Victim blaming?

Ruadh495
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Victim blaming?

Postby Ruadh495 » 14 Nov 2016, 12:46pm

Wondering what you think of this:

"The dangers of the darker nights to pedestrians and runners were no better illustrated than by this horrific story.

To all our students, choose your route carefully to avoid walking or running on busy roads without footways in the dark and wear something bright and ideally reflective or carry a torch! Soldier arrested after two teenage runners fatally hit by car

A soldier is held on suspicion of drink driving after two teenage runners are fatally struck by a car in Aldershot.

Disclaimer: The BBC is not responsible for the content of this email, and anything written in this email does not necessarily reflect the BBC's views or opinions. Please note that neither the email address nor name of the sender have been verified."

I know it's not directly cycling related, but still interesting, I think. The person writing to "students" is the Principal of a college which can only be accessed via roads without footways. The triggering incident is a fatal accident to two young athletes whilst crossing from one footway to another on a street fitted with street lighting. It appears that the driver responsible may have been drunk...

Phil Fouracre
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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby Phil Fouracre » 14 Nov 2016, 5:03pm

Well, there's a surprise then :-(
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mjr
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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby mjr » 15 Nov 2016, 4:20pm

The school advice is disgraceful. First of all, the colour of clothing matters little in the dark and reflectives only matter if they're hit near-square-on and even that counts on the car having correctly-working lights, which plenty don't seem to. Torches are good for seeing, but lanterns are better for being seen because of the wider illumination angle - does whoever wrote that so-called advice actually walk on unlit country roads?

Also, I suspect it would be far more useful to encourage the children to warn their driving relatives that their friends and classmates may be walking on roads without footways and ask them to keep an eye out for them and to ask their friends to do the same.

I hope someone challenged the school for publishing that tosh. Did they?
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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby Vorpal » 16 Nov 2016, 8:59am

Thread drift degenerating into a slanging match removed.
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Ruadh495
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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby Ruadh495 » 16 Nov 2016, 12:41pm

It doesn't need to go as far as talking to friends and relatives. The institution is an FE/HE college and a high proportion of the college community are new drivers (and new drinkers). Advice could have been aimed directly at them.

It's not that the advice is bad, it's just that the original incident, which involved two pedestrians who probably were brightly dressed crossing between footways under streetlights, doesn't seem to relate to the very real danger pedestrians are in if they wear dark clothing on unlit country lanes at night. Let alone how that danger can be mitigated, which is partly in the hands of pedestrians but mainly in the hands of drivers.

The college has an major commitment to sustainability, yet (apart from a scattering of staff who cycle and a couple who own the Nissan Leaf) all transport to and from its rural campus is by internal combustion powered vehicles. Partly that's due to distance (though the nearest town is only 3 miles away) but the dangerous local roads are also a major factor.

One thing which gets me is that this danger is a product of the English land access situation. The situation (which has caused at least one fatality) would not arise in Norway (for example) because pedestrians would simply walk in the field beside the road instead of in the carriageway. There would also be a direct off-road link into an extensive bridleway network, instead of a long diversion on busy lanes due to 100yrd of private land.

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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby pwa » 16 Nov 2016, 1:00pm

Giving advice intended to help people avoid being run over is a good thing. If one of my kids were going out running at night I might advise them against wearing clothes that don't stand out. If they were running on the very dark lanes around here I might advise carrying some sort of torch. None of that would mean that I'd excuse a drunken driver running them over if they ignored my advice.

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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby mjr » 16 Nov 2016, 1:32pm

Apologies for misunderstanding the level of college... I blame the modern freeform naming of schools :) Good point on aiming driving advice at the students who drive.

It's not just the land access, but also the failure of government in England to use bridleway creation, improvement and compulsory purchase powers to help active travellers like they have done for inactive motorists.

If one of your kids were going out into a town with knife crime incidents, would you advise them to wear a stab vest? Would you advise them to wear modest dress to pubs and clubs to avoid being raped? And does it signify an unfair society if you would?
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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby Vorpal » 16 Nov 2016, 2:09pm

Ruadh495 wrote:One thing which gets me is that this danger is a product of the English land access situation. The situation (which has caused at least one fatality) would not arise in Norway (for example) because pedestrians would simply walk in the field beside the road instead of in the carriageway. There would also be a direct off-road link into an extensive bridleway network, instead of a long diversion on busy lanes due to 100yrd of private land.

Well, I'm not too sure about the Norwegian example. There are many other things that make more difference than land use politics. People who are walking for transport tend to walk in the carriageway, if there is isn't a footway just because that is often the best, fastest place to walk. They also tend to so, in some places when it's snowy, even if there is a footway, because the roads are kept clear by motor vehicles, even if the snow ploughs haven't yet done it. Also they tend to get gritted when conditions suit it, and footways don't.

That said, someone walking a longer distance, or out running, is likely to be going across land, through forest, or using ski tracks, instead of on the road, and that is partly because of open use of land in Norway, and partly because there are maintained tracks everywhere.

But near someplace like a college? Norwegians are certain to have provided safe facilities for vulnerable users.

There are many other differences. Rural roads are much more likely to have infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists. They tend to have shoulders, even if they don't have infrastucture, speed limits are lower, the burden on drivers to take care for vulnerable users is much better understood and accepted, and the consequences are likely to be severe when vulnerable users are killed and seriously injured.
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AlaninWales
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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby AlaninWales » 16 Nov 2016, 2:38pm

Vorpal wrote:But near someplace like a college? Norwegians are certain to have provided safe facilities for vulnerable users.

There are many other differences. Rural roads are much more likely to have infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists. They tend to have shoulders, even if they don''æt have infrastucture, speed limits are lower, the burden on drivers to take care for vulnerable users is much better understood and accepted, and the consequences are likely to be severe when vulnerable users are killed and seriously injured.

As opposed to UK where a new, flagship school, designed
from scratch for pupils aged from 3 to 19
is built here https://goo.gl/maps/RmfLbmqCUS42 with no consideration for active travel http://premierconstructionnews.com/2016/09/15/llandysul-school/.
Never mind though, the design is apparently environmentally friendly:
The design of the school has incorporated many sustainable features, including photovoltaic panels, and will make use of natural light and ventilation to help create an energy self-sufficient school.
and
Further facilities include nursery accommodation, leisure and fitness provision, adult education facilities and ample parking.
. :cry:

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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby meic » 16 Nov 2016, 3:01pm

I dont much like the building of super schools but in Dyfryn Teifi there was no way you were going to have a good solution to the problem through active travel plans.
Most of the pupils are spread over an expanse of countryside radiating out ten miles (or more) from the school. You cant engineer a safe country lane to every rural dwelling, the cure can only be making the existing lanes good for everyone.
At least by moving it to the edge of town the buses no longer have to go into the town centre.
Yma o Hyd

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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby AlaninWales » 16 Nov 2016, 4:24pm

meic wrote:I dont much like the building of super schools but in Dyfryn Teifi there was no way you were going to have a good solution to the problem through active travel plans.
Most of the pupils are spread over an expanse of countryside radiating out ten miles (or more) from the school. You cant engineer a safe country lane to every rural dwelling, the cure can only be making the existing lanes good for everyone.
At least by moving it to the edge of town the buses no longer have to go into the town centre.

It's pretty darn close to Llandysul: No pavements or lanes, just a 60mph hill (but 20mph outside the school gates :roll: )
And a 50mph limit to Horeb (60 beyond) with a pavement the other side of the road, 'serving' the light industrial estate, for about a third of the way; v. useful (not).
60mph up the Landysul bypass.

No you cannot engineer a safe lane to each dwelling, you could (given the will) at least make the last few miles from feeder roads and local towns/villages, safer using segregation (or even limits - not that those are likely to be observed around here).

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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby rmurphy195 » 16 Nov 2016, 5:21pm

I wouldn't cycle in the dark or dull/rainy conditions without making myself visible any more than I would paint my car matt black - glass bits, number plates and all - and drive around without lights or reflectors in such conditions.

Yet I've seen some cars, and cyclists, and motorcyclists doing just that. Bonkers
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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby mjr » 16 Nov 2016, 11:17pm

Even if something is matt black, it is still visible!
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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby meic » 21 Dec 2016, 5:19pm

AlaninWales wrote:
meic wrote:I dont much like the building of super schools but in Dyfryn Teifi there was no way you were going to have a good solution to the problem through active travel plans.
Most of the pupils are spread over an expanse of countryside radiating out ten miles (or more) from the school. You cant engineer a safe country lane to every rural dwelling, the cure can only be making the existing lanes good for everyone.
At least by moving it to the edge of town the buses no longer have to go into the town centre.

It's pretty darn close to Llandysul: No pavements or lanes, just a 60mph hill (but 20mph outside the school gates :roll: )
And a 50mph limit to Horeb (60 beyond) with a pavement the other side of the road, 'serving' the light industrial estate, for about a third of the way; v. useful (not).
60mph up the Landysul bypass.

No you cannot engineer a safe lane to each dwelling, you could (given the will) at least make the last few miles from feeder roads and local towns/villages, safer using segregation (or even limits - not that those are likely to be observed around here).


I mentioned this to somebody more local than me and they explained that a pedestrian way was built all the way from the old school site to the new one. You cant see it near to the new school as the pavement isnt adjacent to the road but on the other side of the hedgerow, this being easier than demolishing or moving the existing road boundary. Also nicer for the kids to walk further from the road and the traffic, though a bit of a bonus for pupils who wish to get up to things out of the public's eyesight.
Yma o Hyd

AlaninWales
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Re: Victim blaming?

Postby AlaninWales » 21 Dec 2016, 5:30pm

meic wrote:
AlaninWales wrote:
meic wrote:I dont much like the building of super schools but in Dyfryn Teifi there was no way you were going to have a good solution to the problem through active travel plans.
Most of the pupils are spread over an expanse of countryside radiating out ten miles (or more) from the school. You cant engineer a safe country lane to every rural dwelling, the cure can only be making the existing lanes good for everyone.
At least by moving it to the edge of town the buses no longer have to go into the town centre.

It's pretty darn close to Llandysul: No pavements or lanes, just a 60mph hill (but 20mph outside the school gates :roll: )
And a 50mph limit to Horeb (60 beyond) with a pavement the other side of the road, 'serving' the light industrial estate, for about a third of the way; v. useful (not).
60mph up the Landysul bypass.

No you cannot engineer a safe lane to each dwelling, you could (given the will) at least make the last few miles from feeder roads and local towns/villages, safer using segregation (or even limits - not that those are likely to be observed around here).


I mentioned this to somebody more local than me and they explained that a pedestrian way was built all the way from the old school site to the new one. You cant see it near to the new school as the pavement isnt adjacent to the road but on the other side of the hedgerow, this being easier than demolishing or moving the existing road boundary. Also nicer for the kids to walk further from the road and the traffic, though a bit of a bonus for pupils who wish to get up to things out of the public's eyesight.

That's good news at least (I'll try to spot it when next passing in daylight)