Saturday Jan 31, 2009

Risks from cyclists

If you were to believe the papers you would think there was a huge problem cyclists endangering pedestrians. Whether it is cyclists jumping traffic lights or cyclists on the pavement. However llike so many things the truth of the matter is very different. While pavement cyclists and red light jumping should not be condoned the danger it represents is wildly overstated. As a pedestrian or any other road user the the dangers are motor vehicles.

As can be seen from the answer given by the secretary of state for Transport:

Jim Fitzpatrick: The numbers of pedestrians that were (a) injured, (b) seriously injured and (c) killed in collisions with (i) cars (ii) all motor vehicles and (iii) cyclists in reported personal injury road accidents in each of the last 10 years are given in the table:

Number of casualties

 

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Cars











All injured

37367

35054

34199

32955

31490

29276

28116

26680

24963

24169

Serious

8063

7451

7161

6828

6496

5886

5552

5251

5236

5064

Killed

673

608

590

531

534

533

462

470

471

433












All motor vehicles











All injured

43621

41598

40783

39431

37734

35337

33931

32290

30060

29297

Serious

9492

8876

8559

8169

7801

7109

6746

6389

6322

6224

Killed

904

863

851

825

770

767

669

666

672

642












Pedal Cyclists











All injured

309

346

291

258

205

255

235

276

223

225

Serious

72

70

66

60

47

45

49

61

47

48

Killed

2

5

3

0

4

4

1

3

3

4

1. All injured includes seriously injured and slightly injured casualties.



So if you percieve you are in danger from cyclists, watch out for the cars.

Original data here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmhansrd/cm090126/text/90126w0003.htm#column_14W

Saturday Jan 20, 2007

Improving cycling safety

Robert Gifford writing in the Independent on making cycling safer while correctly noting that drivers should note Paragraph 139 of the Highway code:

give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would a car when overtaking (see Rules 188, 189 and 191.

falls into the usual problem area for people looking for a solution. That of segregated cycle paths and tracks. Good quality cycle tracks and paths are a pipe dream. They would need to reduce the number of junctions that cyclists face, recall that the vast majority of accidents occur at junctions, the terrible accident which resulted in his comment is an exception. Then the paths and tracks would have to be swept and maintained regularly. It could be done but in reality it is never going to happen. The real estate required makes that a certainty.

He then moves to the real issue. That of inappropriate speed. However rather than simply suggesting a zero tolerance to speeding. I would suggest removing fines for speeding so that the motoring lobby can no longer suggest that safety cameras are a revenue generating solution and simply go straight for driving bans. 3 points and a 3 month driving ban. 6 points 6 months etc. Job done.

Instead he suggests adding pinch points. Pinch points put vulnerable road users at greater risk. Indeed the only road I have been scared off riding on is Oatlands Drive between Walton and Weybridge which was fine until pinch points were added. They even have cycle “paths” that lead you into the pinch point at the same time as vehicles are swerving towards you. Truly horrible, prior to giving up on this road I took to just taking the same route as the cars which used to irritate them as I would only be doing 30mph (it is down hill).

He even then falls for the Helmet suggestion while admitting that they won't prevent accidents he seems to imply that they will make a difference. Another pipe dream.

I fear for the state of cycling safety while those that advocate it to parliament seem to have such a poor grasp of reality.

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This is the old blog of Chris Gerhard. It has mostly moved to http://chrisgerhard.wordpress.com

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