Monday, November 30, 2009

anti-cycling article in times

This article is lies, hyperbole, complete bollox, hypocracy and prejudice all stitched together into one long piece of hateful shite.

WATCH out for the iPod zombies. - My comments in bold.
Cyclists distracted by music blaring in their ears have become the latest menace on Britain's roads.
The fashion for cyclists to wear earphones on crowded city streets is being held partly responsible for the recent upsurge in cycling injuries and deaths, as well as collisions with pedestrians.
No it isn't. There hasn't been an upsurge. The number of cyclists increased, and corresponding casualties rose too - though not quite as high.

Road safety groups are alarmed at the practice and this weekend Edmund King, the president of the AA, called on the Department for Transport (DfT) to launch a campaign warning cyclists of the risk. The number of urban cyclists has grown so sharply that safety groups say the risky behaviour of a minority can cause serious problems.

Safety groups? - so apart from the confirmed anti-cycling AA - which safety groups? The AA is not a safety group by the way you morons - it is a roadside rescue organisation and forms part of the outspoken motorists lobby. Were any cycling organisations spoken to before writing this article?

So anyway - what evidence do you have?

It is not known how many of these cases were caused by people listening to music because the DfT and the police do not record the information.

oh - none then.

However, many cyclists believe the problem is increasing. Internet cycling forums are full of heated exchanges between indignant cyclists and seething motorists, railing against the "erratic behaviour" and "breathtaking stupidity" of riders who career through the traffic, sporting the telltale white wires of an iPod.

You've been on the internet and found some idiots arguing and made up a filler article about it.

"If cyclists had to take a test, like all other road users do, and pay insurance, then perhaps there would be a lot less idiots riding their bikes, wearing their iPod or mobile phone earphones and expecting everyone else to not only give way to them but to also read their minds as to their next action," said one blogger after the death of a London cyclist last week.

If this was from an internet forum then there would have been a reply similar to this - which of course, The Times, not having a remit for balance, doesn't feel the need to include:

1. Most cyclists do have insurance, either becasue they belong to the CTC or LCC, or similar group, or because it is included in their household insurance. I have insurance. Most cyclists I know have insurance.

2. As for reading minds, I'd settle for leaving reasonable space, keeping to the speed limit, indicating appropriately, and using your fecking eyes, like we all have to do on the roads. I expect cars to give way to me when I have the right of way, again, not always obvious to the motorist.

Another said that "iPod zombies are a menace. I saw a bus clip one of them the other day in Victoria who was oblivious to anything around him."

So a bus hits a cyclist but it's the cyclists fault. Shame on the cyclist for not reading the bus drivers mind.

This weekend Nicholas Gardiner, an Oxfordshire coroner, spoke out about the risks of riding with iPods, saying that cyclists' careless attitude had to be challenged. "Frankly I find it quite frightening the things cyclists do," he said. "They ought to take a minimum amount of care over their safety. It seems to me ridiculous to deprive yourself of what is the second most important of your senses."
Last year he recorded a verdict of accidental death when Abigail Haythorne, 17, died after pulling out into an oncoming car. She had an MP3 player in her pocket, and her earphones tucked inside her neck scarf, and he said it was possible she was wearing them when she was struck by the car.

words fail me here. So I can't even have an MP3 plyer in my pocket lest it be ruled after my death that it was reason that a car/ bus/ lorry driver, unable to use their eyes, or their brakes, ploughed into me and killed me. Excellent!

Pedestrians, too, have fallen victim to cyclists listening to music and apparently oblivious to those around them. In June, a six-year-old girl from Wallasey, Merseyside, suffered serious injuries after she was mown down on the pavement by an iPod-wearing cyclist who didn't even stop to help her, according to witnesses. The girl underwent hours of surgery to reconstruct her shattered leg.

I think the important bit here was that the cyclist was on the pavement, not the fact that s/he was wearing an ipod. Funny that although the cyclist never stopped they managed to pick up the detail about the ipod. I don;t find them that easy to see, especially while i'm rushing over to help an injured 6 year old girl. So, is this more bollox. Could be!

The issue of risky behaviour by cyclists has become a more pressing issue for motorists because ministers are considering whether to make them liable for crashes, even if they were not at fault.

Oh dear - a complete misrpresentation of a system that seeks to redress the balance for cyclists who find it hard to obtain compensation from motorists, even though the majority of collisions are the fault of the motorists, and the majority of the damage is inflicted on the cyclist.

Youth for Road Safety, a new group, is to launch a campaign called Tune into Traffic under the slogan "Your earphones could kill you".
Manpreet Darroch, who is leading the campaign, said: "It's a serious problem which is only going to get worse as the number of cyclists increases — lots of people are completely oblivious to what's going on around them. (But that's enough about the motorists - Porgy comment) People don't realise how dangerous listening to music is on the roads — whether pedestrian or cyclist (or motorist? - Porgy comment) . It takes one of your key senses away. People shouldn't do it. (Speaks a non-cyclist - Porgy)
"You can legislate until you are blue in the face. On the issue of iPods we just need to raise awareness."

However CTC, the national cycling group, argues that people should be left to make their own judgments. "We encourage deaf people to cycle so we don't think it's essential to hear traffic in order to ride," said a spokeswoman. "You have to be sensible. The most important thing is that you look around you all the time — especially over your shoulder."

This is placed here without further comment. The people who know what they're talking about - the cyclist organisation - in this article they are near the end where they shoyuld have been up front - they weakly argure wheras what the AA said was reported as a fact.

There is currently no legislation in place to govern either the use of music players or the wearing of helmets on the road, but cyclists can be prosecuted for dangerous riding — an offence that attracts a maximum penalty of £2,500.
The police claim to be getting tougher on cycling offences and Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, has promised "complete zero tolerance of cyclists who break the rules". However, David Cameron, the Tory leader, last year rode unpunished through red lights in London.
Johnson plans to give even greater leeway to cyclists, to encourage people to switch to one of the greenest forms of transport. He is studying the possibility of allowing cyclists to shoot red lights on left turns at a junction.
Last week King called on the DfT to address the iPod issue. "They're meant to be mobile, but if you are cycling, you need all your senses about you."

Previous anti-cyclist articles:

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