SAFE PASSING 101

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

INCONVENIENT TRUTH !

Politicians are PROVEN LIARS as is all too often demonstrated by their utterances before Election , then failure to deliver after passing the line !  Problem is that people have no choice , but to vote for the person that they think is the " Least Obvious LIAR "!  Of course the voter could decide , as regretably so many do these days , and not vote and thus suffer the consequences brought on them .

Politicians have a self interest , survival ! Generally they will back any horse in a race , that will keep them in the running for another term of office .  There are some that have " Ethics " , but they are a rare breed !

Cycling has been praised  of late by " savvy shysters aka " politicians " . With people seeking to lead a healthy lifestyle , Cycling has come to the fore and is in some quarters regarded as the " New Golf "! It appears that many are rushing out to buy the Latest , most expensive Bikes , so as to impress their Friends & Colleagues . Bit of a pity that their Bikes stand outside the Coffee Shop or in the storage for longer periods than their purpose , usuage ?

With more cyclists on the roads , BIG OIL is getting concerned , their products already under threat from the " Environment Lobby " because of pollution , are busy encouraging drivers to treat Cyclists as " That bl##dy nuisance holding back the traffic "!  Regardless of the increasing numbers of Vehicles clogging the roads , thus traffic speeds declining to 14mph ( London average ) , Cyclists that generally pass stationary traffic , at upto 20+MPH are being targetted as the cause . That these Cyclists are generally the holder of Driver permit/licences , is totally irrelevant to the stationary & frustrated motorist !

Could it be that the Ire of the motorist , that they direct at Cyclists , is due to the feeling of despondency brought on by the knowledge that they are TOO LAZY to join those that have chosen to ride rather than sit?

Freedom of movement is available to ALL , provided that they can muster the Courage & Determination to join those already enjoying life and fresh air !  Getting out of bed in the morning has risks , it even requires making decisions . Walk to work and you will have to cross a road , perhaps ride in the bus or on the tube , even the Railways & Air Travel , pose a risk . Getting in the car poses risks with other motorists having had a bad experience  , either in the house or along the route , making contact with your paintwork . Various other factors will have influenced your attitude as you motor along , whether you live alone or in company , there are influences to your mood at the wheel . However in the vehicle , most people feel anonymoous , thus able to vent their frustrations on others around them .

Cycling is also influenced by the family environment , but as you exert energy to propel yourself along the road , rarely do you hold onto what has passed , since you will be so busy concentrating on the task at hand.  Increasingly experienced Cyclists are having to cope with hazards that did not previously exist , the careless motorist . In the past , motorists thought of driving a vehicle as a full time task , requiring 100% attention ! Not any more , it appears that " Multi Tasking " is the new Buzz Word for motorists !

 Not content with seeing the neighbouring stalled vehicle drivers filling their time with activity , most drivers are now copying their example . As Cyclists pass they are not surprised to see drivers Text , Phoning , reading the paper or a book , even applying make up . ALL these activities continue as the vehicle moves forward , until , Oops , another fender bender !  Of course these activities are prohibited by the Road codes in ALL Countries , but, are the authorities Policing this ? NO WAY , they would be run off their feet writing up the Fixed Penalty Notices ( FPN ) , of course they would also be solving the Budget shortfalls that the Poli.s are complaining are too large .

Whilst Policing Authorities are so busy ignoring the obvious , Cyclists are increasingly being hit in the rear , occasionally the errant motorist stops and takes responsibility . SMIDSY ! " Sorry mate , i didn't see YOU"! Guess !  They didn't LOOK !  Too busy " multi tasking " to pay attention to the road in front , since "Texting" is an absorbing task !  So funny to see a texting pedestrian walk into a lamp post , but no harm usually done since they have their hands in front of them , thus absorbing most of the impact ?   Bit different when the vehicle contacts the rear of a Cyclist !  Whilst Cyclists take a glance over their shoulder , before deviating from the straight line ahead , rarely should they have to look at the following traffic . Even if riding with a rear vision mirror , would a Cyclist be able to spot a hazardous vehicle persuing them , unless it was zig zagging along the road .

World wide Cycling Fatalities are SOARING , yet Politicians are treating those that Cycle as the agent of THEIR OWN DEMISE !  Victim bashing is so CONVENIENT !  They are not there to put their part of the story to the authorities !  With Prisons overflowing with Petty Crime Offenders , why add those that are GUILY OF KILLING PEOPLE to the pressure on facilities ?  Lives lost , cannot be given back ! BUT what about the Families ?  Children without a Parent , their quality of life DESTROYED !  Parents provide security , education and a quality of life that is removed in the blink of an eye by the  INCOMPETENCE  of an inconsiderate motorist .

Judges when sentencing a Motorist guilty of KILLING a Cyclist , tend to think that Society cannot afford to incarcerate , the LIFE IS GONE ! Left behind are children who LOSE ! A Partner who LOSES ! Society ALSO loses , the deceased is generally paying TAX , supporting a Family and contributing to THEIR COMMUNITY . Yet all too often , the matter is settled by a " slap on the wrist FARCICAL Sentence ! It should come as NO SURPRISE , that the Victim's Family walk away totally bereft of emotion ?  They endure the court proceedings hoping for the Judicial system to do it's work , yet they see their relative treated as if they are of NO CONSEQUENCE !

For me the ONLY WAY FORWARD , is for an Umbrella Organisation that draws in ALL COUNTRIES separate " Cycling Safety Org.s " , puts ALL their Needs/Desires into a COMPREHENSIVE SCHEDULE that is published WorldWide and works to implement that " Manifesto " and ADVERTISES it , so that Politicians in EVERY COUNTRY will know that WHEN the request is made , there is substance to back it up !  Each Country has it's Olympic Committee , each Country has it's National Cycling Org. , thus UCI already has the ability to influence the Country's Politicians !

How many Countries fail to send Politicians to an Olympic Event , unlee when making a Political Statement ?

UCI are working on many matters , creating an environment of Trust !  Due to thee stewardship of Mc Quaid  that was lacking before  Cookson was installed .  Whilst i have heard Brian speak on Cyclist safety and a TV Campaign such as Football runs on " RESPECT " is a way forward , LIVES are being lost DAILY !  Even Pro Cyclists such as Amy D. , are becoming the victim of Traffic Violence !

ACTION TODAY PLEASE !














Tuesday, February 25, 2014

HEROES ? Or are they Role Models ?

Media Hype is at an all time HIGH , as Athletes who competed at Sochi 2014 Olympics , return to their Home Countries . Some will display evidence of their successes , others will regale their families and friends with their experiences at the Olympic Events . Almost ALL will deserve aclaim , for a JOB well done . As was to be expected , WADA had their successes also , since the latest reports that i have seen , reveal the detection of at least 5 Athletes that failed to fool the Testing Protocols ?

Each Athlete that competed will have dedicated a large proportion of the previous 4 years to reach the required standard to participate . Some will have been to multiple Olympic Games , even fewer will have achieved a Better Medal than at their previous attempts and then there are those who did not reach the podium in either Winter or Summer Games , but were content with " It is not whether YOU Win or Lose , it is how you play the GAME ", as the mark of their participation .

To ALL ATHLETES , THANKYOU ! You provided 16 days of your best efforts and immense displays of Sportsmanship ! As to those " short cut B...s ", 4 years out of competition , is not enough ! Being chosen to represent your Country , then thinking you would suffer no detection , when you CHOSE to disgrace your colleagues and thus Disgrace your Country , deserves a LIFE TIME BAN ! No excuses will be acceptable when the tests are proven ! Dodgy Low life Lawyers will attempt to profit from your attempts to evade your responsibilities , but in the end we will be rid of YOU !

Certainly there can be the odd case , where a miscarriage of Justice will occur , but hopefully every Athlete is NOW taking their responsibilities seriously , in respect of ANYTHING they choose to use ? Alain Baxter , the Scottish Skier , that medalled in the Salt Lake 2002 Olympics , must rue the fact that he failed to check the WADA /USADA website before buying replacement medication in the USA . Forgetting his UK Prescribed medication , he rushed out to buy the " Same Name Product " in Salt Lake and thus suffered years of Heartache whilst he fought to prove " Mischance rather than deliberation " , losing the Medal , even though the placing was eventually restored . Had he thought to consult the USADA / WADA schedule , he would have noted that the US produced medication contained " prohibited substances "!  Will others make this mistake and seek the indulgence granted ? One hopes that this Lesson is now part of WADA Folklore and the Future Olympians will not seek to use this excuse ?

Each and every Athlete that aspires to be an Olympian , adopts a rigorous Training Regime . Just as YOU and I , set out to do the JOB for which we receive recompence . In doing these Jobs , some of us will achieve " Excellence "and thus , will be deemed " Role models " by our colleagues ? This is the same for Athletes in any Sport . They will reach the podium and others will aspire to achieve the same or better results and thus also be regarded as " Role Models " . This is what Sport is all about , Excelling in the face of Competition .  Such a shame that the Media confuse " Role Model " replacing it with " Sporting Hero " ?

In March , we will see the start of the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi .
Amongst the Athletes from all over the World , will be Athletes with a variety of Disabilities . During recent years , the number of Classes/Gradings of Disability have been reduced , thus there were less " Classes of Disability " at Vancouver 2010 , than at Salt Lake 2002 . The combining of several degrees of disability may have seen many outstanding Athletes retire from International Competition . It may also have reduced the numbers of competitors eligible to participate in the Para Games ?

Amongst those now competing will be Athletes that were born with Disability , those that found their original Life Style disrupted through Road Traffic Trauma or Industrial Incident , AND , those that served their Nation in " Harms Way " and now seek to serve once again on the Sports Field . Whether losing Limbs in Harms Way or by Civilian Incident , these Athletes deserve especial recognition for their rising to the challenge that Life has thrust upon them .

It would be harsh to deprive Alex Zenardi of the " Hero Acolades " heaped on him after his successes in
Handbiking at the London 2012 Paralympic Games . So also would it be , in respect of PierAngelo Vignati for his Successes in Sydney 2000 Para Games and Athens 2004 . Even Armin Zoegler , the Luge Olympic Medal Winner at each of his 6 Olympic Appearances , would refrain from accepting the " HERO " designation , when his Sporting Career is compared to Other Italian Paralympic Athletes , who served ITALY in " Harms Way ", then took up the challenge to serve their Country once again on the Sporting Field .

The examples used to illustrate my point are ALL from Italy and i use them , since i have met them ALL , at various Cycling and Winter Events . I have also met Aussie Para Athletes and i feel sure that the likes of Mike Milton , a Very Successful Para Athlete in the Winter Games and who now competes in the Summer Games as a Cyclist , would point to an Aussie Para Athlete who served in Harms Way , as a " TRUE Blue Hero " .  The USA will have many more candidates that will qualify for the Para Games after being rehabilitated from the various Mid East Conflicts that their Country has been engaged .

One thing you can count on though , the Media will be verbose whilst at the games , but a month or so later , try and see whether they recall more than the Medal Winners from the Para Games ? It would be interesting to look at their work and see to what extent they have associated with Olympic and Paralympic Athletes during the progress to these Games ?

" HERO " , is a description so often trotted out to describe " Role Models " , thus tends to devalue the efforts of those Exceptional People that TRULY deserve the Acolade ? Each Country' Armed Forces have a series of " Ribbons/Medals "that designate Theatre of Service or Feats of Courage . For me it is confusing to see Police wearing a Ribbon that was earned by service with the United Nations in a number of Actions ,
then see a Trooper with a chestful of Ribbons that were earned through Injury or Exemplary Bravery , mixed in with " Theatre Operations " Ribbons . Regretably the Highest UK Award , the Victoria Cross , tends to be awarded to a " Postumous Recipient " , as does the US " Medal of Honor " . Yet i feel sure each of these People whilst deserving the " HERO " designation , would tend to point to others that they would consider as " Heroes "?

No doubt the Media will continue to award " Hero Status " to Austrian Skiers and Aussie Footie Players , even though they are well paid for their work and efforts to be " Role Models "?

No one will take the time to tell me their thoughts on the subject , although i would be happy to hear from them !

Please take the time to visit and " LIKE " these projects :

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vision-ZERO-Worldwide/540123632761709

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Monday, January 27, 2014

BOJO ducks when " STOP KILLING CYCLISTS " seek ANSWERS !

Thanks to " StopKillingCyclists Action Group "

BOJO

has had to respond by Emailed letter to the NEEDS of London Cyclists !  Whilst the origin of this Email / letter was a Lady , Charlotte Cox , writing on her OWN Behalf , the activities of this GROUP has made it clear that his efforts to date , FAIL !

During the 2008 to 2012 period , more than 15500 Casualties were created in the LONDON , that he has a responsibility to LEAD ! The email/ letter returned to " Charlotte Cox " , reads like a " SMOKE SCREEN ", that would fool a child of 5yo . Certainly in HIS period of office , a 5yo was a Death on London Roads ! No doubt a minion in his administration was responsible for putting together this " Help me get to keep my job " effort ?

Please note that the content of the email / letter is removed from the " Stop Killing Cyclists " facebook page , the additions as we go through the paragraphs , are MY additions and i will add comments from others that are to the point !

Dear Sir/Madam

      No effort to read the letter carefully , or seek out the writer's gender ?

Thank you for writing to me. I share your deep concern about cycle safety in London. That is why I am spending almost £1 billion to provide for cycling, including two fully-segregated superhighways through the heart of central London, remodelling dozens of the most dangerous junctions, and a network of back-street “quietway” routes.

     Recent Media reports of underspending of allocated funds suggest otherwise :


It is why I have promised to upgrade all the existing superhighway routes, with fully or semi-segregated cycle lanes, and to complete all new superhighways to the same standards.

    Splashing around buckets of paint which failed to save the lives of several cyclists , resulting in            BoJo   "Victim Blaming "!


It is why I have plans to turn a number of outer London boroughs into “mini-Hollands”, with large amounts of money spent in relatively small areas to achieve dramatic and transformational pro-cycling change.

       Let's not ALL yawn at once !


It is why I have announced that I intend to impose a substantial and deterrent daily charge on any lorry which is not fitted with basic safety equipment, and why I am also studying time or place-specific lorry bans.

       Found a new way of raising FUNDS , have we ?


It is why I am using my planning powers to ensure that all new major developments and road schemes are cycle-friendly.

       Read the " London Cyclist Blog recently ? 


It is why I am paying for free cycle training for any Londoner, adult or child, who wants it; it is why I have appointed a cycling commissioner, making cycling the only transport mode to have its own dedicated representative in my senior staff; and it is why I am recruiting almost 130 extra staff to Transport for London to help deliver my cycling programme.

      Promises , Promises !


This is a massive programme of change, which dovetails very closely with what cyclists have been demanding, and I share your impatience to see it delivered. But at the same time, I have promised that we will do it properly, and that cannot happen overnight. If we made changes without working out what to do with the buses, the traffic, deliveries, parking and pedestrians, then we would risk repeating some of the problems of the past.

      BoJo , you HAVE NOT LISTENED to YOUR OWN STAFF , so why should we believe this ?



Nor will I make rushed changes in response to a tragedy which could inadvertently make things more dangerous for cyclists or other vulnerable groups, such as pedestrians – who get a great deal less media attention than cyclists, but are just as important to me. And I own only five per cent of London’s roads; on the others, I can proceed only with the agreement of their owners, usually the London boroughs. But real physical change has already started; our first fully-segregated cycle superhighway was opened in November last year.

      How many of the " Victims " you blamed for THEIR OWN Demise , occured in YOUR AREA ?


My heart goes out to the victims of these awful accidents and their families and I will do my utmost to learn the lessons from their tragic deaths. But in order to learn the right lessons, it is imperative that we establish the facts of what happened, and avoid jumping to conclusions before we have done so. We should not, for instance, automatically conclude (as so many have) that all or most of these deaths are the fault of the road design. Nor should we automatically assume (as many others have) that they were caused by bad or careless behaviour by the cyclists themselves.



      Having Coroners remind you of YOUR Responsibilities for earlier Deaths , is as GOOD Excuse for             doing NOTHING


It is my responsibility, and the responsibility of the London boroughs, to provide safer roads for cycling. But, as I have also said, all users of those roads must also take responsibility for using them safely. There is no solution any traffic engineer can devise which will remove that individual responsibility or completely end accidents and deaths.

       FIRST thing YOU have said , that i could agree with !


It is also, I believe, important to separate what are clearly particular problems in particular places, such as Bow roundabout, from the general picture, which is more encouraging. In 2002 there were 110 million cycle trips in London, of which 20 ended in death. In 2012, there were 180 million cycle trips in London, of which 14 ended in death. Over the last ten years, the cyclist death rate per journey in London has more than halved. Despite the terrible recent events, the number of deaths in London last year, 14, is the same for the whole of 2012.

       Don't think that 14 Deaths in 2013 , is an achievement ! " Vision ZERO " as in Portland , Oregon ,                multi years is an achievement !


I entirely understand why the recent horrific events have obscured these facts. But I am concerned that the all-consuming media and political focus on individual deaths may in fact harm, not help, the cause of cycling in London - by scaring away potential cyclists, and by giving succour to those who say that I and my successors should not encourage cycling as it is, in their view, unsafe.


       Thanks to Social Media , we , the Public are LESS EASILY FOOLED !

I am glad to say that I completely disagree with that group of people. I can assure you that cycling is, and will remain, at the heart of my administration. It is, and will remain, one of my highest priorities. These terrible events will only reinforce my determination to make things better for cyclists in London.

       Political expedience dictates your views ! No doubt being Mayor of London , will fill the time              until your  Ambitions of Prime Minister of UK , are close to realisation  ?


Thank you again for your concern.



Yours sincerely

        Was there any Sincerity