The weather effects are clearly visible; would you slow down accordingly? (Photo by Reid Beels, CC -licensed)

At The Going Down of The Sun and In The Morning

There is something that happens twice a day, every day. It has done so since before life existed on Earth and it will do so until the seas boil and life ceases to exits. So reliably does it happen that the very concept of a day is inherently bound to it.  Twice a day, the sun is near the horizon.

Given the frequency and the fundamental constancy of this phenomenon, the way we treat it with regard to road collisions is quite remarkable.

Let’s take a look into the sun.

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The government THINK! campaign is fairly unambiguously named. It implores us to do one thing: THINK!

But, to copy a set of decisions laid out before you; to take them at face value; is that to THINK?

What are we being taught to THINK? Are we even being taught to THINK! at all?

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The Brick Wall

I’ve been party to The Great Helmet Debate for well over two decades now. You can’t ride bicycles regularly without numerous people – regardless of whether or not they ride a bicycle themselves – volunteering their opinion on helmets.

And it’s fine. I like debate. I like testing hypotheses. Rigorously. It’s how we make sure we get stuff right, or at the very least it’s how we make sure we’re offering coherent arguments rather than just opinions that you’re not even entitled to.

But there are many fascinating characteristics of The Great Helmet Debate, and one of them is this.

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The Wrong Side of The Lens

The recent spate of deaths of people on bikes and on foot in London has triggered a number of reactions. Whilst many of these involve people vomiting ill-informed opinion into newspapers and onto the Internet, one of the more interesting reactions – in that it’s action rather than words – is the apparently heavy deployment of traffic police in London. But what effect will this have? And could their time be better spent?

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The Most Basic Respect

Although I read a lot of news articles about injury and death on the road, many involving “cyclists” (they’re people who happen to be on bicycles, but the “cyclist” generalisation is pertinent to this article), I very rarely read or even see the comments.

But sometimes, I do read them.

Thus far, I’ve managed to resist ever posting a comment myself.

This post is hopefully the one comment I will ever need to make.

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Surrey’s Failed Roundabouts

This morning I had the misfortune to witness a car being driven into a cyclist (well, I at least had the fortune not to be that cyclist; the incident occurred on a route that until this week I’d been using daily).

Fortunately, although he hit the deck fairly hard and sustained some cuts and bruises, the rider was not seriously injured. But the design of the road at that point is very clearly dangerous, and it’s a design that is being planned elsewhere.

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The Yellow Cab and The Poison

If The Nice Way Code did one thing, it at least focused a number of people’s minds on the issue that public perception doesn’t match up with facts.

Time, perhaps, to take a step back and view The Nice Way Code in the context of this, not to berate the Code itself (“see someone berating The Nice Way Code, think flogging a dead horse”, as they might themselves say), but to ask how its perfectly reasonable supposed aims of improving inter-modal relationships on shared roads could actually be achieved.

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What The Law Told Us This Week (no. 1)

Every week the law – along with those who enforce and apply it – teaches us things about its attitude to roads, vehicles, and – most importantly – the people who use them.

So, provided I can muster sufficient time and energy on at least a semi-regular basis, this is the first in a series of digests about those things. I mostly won’t go into too much detail (anything that warrants it will get its own post) so consider it a whistlestop tour of what’s hot in the world of institutionalised and systemic crappy attitudes.

Ready? Let’s go.

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The Parody Campaign Posters

I thought I’d make a home for the parody posters from the @NicewayCodeGB account. They’re appallingly-drawn three-minute doodles but hopefully they’re amusing and serve to satirise some of the flaws in The Nice Way Code.

I’m going to explain them as we go. I’d hope they don’t need explaining (you know what they say: if you have to explain it, it’s not funny) but occasionally I just have an urge to make sure a point is rammed home.

So, in chronological order, here we go.

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The Horse and The Python

Last week on the Nice Way Code website, in response to the bizarre half-launch, someone called Neil speculated that “it’s going to get even more patronising and even worse“; to which, someone on behalf of the campaign responded: “You’ll have to wait and see I suppose. Remember – you haven’t actually seen the campaign yet!

Well, now we can see it (at least, we can see two TV ads; there may well be more to come). So let’s take a look.

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The Car and The Kitten

This blog begins where something ended; specifically, a Twitter parody account: @NicewayCodeGB (which is still suspended at the time of writing; the real account, by the way, is @nicewaycode and I borrowed the name’s format from @HighwayCodeGB). I’m not sure what caused it to be taken down: I doubt 88 tweets in 24 hours was enough to hit the spam alarm, and The Nice Way Code claim that they had nothing to do with it, so I vaguely suspect that one of the people who mistook it for real (most of whom were put straight by other followers) dobbed it in. No matter; I think it’s probably served its purpose.

Anyway, this post explains the reasoning behind that account, and is interspersed with some of the tweets from it.

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