Monday, 19 December 2011

Christmas vigil for the deaths on London's roads

(From LCC website)

From 6pm on Tuesday 20 December 2011, cyclists, pedestrians, and friends and family of recent crash victims will gather outside King's Cross station for a Christmas vigil to remember loved ones and highlight the unacceptable death toll on the capital’s roads.

The London Cycling Campaign, RoadPeace, London Living Streets, and prominent bloggers are inviting all Londoners to join them beside one of the city's most dangerous junctions where already a cyclist has been killed this year.

The event will contrast the high levels of road danger in Greater London with the safety of Dutch cities, with cyclists in London at least twice as likely to be involved in a fatal crash as they are in Holland.

Campaigners are calling on the Mayor to reject his policy of putting motor traffic flow above safety.

Over 100 Londoners are killed every year in collisions on our roads, and a large proportion of these are pedestrians, as well as cyclists, motorcyclists and car occupants.

LCC chief executive Ashok Sinha said, "Every few days another London family is torn apart by the violent death of a loved one, killed needlessly on the capital's streets.

"It’s hard to imagine the pain these families will feel, especially on Christmas Day when we traditionally share the love of those closest to us.

"Sixteen of the road fatalities in 2011 have been Londoners riding bikes (up from 10 last year), and this year there have been dozens of people on foot also killed.

"London cyclists have the same right to get about safely as people in Holland, so why are we more than twice as likely to be killed in collisions in our streets?"

Mark Ames of the ibikelondon blog said, "The Dutch have shown that high-quality cycle provision and child-friendly residential zones can reduce this death toll dramatically, and improve the quality of life for all city-dwellers. These designs are being adopted all over the world, but London is being left behind.”

Danny Williams of Cyclists in the City said, "People are being asked to fling themselves on bikes through multi-lane junctions where cycling is an after-thought. The safety of cyclists and pedestrians should have just as much importance as the safety of motor users on London's streets."

Campaigners are calling for the Mayor and TfL to address the most dangerous junctions in the city as a matter of urgency, and to implement continental-style streets in London to make them as safe and inviting as they are in Holland.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Cyclist who jumped a red light has compensation reduced by 80%

This morning I read about the case of Malasi v Attmed where a cyclist who jumped a red light was claiming compensation for being hit by a taxi. The driver had proceeded through a set of traffic lights when they were green, and struck a cyclist who had jumped a red light whilst coming through the junction to the driver’s left (see my rudimentary sketch below).

 Accident Sketch

A crucial fact in this case was that the driver was travelling “gloriously in excess of the speed limit," as the Judge described it, which was between 41 and 50 miles per hour when the speed limit was 30 miles per hour. Had the driver been travelling within the speed limit (or only marginally above) the likelihood is that the cyclist would have been found wholly liable for the accident. As it was, the driver was found to be 20% liable for the accident, with the cyclist taking the lion’s share of the blame.

A worrying part of the judgment is with regard to cyclist’s clothing. The Judge found that whether or not the cyclist was wearing hi-visibility clothing was immaterial in this case, as the driver had a “good perception-response time.” However, this implies that a cyclist could be found to be partially liable for an accident if they are not wearing hi-visibility clothing, if the driver has a poor response time which contributed to the accident. As wearing hi-visibility clothing is not a legal requirement, my view is that placing any blame on the cyclist is wholly unfair as it would shift the responsibility away from drivers to watch out for cyclists.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Should red-light jumping be a police priority in Central London?

Red-light jumping by cyclists has become a priority for the police in Central London. I do not condone red-light jumping, but I think making it a police priority is not proportionate. Only 6% of collisions involving cyclists (so a tiny fraction of causes of all road traffic accidents) are caused by this practice. Furthermore, the harm caused by cyclists jumping red lights is likely to be modest compared to the damage caused by other vehicles.

The prioritising of police time on to red-light jumping cyclists is partly due to the onus on the police to deal with complaints by the public, who have apparently raised this as a concern. However, if you look at this questionnaire on the City of London website, you could understand why this might be the case as it is pretty skewed against cyclists:


http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/citypolice/forms/wardpolicingconsultation_b.aspx


You will see that there are boxes specified for people to rate their "level of concern" over the following issues:

  • dangerous cycling (the only issue qualified by an adjective)
  • skateboarders (just skateboarders, apparently - even when they are off skateboards?)
  • noise
  • drunkenness
  • rough sleepers
  • begging
By calling it "dangerous cycling" it is clearly encouraging people to complain against it. Dangerous could prefix most of the above issues to make them sound more of an issue, but this is not done. Also, there is no mention of dangerous vehicles, which are surely a much more pressing concern.


I encourage people who live, work or visit Central London to use this form to voice concerns against dangerous driving and maybe the police will take a more proportionate approach.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Open letter to Boris Johnson

Dear Mr Johnson

I was saddened to hear of the second cycling fatality at the Bow roundabout. The recent spate of cycling deaths must warrant a focused look at the current climate of cycling in London.

The attitude shown by the police, the civil courts and your own policies is indicative of a motorcentric society, and leaves much to be desired. For instance, TFL cited “traffic flow” as a priority over the welfare of cyclists in deciding whether measures were to be taken to improve safety at Blackfriars Bridge. This same attitude was illustrated by the police constable investigating the death of a cyclist who was hit by a lorry, who stated that he was “unaware of anything which could be done” to prevent such accidents. The notion that we cannot prevent the death of a cyclist by a lorry is unacceptable and inaccurate. We can restrict the times HGVs can come into Central London. We can change hazardous junctions. We can fit mirrors to the front and near-side of HGVs to avoid the blind spots which have caused so many fatalities.

The deaths from the London bombings on 7 July lead to strong action which whittled away our personal liberties by opening up the right of the police to stop and search, allowing the detainment of suspects without charge for 28 days and curtailing the right to protest. The tragic deaths of cyclists must carry the same weight as tragic deaths caused by terrorism, and action must follow. The lives of the Londoners who died in the bombings on July 7th can never be replaced, but the lives of the Londoners who have since died in cycling accidents could have been saved.

Yours sincerely

Monday, 28 November 2011

Cyclists 'urged to get insurance'

Cyclists have been warned by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) that they should get insurance. This is on the basis that cycling is a dangerous activity, which is fundamentally misconceived. In fact, it is more 'dangerous' to be a pedestrian than a cyclist. The majority of cycling accidents are also covered by some form of protection. For instance, ia cyclist is injured by an uninsured driver, or in a hit and run incident, they will be able to get compensation for their injury and financial losses by applying to the Motor Insurer's Bureau. Alternatively, if an accident is caused by an insured driver, the injury and losses will be covered by their insurer.

Realistically, the only times such insurance would be useful is where a cyclist is injured in an accident caused by themselves, a pedestrian, or another cyclist, or where a cyclist causes an accident for which they are liable. However, an accident not involving a motor vehicle is unlikely to cause more than minor harm, and the risk of a cyclist causing someone else damage is relatively slender and the type of damage is also likely to be minor.

Now I am not saying that such insurance would never be useful - indeed, there are rare instances when having the insurance would pay off. However, mview is that encouraging cyclists to get accident insurance has the undesirable consequences of reinforcing the belief that cycling is dangerous and may discourage people from cycling. Perhaps I am being cynical, but I can't help thinking that if more cyclists had insurance, it would be a natural progression for the ABI to lobby the Government to make cycle insurance a legal obligation. I am sure I am not the only cyclist who would meet this with strong opposition.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Ground breaking decision in criminal court following fatal cycling accident

The results of the criminal proceedings against Alex Dexter and Lauren Mellish have today been announced, for their role in the death of cyclist, Steven Rodway, who was killed while training for a charity bike ride. The cycling accident occurred in Essex, shortly after 7pm on 13 June 2010. Alex Dexter pleaded guilty to one count of causing death by careless driving, one count of causing death while uninsured and one count of causing death without having a driving licence, and he has been jailed for 15 months.

Lauren Mellish was also jailed for six months to reflect her part in the accident, as she had lent Dexter her car, although she knew he was not insured to drive it. This is believed to be the first time there has been a conviction in the UK for aiding and abetting another person to drive without insurance.

Both Dexter and Mellish were also disqualified from driving for three years and ordered to take extended driving tests before reapplying for their licences.

Senior Investigating Officer, Inspector Keith Whiting, said: "Alex Dexter drove the car without a licence or insurance and with the full knowledge of the owner, his then girlfriend, Lauren Mellish. They showed a disregard for people's safety, with their actions resulting in the death of Steven who was simply out riding his bike on a Sunday afternoon. They have taken the life of a young man who was a loving father and husband. They got out of the car and made up a story to cover themselves, without offering Steven any assistance. I have never known such callous actions at the scene of a fatal collision. I would like to thank Marrissa and rest of Steven's family for the support they have given the investigation team. My officers have completed a meticulous investigation resulting in the first prosecution of this kind nationally. I hope this prosecution sends a strong message to anyone who lends their car to someone unlawfully."

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Going Dutch and strict liability for drivers

I enjoyed the Guardian bike blog today, which was about the LCC's Go Dutch campaign, and how the focus of the campaign should not be on segregated cycle paths. I agree; seeking to dramatically change the infrastructure in London is impractical and segregated cycle paths are not an effective way of reducing cycling accidents.

The article also touches on the 20mph speed limit (which I have blogged about recently) and the concept of 'strict liability' as methods to improve the attitude to cycling in general. I do not think that strict liability in the form proposed by the LCC (outlined here) would have a great deal of impact from a legal perspective. My view is that the real benefit of strict liability would be in shifting society away from its current motorcentric attitudes by making it clear that drivers are responsible for the safety of cyclists.


There is often confusion about the concept of strict liability. This is not really surprising, as the name is misleading. In essence, strict liability as proposed by the LCC would mean a rebuttable presumption that the car driver is liable in any collision between a car and bicycle. As a result, the burden of proof would shift from the current position where the injured cyclist has to prove that the driver was liable for the accident, to the driver having to prove that they were not liable. It is important to be aware that this would relate purely to civil cases i.e. those who have been injured in a cycling accident and are seeking compensation. This has no bearing on criminal cases.


On the subject of strict liability, the LCC say that, "the current system isn't fair: if a pedestrian or cyclist is hit by a motor vehicle, they are far more likely to suffer serious injury than the driver or passengers. It seems reasonable that the people who use the most damaging vehicles should pay for most of the injuries caused. There is a bias against vulnerable road users which means, sadly, drivers are less likely to worry about collisions because they know they're very unlikely to be held accountable."


However, I have not seen any evidence of a "bias against vulnerable road users" and I do not think that this is the case. I get to see the practical difficulties cyclists face in proving liability and getting compensation for their injuries. From a legal point of view, there is already a good system in place to ensure that drivers are accountable for causing accidents – if they have breached their duty of care to another road user then they are liable for injury and loss which arises from that. There is also a recognition that drivers should take responsibility because of the dangers posed by cars.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Another cycling death involving a lorry - on a cycle superhighway

I was sad to read of the death of another cyclist this morning, who was involved in a collision with a tipper lorry. The accident occurred on the cycle superhighway on the Bow Road roundabout, although I have not heard the precise details of the accident yet.

I find it very strange that people continue to prioritise cycle helmets, whereas measures to stop the number of fatalities involving lorries are rarely in the public eye.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-15440182

Monday, 24 October 2011

Cycling Campaigner in Accident

I was very sad to read of Lindsi Bluemel's cycling accident, which has reportedly left her with life-threatening injuries. It sounded needless, as it was caused by a "five-metre long piece of plastic" lying in her path, and it is particularly sad to read of this occurring to someone who had been promoting cycle safety; she is the chairman of the Southampton Cycling Campaign.

What struck me about the article was a point it made that Lindsi Bluemel's helmet had been stolen a few days before the accident, with the implication that she would have avoided life-threatening injuries had she been wearing a helmet. This is mirrored in comments underneath the article, such as "Mrs Bluemel should have known that if you're riding on the road you need your lid on, surely."

I think it is in pretty poor taste to start placing the blame on a cyclist for not immediately replacing a stolen helmet, when it is not even reported whether she had a head injury. Furthermore, the comments were made where an injured person's family are likely to read them. In fact, Lindsi Bluemel's son and daughter did read the article and both left comments, with one defending their mother for not wearing a helmet.

I think it is unlikely that a car passenger would be blamed for being severely injured had they not been wearing a safety belt, particularly where this had been stolen a few days prior, as in Lindsi Bluemel's case. This is despite the case, as far as I am aware, that the benefits of wearing a safety belt are not disputed, and passengers are legally obliged to wear them. However, the effectiveness of cycle helmets is widely debated and it is not a legal requirement to wear them. It is sad that cyclists are often blamed for accidents that are not their fault, and I believe it speaks a great deal on the way cyclists are viewed in our society.

http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/9322023.Cycling_campaigner_critical_after_bike_fall/

Monday, 17 October 2011

Why Young is wrong on health and safety

It is getting a little old now, but here is my letter, published in the Law Society Gazette on 25 November 2010, on the Health and Safety fallacy.
Lord Young has resigned from his post as adviser to the prime minister following his ill-conceived statement that ‘the vast majority of people in the country today... have never had it so good ever since this... so-called recession started’.

Of course, Lord Young has also recently published his report on health and safety regulations, which chastises ‘compensation culture’ and describes the operation of health and safety law as a ‘music hall joke’.
Lord Young’s comments about the ‘so-called recession’ show ignorance of the reality of the economic situation. Low interest rates may benefit new homeowners, and some of those who are more comfortable financially, but the majority are faced with rising food prices, benefit cuts and redundancies.

The same lack of understanding pervades his review of health and safety legislation. The government’s own statistics show there are fewer claims brought now than there were 10 years ago. Employers are mostly subject to safety requirements that are grounded in common sense and which dictate that employers must act only so far as is reasonably practicable. The main beneficiaries of the proposed cuts to health and safety requirements are the employers themselves – by and large the same people who are having a ‘good recession’.

If Lord Young’s recommendations are followed then things might get better for those who ‘have never had it so good’, but this will be at the expense of the majority.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Joke Is On General Motors

The ridiculous advertising campaign by General Motors which encouraged America’s students to give up cycling in favour of driving a pick-up truck (see below) has been sent-up by the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer, Giant.

Good work!





 The original advertisement from General Motors




The response from Giant.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Rapha Etiquette by Simon Mills

• White socks only from May onwards. Black socks are for winter months.
• Yes, vintage jerseys - 20 years old or more - can look rather chic but, let’s face it, you do not ride for the US Postal/Quickstep/Liquigas team and you do not get paid big bucks to wear its garish livery, either… so who are you trying to kid?
• All road cycling kit should be road cycling-specific. Men who wear floral board shorts intended for the beach whilst on the road should be banned from the sport. Training shoes, baseball caps, Aviator sunglasses etc are also totally unacceptable. And those novelty jerseys printed with Heinz Baked Beans, London A-Z and Marmite logos? Not funny or clever.
• The only exception to this rule is a wooly hat for winter riding which can be of generic outdoor or hand-knitted provenance. Ski hats with big, comical bobbles, perhaps emblazoned with the name of a Dolomite resort or Alpine mountain, are also allowed. Wear with clear or yellow-lensed glasses – spectacle arms worn over (not under) wooly hat. Persol sunglasses, as worn by David Millar, are also OK.
• At cafés, bars and pubs cyclists must always sit outside, no matter what the season. Why? Well it looks more European and you can keep an eye on your bike, but mainly because there is no place for Lycra in a public bar and a nice Sunday-lunching family does not need to stare at your ugly lunchbox.
• Acceptable drinks to enjoy halfway through a ride include French/Italian/Spanish lager (strictly bottles only), a glass of cold shandy (refer to it as “un panache”, if it makes you feel more French), a glass of ice-cold rosé (Duralex tumbler please) and, particularly during winter, a slug of brandy from one’s back pocket to “correct” your coffee. Citrus juices are a bit acidic but apricot juice straight from the bottle is good. Coca Cola, Fanta etc are only acceptable served in bottles. No vodka-based drinks or pints of bitter.
• Cycling food. During a ride lunchbreak; pasta, slices of proper, thin crust pizza, Caprese salad, steak frites, toasted panatone, ham and cheese baguettes. Full English breakfast is also acceptable when riding in UK.
• Cyclist’s tan; brown forearms, brown shins and calves, brown nose, ears and cheeks, brown stripe on back of neck, dry, chapped lips, brown fingertips, sunburned triangle at sternum, weird little brown circles adjacent to the thumb where there’s a gap in the mitts. Everything else – feet, ankles, tummy, thighs, forehead, hands etc; sparkling white.
• When two roadies travelling in opposite directions pass each other, brief eye contact must be made and the cursory but crucial “cyclists’ nod” administered. This is as close as we get to a Masonic handshake.
• Cycling, like rock ‘n’ roll and flower-arranging, is an alpha male lingua franca. You can bond with like-minded riders and tag onto club rides all over the world. But when not in the company of fellow cyclists, the first rule of cycling club should always be: don’t talk about cycling club. All road cyclists should have plenty of non-roadie friends who have absolutely no idea what they get up to of a Sunday morning. And that’s just the way we like to keep it. Why? Well, non-cyclists simply don’t understand us. In fact, they think we are weird. (To be honest, we are… a bit.)
• Learn some basic repair skills. This is not nerdy, it is essential. Knowing three bits of simple maintenance could be the difference between a long, wet walk pushing your bike to the nearest taxi rank or train station and a simple trundle in to the nearest town. Master the mysterious ways of a chain breaker, get the hang of fixing a flat tyre and carry the appropriate tools at all times.
• Be friends with your local bike shop mechanic. He can do stuff you can’t. Bike shops are essential for not just buying bits but also for hanging out in and drooling over hardware.
• Appreciate the elegant efficiency of your machine, taking time to look down at your chain and mechs doing their magical stuff as you change gear. Your bike needs to feel your love.
• Try not to rock your shoulders too much when climbing. It’s a waste of energy and it looks silly… and remember to breathe.
• Always black shorts. White shorts are for aerobics teachers.
• Having lots of bikes makes perfect, rational sense. Road bikes in carbon, steel and titanium are all essential. Consider owning also; a meticulously restored vintage Hetchins, Holdsworth or Colnago; a gentleman’s bike for when you ride around town in a suit.
• Unless you are astride a touring bike, any extraneous equipment should be kept on the body, not on the bike. Pumps, tool kits, rain jackets etc look naff, twee and nerdy mounted to the crossbar saddle or bars and spoil the elegant lines of your titanium frame. So stuff all your bits and pieces in those three pockets on the back of your jersey.
• The only exception here is a folded up tyre, rakishly attached to the rear of the saddle with an old fashioned pedal strap.
• Use of a handlebar-mounted Garmin or iPhone for navigation is OK but stopping to consult a crease-worn Ordnance survey map is much more the thing.
• When stationary, always complain of being cold; it makes everyone think your body fat percentage is really low.
• Clip-on aero / TT bars? Non.
• Make like the Italians who like to ride slow and long. It’s stupid, uncool and very rude to burn off at top speed at the beginning of a Sunday morning jaunt. Cyclists that do this always end up struggling at the back anyway.
• Do not refer to a sportive as “a race”. Racing is racing, everything else, even the mighty Etape du Tour, is a jolly.
• Bar tape should be finished off using plain-coloured, bog-standard electrical insulating tape.
• Presta innertube valves should be left nude (ie no dust caps) and collarless.
• Clean your bike with a brush and a bucket of warm soapy water. Using a jet wash is vulgar and insensitive to your bike’s feelings.
• Too high seat posts; look sporty but your arse looks bad rocking about on the saddle. Go for a low Belgium style. Same goes for stems that a far too long for your physique…you’ll be seeing the osteopath soon enough.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Is raising the speed limit on the motorway to 80mph an expensive distraction?


I've just been reading about the transport secretary’s plans to raise the speed limit to 80mph on the motorway. This appears to be a headline grabbing red-herring to distract from the proposals which will see an increase in roads with a 20mph limit in residential areas.

The 20mph speed limit is expected to be unpopular as it will be seen as a continuation of the so-called “war on motorists”. Whatsmore, since the proposals are spawned from the EU’s recent resolution on road safety (which I blogged about recently) some may feel that the changes smack of the EU meddling in British affairs.

I find it difficult to see the point of increasing the limit on motorways when most motorists are said to be driving at 80mph without penalty. Presumably, the effects of increasing the speed limit on motorways will be:

  • some drivers will be able to legitimately make slightly quicker journeys;
  • petrol consumption will increase, and there will be a negative impact on the environment (it is suggested that 20% more fuel is consumed by increasing in speed from 70mph to 80mph);
  • the number of accidents will rise, resulting in an increase in the burden on the NHS and emergency services. Accidents which would have occurred anyway may also result in more severe injuries;
  • car usage will rise;
  • the country will have to pay for implementing the changes.

I don’t think people need to be enraged about the proposed changes, as the effects are relatively insignificant. In fact, on the whole, the roads will be safer for cyclists as there will be more 20mph zones. However, it is sad, and a little irresponsible, that the Government has to appease the nation's motorists by engaging in a costly exercise which may well increase the number of accidents and have an adverse effect on the environment with no real gain.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

EU agree on 20mph speed limit

After the disheartening response to the campaign to give Blackfriars Bridge a 20mph speed limit, it is great to read that the European Parliament has voted in favour of an EU-wide 30kph (18.6 mph) speed limit in residential areas. The resolution as it currently stands is not legally binding but indicates that the EU “strongly recommends the responsible authorities to introduce speed limits of 30 km/h in all residential areas and on single-lane roads in urban areas which have no separate cycle lanes.”

"Today marks a decisive day in making a 30kph speed limit an accepted practice throughout Europe," said a statement from the European Cyclists' Federation. But it is not just cyclists who are in favour of a 20mph speed limit. The Institute of Advanced Motorists released a poll last month in which two thirds of its members supported the adoption of a 20mph speed limit.

The EU are in support of the report of Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, which gave considerable mention to cyclists, as vulnerable road users. The Koch Report is now the European Parliament’s position on road safety and will have to be taken into consideration when the Commission puts forward proposals and initiatives.

The Koch Report states that vulnerable road users (such as riders of motorcycles, mopeds, cyclists and pedestrians) are significant, and their safety needs have not been addressed. In fact, accidents involving these road users are increasing and in 2008 they represented 45% of all road deaths and statistics.

Other ideas promoted by the report include increasing the data collection and analysis for accidents to aid the understanding of crashes and risks, such as by installing event data recorders (‘black boxes’), in professional vehicles.

Monday, 26 September 2011

As if 20 Tour stage wins (including three on the Champs-Elysées), the green jersey, stage wins in the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España, the Vuelta's points jersey and victory in the Milan-San Remo classic two years ago were not enough, Cavendish still found himself, only a few weeks ago, sitting on a breakfast TV sofa and being asked if he rode his bike to the shops. They will have to take him seriously now.
Well said....and congratulations to Mark Cavendish and Team GB.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2011/sep/25/mark-cavendish-road-race-championships

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Paralympian on Road to Recovery

I am glad to read that Simon Richardson, the paralympian recently in a life threatening cycling accident, is on the road to recovery…although this is likely to take 2-3 years.

He suffered fractures to his spine, a broken pelvis, and a broken breast bone, in the accident, and will be missing the 2012 paralympics. This must be hugely disappointing for him, especially as he won two gold medals and a silver at Beijing in 2008. However, he has vowed to keep on cycling - a truly inspirational man.

Cardboard Cycle Helmet

I’ve been reading about the fascinating developments in the cardboard cycle helmet.
I am still not convinced that helmets should have so much focus, when they play such a small part in overall cycling safety….but this is still definitely one technological advance to keep an eye on:

http://www.anirudharao.com/index.php?/project/kranium/

Misleading article on cycling?

I enjoy reading how cycling is developing in different countries, and I today read this interesting article on cycling in the Waterloo region of Canada.

The headine of the article shouts “cyclists at fault in majority of bike-vehicle collisions”. This is a shame, because most people will stop reading there, with their prejudices against cyclists intact. The article actually goes on to tackle the more useful issue of why cyclists are on the sidewalks in the first place (which leads to the proloferation of accidents) as it not exactly the most convenient place for someone to choose to cycle.

Eleanor McMahon, founder of the Ontario Share the Road Coalition, says “do you know why they ride on the sidewalks? Because they don’t feel safe riding on the roads.” The discussion moves on to the important point of education for cyclists and drivers, which is clearly a good step, although perhaps there should be more emphasis placed on education for drivers.

The article finishes up with a “year-round cyclist” giving his views. Sadly, the blame still seems to be on changing how cyclists behave. He states that bikes needs to be sold with quality lighting, “as in Europe” (really?!) rather than as an add on and then he suggests that having more cycling infrastructure that separates vehicles and bicycles is the way forward.

However, he goes on to the stronger point that ”legislation is needed that requires cars to stay at least one metre away from bicycles when passing”. This may sound a bit far fetched in the UK, and its enforceability may be another thing, but it is actually already a law in Nova Scotia.

I would rather 1.5 metres clearance but it is a step in the right direction…..in fact, on a morning cummute in London, a metre clearance from passing cars would be a luxury!