Tag Archives: road safety

The Times “Save Our Cyclists” Campaign

昨年11月、27歳の女性記者(下の写真中の女性→詳細)が自転車事故に遭い、以来未だ昏睡状態にあることをきっかけに、タイムズ紙は昨日2月2日より、「Save Our Cyclists(自転車を救え)」キャンペーンを開始、自転車の安全を守るため、政府への働きかけや啓蒙活動を行っている。




Yesterday, the Times launched “Save Our Cyclists” campaign, after its 27-year old young journalist (a woman in the photo below)’s tragic cycle accident putting her in coma since November last year (→detailed story). Now one-third of adults own a bicycle in UK, and 13 million people ride a bike regularly. Since 2001, 1,275 cyclists died on British streets, and since 2009, the number of serious injuries and deaths involved in bicycle has been rising, and 104 people in 2009 and 111 people in 2010 have died while riding a bike. The latest data shows there were 1,850 deaths or serious injuries in the first half of 2011, a 12% rise on the year before. In London on average, 16 people die on their bikes every year.

The government’s effort to improve road safety (see my blog on 2009/07/29 and 2010/03/10), however, hasn’t produced much results and there is no visible attempt such as better bicycle lanes (except bicycle super highway that is no use for me) – how possibly person in charge believe that promotion video online that many cyclists have never checked or cycle training course that only few people know would make a big difference?? In fact, London is a lawless and dangerous zone for many cyclists: full of large vehicles such as bus, trucks, and white vans; obnoxious taxi and mini-van drivers and motorcyclists in hurry; and reckless cyclists with racing bikes going everywhere without paying attention around. I often encounter a danger or near-miss when on bike, so I use my bike only when needed and choose a road with less traffic as possible. But I am not the only one who is scare of riding a bike in London – there are many bikes with dust on top, obviously not used for long time, in the premise of the building where I live. What a waste.

The times campaign puts up 8-point manifesto, calling for cities to be made fit for cyclists, such as mandatory safety equipments for trucks, identifying and redesigning of dangerous road junctions, more budget for cycling infrastructure etc. According to a Telegraph article, several studies show that the more cyclists there are, the fewer get hurt, as drivers become more aware of cyclists. 2012 London Olympic is coming in half a year and more people are expected to visit the city. As a result, more visitors will hit the road with Boris rental bike, so it is imminent for London to tackle with road safety for cyclists, for its reputation.