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I am Because iPod!

December 2, 2009

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=cycling+commuter+london&iid=4965224″ src=”0/e/2/c/Commuter_Chaos_As_2b3e.jpg?adImageId=7989125&imageId=4965224″ width=”380″ height=”225″ /]

Norwich, England – It must be me but didn’t my tutor in statistical analysis point out in the course that the more you undertake a hazardous pursuit the more likely you are to be injured.

Well that point on statistics does not register on the radar of a number of UK cycling and cycling safety pundits. Apparently the fact that there was a 12 per cent increase in cycling between 2007 and 2008, and that the UK is enjoying its highest level of cycling in 17 years is not connected to the 19 per cent increase in the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured in the three months to July 2009.

It’s think of a reason why cycle casualties are rising and couple our wagon to that time. The latest being that its cyclists who ride around insulated from the road environment by listing to their iPods who are the problem. Well just to reiterate, the real problem is that more people are cycling and thus the increasing the likelihood of casualties.

That is a fact that does not sit well with the UK Governments policy of encouraging cycling at all costs. For years we have been fed the ‘critical mass’ theory on cycling casualties. This states that a high level of cycle usage can be achieved without a casualty increase as road user awareness of cyclists and cycle safety increases proportionally with the number of cyclists on the roads. Well if the current trend in cycle casualties continues that theory appears busted.

Back to the drawing board at the Department for Transport. While there perhaps the road safety mandarins should at least consider the voice of the lobby on the introduction of mandatory cycle helmet wearing for the under 14-age group.

Meanwhile the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) continues its fight to have motorcyclists and scooterists thrown out of the capitals bus lanes.

11 months into the latest usage trial both cyclists and motorcyclist are successfully sharing the lanes. Unfortunately the diehards at LCC do not see it that way and are now citing a fatal road crash between a cyclist and a motorcyclist, which did not happen in a bus lane, as a reason to end the trial.

Cyclists, motorcyclists and scooterists are all vulnerable road users and are safer in bus lanes. Are LCC so desperate to make a political point that they are playing with people lives? The answer apparently is yes. So what about a little sharing and caring when it comes to bus lanes and road safety.

Sad news from the US Dr. Hugh Hurt Jr has died, he was 81.

Dr Hurt was one of the world’s foremost authorities on motorcycle crashes and their causes. He was the principal investigator of the Hurt Report, an in-depth, on-scene investigation of 900 motorcycle accidents in Los Angeles from 1976 to 1977. Published in 1981, his groundbreaking research continues to form the basis of many of the United Sates motorcycle safety programs. His work, which inspired similar investigations in a number of other countries, has been and is credited with saving countless lives not only in the US but also globally.

Among the Hurt Reports  major findings were that speed was not a factor in most crashes; that helmets were very effective in preventing brain injuries and deaths; and that two-thirds of motorcycle crashes involved cars and two-thirds of those accidents occurred when a car driver failed to see the motorcycle and violated the cyclist’s right of way.

Hurt, a lifelong motorcyclist, was, as a graduate student, involved with a project to develop a crash helmet that forms the basis for helmets used today, a hard exterior shell lined with an energy-absorbing material and soft inner padding.

Although he is best known for the Hurt Report, his more recent work included a large-scale motorcycle accident causation study in Thailand. He also ran the Head Protection Research Laboratory a non-profit organisation he established to evaluate helmets and other forms of head protection equipment.

Dr Hugh Harrison “Harry” Hurt Jr. Born December 13, 1927. Died November 29 2009.

R.I.P………. Ride In Paradise brother, where the fuel is free, the tarmac is good, the sun always shines and the tyres never wear out.

© Back Roads Rider 2009

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