Mandatory Helmets and hi-vis to be considered in government eview

thirdcrank
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Re: Mandatory Helmets and hi-vis to be considered in government eview

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Dec 2017, 9:36am

pjclinch wrote: ... You can dig further if you want, particularly separating for cyclist casualty rates, but the main take-away is the roads have been getting safer since the mid-60s for values of "safer" that involve not getting an ambulance ride. As soon as you start looking at more trivial stuff than incidents involving blue flashing lights the data becomes remarkably poor because reporting is patchy.

Pete.


OK, but I'd have to say that casualty reduction has done cycling no favours. There's also the point that one element of that strategy has been things like dressing up everything that moves in hi-viz ............................

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Re: Mandatory Helmets and hi-vis to be considered in government eview

Postby pjclinch » 7 Dec 2017, 9:54am

thirdcrank wrote:
pjclinch wrote: ... You can dig further if you want, particularly separating for cyclist casualty rates, but the main take-away is the roads have been getting safer since the mid-60s for values of "safer" that involve not getting an ambulance ride. As soon as you start looking at more trivial stuff than incidents involving blue flashing lights the data becomes remarkably poor because reporting is patchy.

Pete.


OK, but I'd have to say that casualty reduction has done cycling no favours. There's also the point that one element of that strategy has been things like dressing up everything that moves in hi-viz ............................


That casualty reductions haven't boosted cycling numbers is true, but that those of us remaining are less likely to be Doomed isn't exactly a bad thing!

The trend for wrapping everything in YELLOW! is quite a recent one compared to the length of time the roads have got progressively less killing of their users. And while it's been widely assumed to make wearers safer, actual hard research evidence backing that up is notably lacking. There are lots of things that have contributed to improved road safety and you need to account for the others before you declare one single one a win in its own right.

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thirdcrank
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Re: Mandatory Helmets and hi-vis to be considered in government eview

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Dec 2017, 10:02am

pjclinch wrote: ... That casualty reductions haven't boosted cycling numbers is true, but that those of us remaining are less likely to be Doomed isn't exactly a bad thing!

The trend for wrapping everything in YELLOW! is quite a recent one compared to the length of time the roads have got progressively less killing of their users. And while it's been widely assumed to make wearers safer, actual hard research evidence backing that up is notably lacking. There are lots of things that have contributed to improved road safety and you need to account for the others before you declare one single one a win in its own right.

Pete.


That's all pretty much what I was getting at in my roundabout way.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Mandatory Helmets and hi-vis to be considered in government eview

Postby [XAP]Bob » 7 Dec 2017, 12:30pm

thirdcrank wrote:
pjclinch wrote: ... You can dig further if you want, particularly separating for cyclist casualty rates, but the main take-away is the roads have been getting safer since the mid-60s for values of "safer" that involve not getting an ambulance ride. As soon as you start looking at more trivial stuff than incidents involving blue flashing lights the data becomes remarkably poor because reporting is patchy.

Pete.


OK, but I'd have to say that casualty reduction has done cycling no favours. There's also the point that one element of that strategy has been things like dressing up everything that moves in hi-viz ............................


And everything that doesn't move:
https://waronthemotorist.wordpress.com/ ... the-roads/
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Re: Mandatory Helmets and hi-vis to be considered in government eview

Postby mjr » 7 Dec 2017, 12:59pm

pjclinch wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:OK, but I'd have to say that casualty reduction has done cycling no favours. There's also the point that one element of that strategy has been things like dressing up everything that moves in hi-viz ............................


That casualty reductions haven't boosted cycling numbers is true, but that those of us remaining are less likely to be Doomed isn't exactly a bad thing!

When it's led by public health, in my experience, casualty reduction targets casualty rate reduction rather than reduction of absolute numbers. I think that is to reduce the temptation to to cut numbers walking or cycling and thereby cut the absolute number without reducing the rate, which would harm public health another way.

One major difficulty in this is that the amount of cycling, the denominator when you want to calculate the rate, lags months behind the absolute casualty numbers because we still don't do proper near-real-time counts for walking and cycling: automatic counters are being disabled due to funding cuts, government traffic count points are on major roads not major cycle routes and the interview-type surveys take months to complete. Also, we know casualty numbers more precisely than cycling numbers, although still not exact because not all injuries get reported to police, which is the main source used.

So in the short term, the top-level decision-makers are watching the absolute numbers until the rates become available, which can mislead them: Norwich saw about a 5% year-on-year increase in absolute cycling casualties, but then the cycling numbers estimate there's been an 40% increase in cycling, so it's probably still a fall in casualty rate, depending on which calculation you use.
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Re: Mandatory Helmets and hi-vis to be considered in government eview

Postby mjr » 7 Dec 2017, 1:01pm

pjclinch wrote:The trend for wrapping everything in YELLOW! is quite a recent one compared to the length of time the roads have got progressively less killing of their users. And while it's been widely assumed to make wearers safer, actual hard research evidence backing that up is notably lacking.

I think it was introduced in the 1993 edition of the highway code and not removed in 2007. It wasn't in the 1974 edition - was there another in between 1974 and 1993? The 1987 one is described as "revised" not "new edition" but does mention "new rules for cyclists".
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gaz
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Re: Mandatory Helmets and hi-vis to be considered in government eview

Postby gaz » 7 Dec 2017, 1:55pm

I have an edition described as "Prepared by the DoT and the COoI 1978 Revised 1983" which contains:
The road user on foot
GENERAL
4 Always wear or carry something white or light coloured or reflective in the dark or in poor light. ....

Extra rules for cyclists

136 When you are riding: ...
h wear light-coloured or reflective and fluorescent clothing (see Rule 4).
It's got nothing to do with vorsprung durch technic you know ...

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Re: Mandatory Helmets and hi-vis to be considered in government eview

Postby mjr » 7 Dec 2017, 2:33pm

gaz wrote:I have an edition described as "Prepared by the DoT and the COoI 1978 Revised 1983" which contains:
The road user on foot
GENERAL
4 Always wear or carry something white or light coloured or reflective in the dark or in poor light. ....

Extra rules for cyclists

136 When you are riding: ...
h wear light-coloured or reflective and fluorescent clothing (see Rule 4).

Thanks, so if 1987 was merely another revision, it seems there's at least 1946, 1954, 1959, 1968, 1978, 1993 and 2007 base editions, with multiple intermediate revisions. The light clothing for cyclists rule appeared after 1974 and by 1983, so may have been introduced in the 1978 update.
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Re: Mandatory Helmets and hi-vis to be considered in government eview

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Dec 2017, 2:57pm

It seems to me that there are different levels to this which are jumbled together in a discussion like this.

At one level, is hi-viz somehow safer? To try to keep this simple, that might mean "easier to see," but then there's the question of what use is made of that visibility. eg Perhaps any extra safety is consumed by driving with less care. :?

Another level is more philosophical: the moral question is about how responsibility is divided between things like seeing and being seen. In this case, should cyclists be able to rely entirely on other road users taking care? Or do we all have some responsibility? Of course then there's the question of the division of any responsibility.

To influence the wider debate, the case needs to be strong and evidence seems to be short. The reality, however, is that with something like policy on hi-viz, the arguments will need to be extraordinarily strong to trump the common sense which has led to the present situation. Anecdotes and cyclists' own version of common sense will get nowhere.

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Re: Mandatory Helmets and hi-vis to be considered in government eview

Postby mjr » 7 Dec 2017, 3:10pm

thirdcrank wrote:To influence the wider debate, the case needs to be strong and evidence seems to be short. The reality, however, is that with something like policy on hi-viz, the arguments will need to be extraordinarily strong to trump the common sense which has led to the present situation. Anecdotes and cyclists' own version of common sense will get nowhere.

Do you have any suggestions for such arguments or are you just posting to [inappropriate word removed] on our hopes of sunshine?
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Mandatory Helmets and hi-vis to be considered in government eview

Postby [XAP]Bob » 7 Dec 2017, 3:32pm

thirdcrank wrote:Another level is more philosophical: the moral question is about how responsibility is divided between things like seeing and being seen. In this case, should cyclists be able to rely entirely on other road users taking care? Or do we all have some responsibility? Of course then there's the question of the division of any responsibility.


In every other field it is accepted that those who create danger are responsible for it...

Cyclists, pedestrians, equestrians, escaped bulls, bollards... all should be able to go about their business without undue risk.

The risk is brought to the party by *one* group of people...
And that group is given almost complete freedom to kill and maim the others without serious recrimination...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way.
No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
A good pun is it's own reword

There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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Re: Mandatory Helmets and hi-vis to be considered in government eview

Postby ChrisButch » 7 Dec 2017, 4:17pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:In every other field it is accepted that those who create danger are responsible for it...

Cyclists, pedestrians, equestrians, escaped bulls, bollards... all should be able to go about their business without undue risk.

The risk is brought to the party by *one* group of people...
And that group is given almost complete freedom to kill and maim the others without serious recrimination...

That genie escaped from the bottle with the introduction of the compulsory rear light in the 1930s. The CTC's vigorous campaign against this once seemed quixotic and quaintly perverse. Now I'm not so sure.

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Re: Mandatory Helmets and hi-vis to be considered in government eview

Postby reohn2 » 7 Dec 2017, 4:52pm

[XAP]Bob wrote:In every other field it is accepted that those who create danger are responsible for it...

Cyclists, pedestrians, equestrians, escaped bulls, bollards... all should be able to go about their business without undue risk.

The risk is brought to the party by *one* group of people...
And that group is given almost complete freedom to kill and maim the others without serious recrimination...


That is a fact,and until that fact is addressed it will remain a fact.
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Re: Mandatory Helmets and hi-vis to be considered in government eview

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Dec 2017, 4:55pm

mjr wrote: ... Do you have any suggestions for such arguments or are you just posting to <i>[inappropriate word removed]</i> on our hopes of sunshine?


With regard to hi-viz I don't, partly because my own sincere feeling is that it's worth wearing. I came to that conclusion before there was any pressure to wear the stuff, pretty much before it was available. I've tried to make clear that I understand what I've referred to as the moral case, but I'd have to say that some seem less convinced that this argument applies when pedestrians are endangered or injured by cyclists. The default mode for some then seems to be to justify the rider.

What we do have though, is posters demanding evidence and offering none. We are talking about realpolitik here. We can share comments about yellow being invisible against cornseed rape or white against snow and it's going to be dismissed as evidence of an absence of evidence. As I've already posted I don't believe compulsory hi-viz is likely, but some posters see this as an opportunity to wind back on what I've referred to as the quasi-compulsion of the HC and that would take something bordering on a miracle.

PS I'm certainly not posting just to upset you.

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Re: Mandatory Helmets and hi-vis to be considered in government eview

Postby mjr » 7 Dec 2017, 6:00pm

thirdcrank wrote:What we do have though, is posters demanding evidence and offering none. We are talking about realpolitik here. We can share comments about yellow being invisible against cornseed rape or white against snow and it's going to be dismissed as evidence of an absence of evidence.

So the pair of Nottingham Uni studies finding no protective effect (the first was http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/12855/ which is available in full - the second requires a sciencedirect login) and the Bath/Brunel Uni research ( http://opus.bath.ac.uk/37890/ ) are not evidence?

There's also a load of similar findings about motorcyclists, including one famous one suggesting that the "best" clothing differs for every background, so motorcyclists should carry lots of different jackets.

And I think it's fair to demand evidence from those promoting costly safety interventions to show that they're worthwhile, even if they've already gotten their hobby-horse into the highway code. For years, people have been claiming that the early research on railway workers wearing hi-vis should be transferrable to the roads, yet no-one has successfully done so. I think if there was going to be evidence that clothing colour can protect, it would have been presented by now... but instead, it seems to be getting replaced by a load of bogus "be safe be seen" emotional blackmail and dodgy "it's everyone's responsibility" messaging.
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