Safe Drivers and Vehicles

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.

Roger Geffen's picture

Police should tackle real danger, not fine cyclists just to meet targets

CTC has condemned a Metropolitan Police memo setting police officers a target to fine 40 cyclists in 4 months, or 10 per month.
Police officers stop cyclist (photo by Manic Street Preacher, CC licence)

The memo, issued by Inspector Colin Davies and revealed in the Times, says “Officers have four months to do 40 cycle tickets. Ten per month… This will give them a renewed focus for a while.”  The memo was issued on 18 November, the day on which charity worker Richard Muzira was killed by a lorry in Camberwell, the sixth cyclist to die in 13 days on London’s roads.

RhiaWeston's picture

CTC and CDF are now linked charities

CTC and the Cyclists' Defence Fund have been officially linked.

The linking process

CDF was set up by CTC as an independent charity in 2001, before CTC itself acquired charitable status. Having done so now, CTC has been formally linked with CDF, a process that has simplified the charities’ administration and will allow CDF to be better integrated with CTC’s campaigning work.

RhiaWeston's picture

CPS drops fixed penalty notice prosecution

This week the Crown Prosecution Service discontinued proceedings against a cyclist for failing to stop at a red light.
Alex hopes the decision encourages police not to always resort to FPNs

The cyclist, Alex Paxton, challenged the fixed penalty notice (FPN) with support from the charity the Cyclists’ Defence Fund (CDF), which provides guidance on the law relating to cycling and assists with fighting legal cases which could clarify the law. 

Roger Geffen's picture

Don't just train people to avoid lorry danger - minimise it, says CTC

As MPs demand answers on cycle safety, CTC says that raising people's awareness of risk, and training them to avoid it, are the best 'quick wins'. But the 'big wins' involve reducing it.
CTC President Jon Snow giving evidence in Parliament

CTC has submitted evidence on cycle safety to a hastily called parliamentary inquiry, and provided a briefing for a parliamentary debate yesterday (26 November).

Gordon Seabright's picture

Hold hauliers to account over cyclist fatalities, says CTC

15 November 2013
CTC has today written to urge the Transport Minister to adopt a dramatic new approach over cyclist fatalities that involve HGVs. It's cost-free and needs no legislation, but will put vulnerable road users at the front of the minds of those running the haulage industry.

CTC has been campaigning on behalf of cyclists and cycling for well over a century, and we always try to take a positive view; we’re passionate about the benefits of cycling and we want more people to enjoy them. 

However, it is impossible not to feel anger after a terrible nine days in which six cyclists have been killed on Britain's roads - 5 of them in London and all of them involving large vehicles. We believe urgent action is needed.

Roger Geffen's picture

CTC condemns rising toll of cyclists' deaths in London

14 November 2013
CTC demands action on cyclists’ safety in London after a fifth cyclist is killed in ten days on the capital’s roads.
A 'ghost bike' at the Bow Roundabout: photo by Diamond Geezer (Creative Commons)

In a terrible week for cycling in London, the total number of cyclists killed in 2013 has risen to 13, 8 of them killed by lorries. CTC is calling for serious improvements to cyclists' safety at major junctions, to the design of lorries, and to driver training, in order to avert more unnecessary deaths.

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  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541

 

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