Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

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The utility cyclist
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Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby The utility cyclist » 13 Jan 2020, 2:30pm

We know that people who don't look/see whilst operating motor vehicles kill and maim and then use the excuse "well, they had dark clothing", but still mow down those with bright clothing anyway.

Why do local authorities, or should that be police investigators include ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' as an excuse or as a contributory factor when there's no evidence that this is in fact able to increase safety through wearing, should this in fact be 'person/motorist failed to look properly' in each and every case?

How can we get this changed so that instead of the victims being blamed and an excuse given as to the collision to shift blame when we know that it's the criminal at fault for their failure to observe the law/HC?

This is a part of the victim blaming culture that occurs across all police forces and shifts the balance as to fault, it shifts it in a discriminate way as this is not applied to those in motor vehicles but is likely to also be used against pedestrians as well.

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Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby mjr » 13 Jan 2020, 2:38pm

The utility cyclist wrote:Why do local authorities, or should that be police investigators include ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' as an excuse or as a contributory factor when there's no evidence that this is in fact able to increase safety through wearing, should this in fact be 'person/motorist failed to look properly' in each and every case?

How can we get this changed so that instead of the victims being blamed and an excuse given as to the collision to shift blame when we know that it's the criminal at fault for their failure to observe the law/HC?

It should be police investigators. They include it because it's in the manual. The manual is set by the Department of Transport and I think is supposed to be reviewed every five years. The last review was 2011. We get this changed by convincing the motorists at the DfT writing the manual to remove it in the next review. Past reviews have removed factor codes.

For what it's worth, pedestrians currently suffer far more of these victim-blaming codes, including not only "dark clothing" but also "wrong use of pedestrian crossing" (basically going when the red give-way man is showing, but distinct from the usual failing to give way) and even "playing" if children now dare to play ball in the street!
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Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby fastpedaller » 13 Jan 2020, 2:40pm

About 20 years ago I was incensed to see an inquest local to me at the time had found "the victim had only been wearing dark clothing without scripts, and it was a sunny day and he couldn't be seen". The wording I remember may not be exact, but is as I remember. I particularly thought that he's actually be more visible against a light sky - not less. He was hit from the rear by a car of a straight road. I notified the CTC of this, sending an email copy to them and stating my concern that this outlook may become the norm, or a 'test case' used against others. They would not get involved as the victim wasn't a member - I didn't renew my membership after that.

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Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby fastpedaller » 13 Jan 2020, 2:46pm

I recall a cyclist relating to me that he was cycling with his pal 2 abreast, when a car drove into his pal, hospitalising him. The first thing the Police said was "If he'd not been wearing bright clothing I'd do nothing about this!"
An utter disgrace.

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Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby mattheus » 13 Jan 2020, 3:03pm

fastpedaller wrote:About 20 years ago I was incensed to see an inquest local to me at the time had found "the victim had only been wearing dark clothing without scripts, and it was a sunny day and he couldn't be seen". The wording I remember may not be exact, but is as I remember. I particularly thought that he's actually be more visible against a light sky - not less. He was hit from the rear by a car of a straight road. I notified the CTC of this, sending an email copy to them and stating my concern that this outlook may become the norm, or a 'test case' used against others. They would not get involved as the victim wasn't a member - I didn't renew my membership after that.


I understand your frustration.

But they've done a lot in those 20 years. Folks on here give CTC (/CUK) a hard time, but they are still the major UK campaigning body. Would you be interested in reviewing your opinion if I sent you some supporting info?

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Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby fastpedaller » 13 Jan 2020, 3:06pm

mattheus wrote:
fastpedaller wrote:About 20 years ago I was incensed to see an inquest local to me at the time had found "the victim had only been wearing dark clothing without scripts, and it was a sunny day and he couldn't be seen". The wording I remember may not be exact, but is as I remember. I particularly thought that he's actually be more visible against a light sky - not less. He was hit from the rear by a car of a straight road. I notified the CTC of this, sending an email copy to them and stating my concern that this outlook may become the norm, or a 'test case' used against others. They would not get involved as the victim wasn't a member - I didn't renew my membership after that.


I understand your frustration.

But they've done a lot in those 20 years. Folks on here give CTC (/CUK) a hard time, but they are still the major UK campaigning body. Would you be interested in reviewing your opinion if I sent you some supporting info?

Thanks for the offer, but I'm now stuck in my ways!

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The utility cyclist
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Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby The utility cyclist » 13 Jan 2020, 3:14pm

fastpedaller wrote:I recall a cyclist relating to me that he was cycling with his pal 2 abreast, when a car drove into his pal, hospitalising him. The first thing the Police said was "If he'd not been wearing bright clothing I'd do nothing about this!"
An utter disgrace.

that is truly sickening :twisted: and to me unlawful action/perverting the course of justice by the constable if in fact the person had not being wearing and they failed to act, I wonder what paltry charge/sentence the motorist got if any!

This is what we are up against, a force that not only ignores the law and HC but acts in a discriminatory manner against the most vulnerable road users, such that more harm is caused and IS a contributory factor in KSIs, not just of those on foot and bike but also in motors though to a lesser degree.

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Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby Oldjohnw » 13 Jan 2020, 3:18pm

Just wondering.

If cyclists are in fact the most vulnerable of road users, why not wear brighter clothing, just on the off chance that you are even a tiny bit more visible?
Last edited by Oldjohnw on 13 Jan 2020, 5:07pm, edited 1 time in total.
John

mattheus
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Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby mattheus » 13 Jan 2020, 3:28pm

Oldjohnw wrote:Just wondering.

If cyclists are in fact the not vulnerable of road users, why not wear brighter clothing, just on the off chance that you are even a tiny bit more visible?


Did you have your say in this 40-page thread? The issue has been discussed at … some length.
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=134469#p1426355

Or did you overlook it?

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Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby fastpedaller » 13 Jan 2020, 3:38pm

The utility cyclist wrote:This is what we are up against, a force that not only ignores the law and HC but acts in a discriminatory manner against the most vulnerable road users, such that more harm is caused and IS a contributory factor in KSIs, not just of those on foot and bike but also in motors though to a lesser degree.


I agree entirely - When I was 19 years old a motorist drove his car into the rear of my bike, I believe it was deliberate (but court/police wouldn't hear of it) and he also left the scene. A police officer said "I'll have to check the brakes on your bike" I asked him why and got no reply. He spun the back wheel and declared "your back wheel isn't straight" to which of course I replied "I know a car's just driven into it, but it was straight before that happened"
Discrimination in the extreme IMHO. At my now advancing years I'd have handled this differently, but at a young age we were told the Police were correct.

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Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby mattsccm » 13 Jan 2020, 4:17pm

Same reason that not wearing a helmet will be seen as going against you.
Because we have a society that is some damned degenerate that it will not punish anyone and thus frighten them into being responsible. Jail every driver who kills and give life bans and 6 figure fines and you'll have far fewer deaths. Will we do it? Nope. Too darn soft.

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Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby Pastychomper » 13 Jan 2020, 4:22pm

fastpedaller wrote:I recall a cyclist relating to me that he was cycling with his pal 2 abreast, when a car drove into his pal, hospitalising him. The first thing the Police said was "If he'd not been wearing bright clothing I'd do nothing about this!"
An utter disgrace.


I'd have been tempted to ask the obvious question, "Do you mean I can drive my truck over anyone on the road who's wearing dark clothing?"
Of course that wouldn't look too good if I did then run someone over, which is one reason I usually keep my trap shut in such situations.
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Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby The utility cyclist » 13 Jan 2020, 4:44pm

mattheus wrote:
fastpedaller wrote:About 20 years ago I was incensed to see an inquest local to me at the time had found "the victim had only been wearing dark clothing without scripts, and it was a sunny day and he couldn't be seen". The wording I remember may not be exact, but is as I remember. I particularly thought that he's actually be more visible against a light sky - not less. He was hit from the rear by a car of a straight road. I notified the CTC of this, sending an email copy to them and stating my concern that this outlook may become the norm, or a 'test case' used against others. They would not get involved as the victim wasn't a member - I didn't renew my membership after that.


I understand your frustration.

But they've done a lot in those 20 years. Folks on here give CTC (/CUK) a hard time, but they are still the major UK campaigning body. Would you be interested in reviewing your opinion if I sent you some supporting info?

They waste a lot of time and money on things that have no proven benefit, like the Dutch reach, the only study done on that by a UK university proves it's inherently flawed as a method to increase the observable area of those exiting a vehicle by using the alternate hand.

Whilst CUK does do some good things, they need to pick the battles better, need to look at the bigger picture, especially when using photos on the website and magazine which portray an image that only makes cycling less safe by normalising certain attire which we know works against safe cycling and encouraging cycling as a whole.
Fighting for segregated lanes that we won't get or won't be conducive to mass cycling nor encouraging people out of cars is yet another example of failed thinking in terms of best solution. Other countries/cities have seen what works best and it's not building narrow winding lanes that cost a ton of money and take years if at all to be built.
Most recent example is a new conurbation in NL where there are ZERO parking spaces for motors.

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Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby PH » 13 Jan 2020, 4:53pm

fastpedaller wrote:About 20 years ago...

That would have been prior to the setting up of the Cyclist Defence Fund in 2001, which doesn't require Cycling UK membership to consider if a case is something they'll peruse.

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Re: Why does ‘cyclist wearing dark clothing' exist as a contributory factor in KSIs

Postby PH » 13 Jan 2020, 4:57pm

fastpedaller wrote:I recall a cyclist relating to me that he was cycling with his pal 2 abreast, when a car drove into his pal, hospitalising him. The first thing the Police said was "If he'd not been wearing bright clothing I'd do nothing about this!"
An utter disgrace.

It is an utter disgrace that you were told that, though we'll never know the truth about what would have happened. You say "The Police said", I assume that's what one officer said and had you not been satisfied with the action taken you'd hopefully have escalated it till you were.