June 07, 2007

Success for cycling lobbyists!

Follow-up to Proposed new Highway Code shows contempt for cycling and safety from George Riches: Complaints from a middle aged layabout

The Government has agreed to amend the Highway Code to state that use of cycle routes, advanced stop lines, cycle boxes and toucan crossings is not compulsory. And to admit that sometimes it’s unsafe to use them.

See Department Of Transport.

CTC was the leading voice in the campaign.


- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Max Hammond

    But thankfully they still advise the use of helmets…

    07 Jun 2007, 20:19

  2. I think you will be disappointed if you think that the recommendation that cyclists should wear helmets would be an anti-cycling measure as effective as the recommendation to use “cycle routes”. This can be illustrated by considering the following examples:

    1) A motorist crashes into a cyclist on a road where there is an alternative which is designated as a “cycle route”. Clearly had the cyclist being using the “cycle route” the crash would have not occurred. So, in such a case, had the Highway Code recommended that cyclists should always use cycle routes, the motorist’s insurer could have claimed contributory negligence on the part of the cyclist. If successful with this claim, any damages paid would be reduced. The fact that the cyclist may well have been putting him/herself (and pedestrians) under greater, but different, risks by using the “cycle route” would have been immaterial to the particular case.

    2) Suppose a motorist crashes into a cyclist who isn’t wearing a “helmet”. No-one can seriously suggest that wearing a “helmet” prevents crashes. As no UK court has accepted the claim that wearing such a plastic hat makes a significant difference to the chance of serious head injury, there’s no way that the recommendation in the Highway Code that cyclists should wear “helmets” gives grounds for an insurer to claim contributory negligence on the part of any cyclist who doesn’t wear one. Presumably the recommendation is only there as an attempt to reduce the risk of minor head injury,

    07 Jun 2007, 22:42

  3. Max Hammond

    As no UK court has accepted the claim that wearing such a plastic hat makes a significant difference to the chance of serious head injury, there’s no way that the recommendation in the Highway Code that cyclists should wear “helmets” gives grounds for an insurer to claim contributory negligence on the part of any cyclist who doesn’t wear one.

    1. The evidence that helmets reduce head injuries of all severities is clear and well-proven (1 , 2 etc etc etc). We’ve no need to go into it again now.
    2. If a cyclist suffered a head injury whilst not wearing a helmet, there’s certainly an element of contributory negligence. The incident may not be their fault, but their negligence has worsened the outcome.
    3. The argument that helmets aren’t any use for severe impacts is bogus – they may not prevent injury all together, but would rather make a fatal brain injury into a serious one, or a serious one into a minor one.

    09 Jun 2007, 19:03

  4. Cycle helmets will clearly make these cycle “facilities” safe and convenient:

    11 Jun 2007, 12:32


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