Safe Drivers and Vehicles

Roger Geffen's picture

Advertising watchdog’s helmet ruling threatens the promotion of normal cycling

CTC, the national cycling charity, has voiced concern over a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) which could prevent future adverts from showing cyclists without helmets on TV.
The image that proved controversial to the ASA

In response to complaints against a TV advert produced by Cycling Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, the ASA ruled that all future television advertising featuring cyclists must only show cyclists wearing helmets. 

The ASA also ruled that the cyclist's position on the road in the advert was unsafe. CTC believes this is at odds with UK-wide national standards for cycle training, which CTC was instrumental in developing, and which are now backed by the UK and Scottish Governments.

Roger Geffen's picture

CTC calls on councils to fund cycle facilities through road maintenance programmes

22 January 2014
As the Government proposes a £50m fund for maintaining pedestrian and cycling routes, CTC calls for councils to maximise the synergies between their cycling programmes and their planned road maintenance budgets.
New York track built through maintenance work. Photo D Passmore (CC licence)

CTC has welcomed Government proposals to earmark £50m annually for maintaining walking and cycling facilities, out of the £976m distributed annually to councils for local road maintenance.

However, CTC believes even more cycle-friendly improvements could be made very cost-effectively if councils considered ways to deliver new or improved cycle provision whenever they are planning to resurface a road.

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RhiaWeston's picture

Road Justice campaign meets with Sentencing Council

CTC's Road Justice campaign, along with partners British Cycling and RoadPeace, met this week with the Sentencing Council to discuss the forthcoming review of sentencing guidelines for driving offences.
Victims rarely feel justice is done when a driver is sentenced

Drivers are being treated excessively leniently by the justice system, particularly at the point of sentencing, which demonstrates it is in need of a complete overhaul. 

The Government announced a review of the guidelines last year but has since postponed the review until the Ministry of Justice has revised current legislation concerning motoring offences.

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Chris Peck's picture

Goodwill reiterates footway cycling guidance

National media has become very excited about Cycling Minister Robert Goodwill's affirmation that police should not fine cyclists on the pavement if they are there through a fear of traffic. However, CTC believes that it is better to improve road conditions for cyclists and offer cycle training.
Police should use discretion when penalising cyclists on the pavement

Goodwill had mentioned in a letter his support for the principle that police should use their discretion when fining cyclists on the pavement. 

This reiterates guidance from Home Office ministers 15 years ago - when the fixed penalty notice for cycling on the pavement was created.

Although CTC believes that more enforcement of road traffic law is necessary to make conditions safer for cyclists and keep bad drivers off the streets, the risks posed by cyclists are often not proportionate to the level of enforcement that is targeted at cyclists.

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Chris Peck's picture

Cycling through the floods

The last few weeks of flooding have brought challenges and dangers, and shows how fragile our cycling infrastructure is. Chris Peck examines some of the problems the flooded conditions have brought - and asks for your experiences.
The River Wey and towpath - normally a cycle route

Ok, so maybe we're just a bunch of southern softies, but the rain has brought problems beyond just a few pairs of wet socks.

I cycle five miles to work each day, with a few options to play with, one of which is the River Wey towpath, a lovely traffic-free route in dry weather.

Another route is a fiddly cycle path, involving a few steps and a bridge you have to walk over.

Unfortunately, both of these routes are currently under deep water in many places and have considerable postdiluvian damage to embankments and surface.

RhiaWeston's picture

Drivers have 1 in 10 chance of going to jail for killing a cyclist

The London Evening Standard reported this week that drivers in London have a one in 10 chance of going to jail if they are involved in the death of a cyclist.
1 in 10 drivers jailed for causing a cyclists' death, many more not prosecuted

The newspaper analysed police data on the 40 cyclists killed in the capital between 2010 and 2012 and found that only 4 of the drivers involved had been sent to prison.

Cherry Allan's picture

CTC welcomes official go-ahead for lights to help cyclists at junctions

News that the Department for Transport (DfT) has finally given the go-ahead to ‘low-level’ traffic lights has been welcomed by CTC, who have long campaigned for the move.
Low-level lights will help cyclists at junctions

The mini, cycle-specific lights help cyclists at junctions because they repeat the signal displayed on the main traffic lights at a level that makes them easier for people on bikes to see. The lights are already a common sight in most other European countries and proved very popular during track-based trials in the UK.

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Cherry Allan's picture

Road safety and cycling: Overview

'More' as well as 'safer' cycling can and should go hand-in-hand...
Cyclist wait at junction
Headline Messages: 
  • Cycling is essentially a safe activity, causing little risk either to cyclists themselves or to other road users. Moreover, there is good evidence that cyclists gain from ‘safety in numbers’, with cycling becoming safer as cycle use increases. 
  • However, fear of road traffic is a major deterrent, despite the health, environmental and other benefits of cycling. 61% of people surveyed on their attitudes agreed or strongly agreed that “it is too dangerous for me to cycle on the roads." (2011 British Social Attitudes Survey).
  • Actual cycle safety in the UK lags behind many of our continental neighbours, because of poorly designed roads and junctions, traffic volumes and speeds, irresponsible driving, and a legal system that fails to respond adequately to road danger. 
  • National and local government should therefore aim for ‘more’ as well as ‘safer’ cycling – the two aims can and should go hand-in-hand.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 
  • Road safety strategies, nationally and locally, should recognise that:
    • Cycling is a safe activity, posing little risk either to cyclists themselves or to other road users
    • The health benefits of cycling far outweigh the risks involved 
    • Cycling gets safer the more cyclists there are: the ‘safety in numbers’ effect 
    • The aim of cycle safety policies and initiatives should be to encourage more as well as safer cycling, in order to maximise its health, environmental and other benefits, and to improve overall safety for all road users
  • Encouraging more as well as safer cycling involves tackling factors that deter cycle use. These include high traffic volumes and speeds; irresponsible driver behaviour; the unfriendly design of many roads and junctions; and lorries. 
  • The provision of cycle training to the national standard can also help people to cycle more, to ride more safely, and to feel safer and more confident while doing so. It can also help parents feel more confident about allowing their children to cycle. 
  • Increases in cyclist casualties may still mean cycle safety is improving if cycle use is increasing more steeply than cyclist casualties. Therefore targets and indicators for the effectiveness of road safety strategies should adopt ‘rate-based’ measures for improvements in cycle safety, e.g. cycle casualties (or fatal and serious injuries) per million km cycled, or per million trips. Simple casualty reduction targets should be avoided. 
  • ‘Perception-based’ indicators, which show whether public perceptions of cycle safety in a given area are getting better, can be used alongside ‘rate-based’ indicators, or as an interim substitute for the latter if necessary. 
  • Care should be taken to avoid cycle safety awareness campaigns that ‘dangerise’ cycling. These deter people from cycling or allowing their children to cycle and are counter-productive because they erode the ‘safety in numbers’ effect, as well as undermining the activity’s wider health and other benefits.
Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
December 2013
Chris Peck's picture

Minister proposes innovative solutions to cycle safety

Transport Minister Robert Goodwill has only been in post for a couple of months, but after the terrible string of deaths in London, cycling has come to dominate his portfolio. The Transport Select Committee took evidence from him this week, many of his responses were encouraging.
Robert Goodwill before the Transport Select Committee

In his evidence to the Transport Select Committee, he was well-briefed and offered some refreshing opinions on cycle safety and increasing cycling.

He's an experienced cyclist and has also driven lorries, putting him in a unique position to comment on the needs of both.

A cyclist - and a lorry driver

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RhiaWeston's picture

Metropolitan Police traffic head talks directly to CTC about cyclist fines

Following reports that the Metropolitan Police had set a target for officers to fine 40 cyclists in 4 months, I heard from Detective Chief Superintendent Glyn Jones, the head of the Met's traffic police unit.

You will see below that DCS Jones describes the internal target-setting memo as a misinterpretation of his instructions. CTC welcomes this, but we sought his assurance that no police officers in London still have targets to fine cyclists.

His response was that the original target set was intended to target dangerous behaviour by both motorists and cyclists and that only those who commit an offence would receive a FPN. He has not clarified whether or not these targets are still in place.

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