Thursday, 2 January 2014

High-visibility community punishment?

Sharp Edge Trip has recently pointed out that Manchester City Council has filed their pretty poor Cycling safety web page under the heading "Crime, antisocial behaviour & nuisance".

The parts that really piss me off are lines like

Always wear a helmet as this reduces the risk of head injury if you are involved in a crash.


wear bright or fluorescent clothing in daylight and in poor light and reflective clothing at night

Neither of these measures are proven to be effective, and are probably both counterproductive. The case for Hi-Viz is demolished by the Road Danger Reduction Forum as yet more victim blaming, and the case against cycle helmets has always been clear, as collated by the Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation.

Thinking this through over the holiday I remembered a previous Hi-Viz news story, Labour Minister Jack Straw introducing compulsory high visibility orange vests for offenders serving out their punishment under Community Payback....

Photograph: Ministry of Justice

When will Manchester City Council and TfGM stop treating cycling as a nuisance behaviour to be punished, and start promoting it as a safe healthy activity which should be enjoyed whilst wearing normal clothing and build the infrastructure to go with it?

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