Cyclists slam road safety initiative by branding it a blame game

Newcycling, Newcastle’s cycling campaign, speaks out against a counterproductive road safety initiative, when a flyer from Road Safety GB Northeast fails to address real safety issues. Newcycling recently adopted Sustainable Safety as a campaign policy to counteract the prevailing negative approach to road safety.

Traditional ‘awareness initiatives’ are typically lacking relevance and perspective: cyclists are usually asked to do all the work, whilst drivers are left to simply carry on unguarded with their rather dangerous activity. Yet the risk to cause harm, injure and even kill sits disproportionately with the driver. A flyer by Road Safety GB Northeast does exactly that. It claims it wants to help cycling safety, but fails to put context to the wider issues such as drivers not looking and posing the biggest danger on the roads.

Gary Dawes, member of Newcycling, says” Perhaps an info sheet for drivers could be drawn up instead? A real cycle safety perspective would look at it like this: a safe, well designed road environment with separation from heavy fast-moving vehicles keeps people on bikes protected.

“So it is unbearable to witness when road safety executive organisations, like local authorities, support and fund this nonsense that puts sole onus on cyclists. They fail to understand and deliver real and holistic solutions. The risk needs minimising and eliminating – handing out advice to mitigate against poor provision and bad driving is like trying to fix an amputation wound by using sticking plaster.”

Katja Leyendecker, chair, says “It’s time we got real about road safety. Cyclists get killed by motorists, not vice versa. Maybe a stronger partnership is needed between the local authority, police force and informed interest groups to take the bull by the horns and tackle road safety head-on: better infrastructure and clamping down on driving offences. The council as highway authority has to take the lead.”

Sustainable Road Safety https://newcycling.org/policy/sustainablesafety
Safety flyer busted https://newcycling.org/news/20140720/road-safety-gb-ne-cycling-safety-metaphoric-car-crash
Offensive road safety flyer by Road Safety GB NE https://newcycling.org/sites/default/files/RSGB_NE_flyer.pdf

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