCTV footage can't be used.

In short, there is no way of nicking someone for this offence.

Mint!

(This may only apply to Greater Manchester though).

Convenient... ; )

Avatar
hampstead_bandit [614 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

first things i was asked when i got to hospital after being injured in a hit&run RTC last week:-

"were you wearing a helmet?" (answer: yes!)

"were you wearing high-visibility clothing?" (answer: yes!)

how about the driver who made an illegal and very dangerous manouvre, caused the RTC and fled the scene; and has left me typing slowly with my left hand whilst my right hand is in plaster for 6 weeks....helmet and high-vis have f*ck all to do with my incident considering it was 10am, sun was shining and i did not fall (or hit my head)

every day for past 15 months whilst commuting in London I see motorists in ASL, texting / checking social media on smartphones, pushing through red lights. Sadly i also see HGV, black cabs and public vehicles like LONDON buses trying to push the boundaries as they well know traffic police numbers have been drastically cut.

of course see cyclists RLJ, riding on pavement, up one way streets, but with perspective 15kg of bike and 70kg of bike rider do nothing like the damage of 1500kg of motorcar with energy moving at 40mph!

time for the old bill to also get some true perspective and start policing motor vehicles with as much zeal as some of the recent "cycle blitzes"

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Colin Peyresourde [1830 posts] 4 years ago
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….well this is the sort of 'seen to be doing something while not spending any money, and not really doing anything' that you can expect after last week.

For all those that were demanding immediate action before any sort of investigation can happen this is what you get….a pointless half measure.

Until they determine what happened what else can they do? Being reactionary doesn't help and wastes money. This way TFL and the Major APPEAR to be drumming home the message on safety - even if they are doing nothing.

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Colin Peyresourde [1830 posts] 4 years ago
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darranmoore wrote:

Why do UCI sanction the mandatory use of helmets for competition use? What evidence anecdotal or not did they base the regulations on?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabio_Casartelli

If you google his name and look at 'images' associated with it, you can see why.

I rode the Col de Portet d'Aspet this year, and to be honest you need a lid going down that, especially on a wet day.

However, interestingly the wiki link shows that there continues to be debate about whether a helmet would've helped. Certainly there have been no deaths in the Tour since.

But just to show how finely balanced the argument is Woulter Weylandt died as a result 'due to facial and basal skull fractures, as his injuries were too severe to allow resuscitation' after crashing at 50mph, and he was wearing a helmet.

I personally am not necessarily convinced that they are necessary, but I do think that they would do a job in some cases (and wear one). Ultimately I would recommend them, but don't want them to be compulsory.

I would have preferred if they had focused on telling RLJs about blind spots, especially the sort the Met were promoting where you can sit in the cab of a truck.

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farrell [1946 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
darranmoore wrote:

For the belligerent and ignorant flamers of my earlier post...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130613092421.htm

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/10/02/impact-tes...

Your first link is for a study by the University of New South Wales, which doesn't really help your cause as since as since they have introduced mandatory helmet laws the levels of cycling in Australia have plummeted, I believe NSW themselves saw an almost 50% drop in young people cycling and there are probably just as many studies from Australia that contradict the study you have posted as there are studies to support it. There is no conclusive proof either way.

Cycling in Australia hasn't become safer, however, the mandatory cycle helmet laws have created a whole heap of criminals.

So, rather than calling myself and others ignorant, to go along nicely with your earlier comments of stubborn and stupid, perhaps you could explain to me why you are so keen to turn me in to a criminal for not wearing one of your super magic hats?

Please, take the time to read this bit: I am not telling you that you shouldn't wear a helmet, I'm not telling you that you can't wear a helmet, I want you to explain why exactly you want to take away my right to choose, why is it that you would like to criminalise my daily routine because you have placed all your belief in to something that has not been conclusively proven to be of benefit?

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darranmoore [35 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
Colin Peyresourde wrote:
darranmoore wrote:

Why do UCI sanction the mandatory use of helmets for competition use? What evidence anecdotal or not did they base the regulations on?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabio_Casartelli

Thanks Colin much appreciated...

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darranmoore [35 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
farrell wrote:
darranmoore wrote:

For the belligerent and ignorant flamers of my earlier post...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130613092421.htm

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/10/02/impact-tes...

Your first link is for a study by the University of New South Wales, which doesn't really help your cause as since as since they have introduced mandatory helmet laws the levels of cycling in Australia have plummeted, I believe NSW themselves saw an almost 50% drop in young people cycling and there are probably just as many studies from Australia that contradict the study you have posted as there are studies to support it. There is no conclusive proof either way.

Cycling in Australia hasn't become safer, however, the mandatory cycle helmet laws have created a whole heap of criminals.

So, rather than calling myself and others ignorant, to go along nicely with your earlier comments of stubborn and stupid, perhaps you could explain to me why you are so keen to turn me in to a criminal for not wearing one of your super magic hats?

Please, take the time to read this bit: I am not telling you that you shouldn't wear a helmet, I'm not telling you that you can't wear a helmet, I want you to explain why exactly you want to take away my right to choose, why is it that you would like to criminalise my daily routine because you have placed all your belief in to something that has not been conclusively proven to be of benefit?

Your ignorance is displayed clearly in your dismissal of scientific evidence irrespective of it source? FACTS chosen to be ignored unless it suits the anti-helmet debate.

Stupidity is exhibited in the believe that your thick head will be better protected by a merino cap than a engineered protective helmet? And I look forward to probably reading the probable "as many" contradictory scientific studies (not statistical manipulations or anecdotal papers)

My original post was quite benign but I respond with rhetoric relative to the flaming I received. Thank you for validating my subsequent post.

Continue with your choice to not wear a helmet but DO NOT impart your ill informed believe up on others that a helmet will not improve safety or indeed make unsafe.

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farrell [1946 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
darranmoore wrote:

Your ignorance is displayed clearly in your dismissal of scientific evidence irrespective of it source? FACTS chosen to be ignored unless it suits the anti-helmet debate.

Stupidity is exhibited in the believe that your thick head will be better protected by a merino cap than a engineered protective helmet? And I look forward to probably reading the probable "as many" contradictory scientific studies (not statistical manipulations or anecdotal papers)

My original post was quite benign but I respond with rhetoric relative to the flaming I received. Thank you for validating my subsequent post.

Continue with your choice to not wear a helmet but DO NOT impart your ill informed believe up on others that a helmet will not improve safety or indeed make unsafe.

If you are going to make swipes at my intelligence, you should probably learn the difference in spellings for belief and believe.

Secondly, writing the word 'facts' in capital letters doesn't actually prove anything, it doesn't actually confirm the veracity of what you have said or written or make it "more true". At best it's lazy, like putting "end of story" or similar, at worst it makes you look like someone on the verge of a meltdown, like Rafa Benitez when he had his "fact" wibble.

I also noticed that you ignored my asking you to explain what it is that is driving your desperation to make it illegal to get on a bike without wearing a polystyrene hat. Just why is that?

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Ush [1054 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
darranmoore wrote:

Continue with your choice to not wear a helmet but DO NOT impart your ill informed believe up on others that a helmet will not improve safety or indeed make unsafe.

You know, you've completely convinced me. Like you and your brother I will be always wearing a helmet when I undertake activities as risky as riding a bicycle: going down stairs, crossing the road, getting out of bed etcetera.

I hope you will join me in my campaign to awake other head users out of their dangerous state of ignorance? I will be posting links which I don't understand onto pedestrians that I meet in the street (using PostIt notes) and will be assisted in this by similarly educated police officers. I expect that we will meet a good deal of resistance to the SCIENCE FACT which we will be sharing, but that's how it always is with martyrs like me.

By the way, did you know that masturbation makes you go blind?

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utm_swest [4 posts] 4 years ago
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Good for you. It's great to live in a society where we can all hold our own opinions and beliefs isn't it.

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Ush [1054 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
utm_swest wrote:

Good for you. It's great to live in a society where we can all hold our own opinions and beliefs isn't it.

I'm sorry Sir, I have been authorised to stop you on this public internet way and advise you that your belief is actually illegal. Take it off... now.

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crazy-legs [959 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes

Oh dear God is this STILL going on?!

STOP. TALKING. ABOUT. HELMET. LAWS.
Anecdotal shit about whether or not a helmet would or wouldn't have helped in any one accident isn't the point here. That debate has been had.

The point here is that the police seem to be stopping cyclists to advise them to wear helmets in a week where 6 cyclists have been killed by lorries/buses as a way of getting round dealing with the main problem - tons of lethal metal! And that's not upsetting anyone? Oh no, we'd rather have an argument about a bit of polystyrene. Epic fail.

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darranmoore [35 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
farrell wrote:
darranmoore wrote:

Your ignorance is displayed clearly in your dismissal of scientific evidence irrespective of it source? FACTS chosen to be ignored unless it suits the anti-helmet debate.

Stupidity is exhibited in the believe that your thick head will be better protected by a merino cap than a engineered protective helmet? And I look forward to probably reading the probable "as many" contradictory scientific studies (not statistical manipulations or anecdotal papers)

My original post was quite benign but I respond with rhetoric relative to the flaming I received. Thank you for validating my subsequent post.

Continue with your choice to not wear a helmet but DO NOT impart your ill informed believe up on others that a helmet will not improve safety or indeed make unsafe.

If you are going to make swipes at my intelligence, you should probably learn the difference in spellings for belief and believe.

Secondly, writing the word 'facts' in capital letters doesn't actually prove anything, it doesn't actually confirm the veracity of what you have said or written or make it "more true". At best it's lazy, like putting "end of story" or similar, at worst it makes you look like someone on the verge of a meltdown, like Rafa Benitez when he had his "fact" wibble.

I also noticed that you ignored my asking you to explain what it is that is driving your desperation to make it illegal to get on a bike without wearing a polystyrene hat. Just why is that?

My degree is in mechanical engineering not English, I apologise for my poor grammar. I won't apologise for supporting the use of bicycle helmets in the vain hope of a reduction of injury (not a reduction of accidents which is a different debate and equally if not more important) I thought my posting of links quickly garnered on a google search with positive results of the reduction of severity of impact through wearing of helmets was answer to your question? Why exactly do you think we shouldn't? Answer me that?

Challenging discussion with no right/wrong answer that you and I will resolve and sadly with or without helmet this will not stop the tragic devastation on our roads.

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darranmoore [35 posts] 4 years ago
0 likes
Ush wrote:
darranmoore wrote:

Continue with your choice to not wear a helmet but DO NOT impart your ill informed believe up on others that a helmet will not improve safety or indeed make unsafe.

You know, you've completely convinced me. Like you and your brother I will be always wearing a helmet when I undertake activities as risky as riding a bicycle: going down stairs, crossing the road, getting out of bed etcetera.

I hope you will join me in my campaign to awake other head users out of their dangerous state of ignorance? I will be posting links which I don't understand onto pedestrians that I meet in the street (using PostIt notes) and will be assisted in this by similarly educated police officers. I expect that we will meet a good deal of resistance to the SCIENCE FACT which we will be sharing, but that's how it always is with martyrs like me.

By the way, did you know that masturbation makes you go blind?

Risk assessment yields a factor based on severity of injury x likelihood of occurrence x exposure. You work out where and when to wear a lid?

Why such strong flaming towards the support of use of helmets? Lets take away the civil liberty infringement in mandatory wearing and please explain to me why someone would not wear one given choice? Is it believed they are less safe or no percieved improvement in safety? I would welcome a straight understanding without sarcasm, please.

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