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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2014 13:48 
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:gatso2: From the BBC News Magazine. A lengthy article in which there are a lot of discussion points.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29894590

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2014 09:19 
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Ok I'll open the bidding as it does seem to have been an interesting week on bbc breakfast even if i've usually left the house by then..

Quote:
Should helmets be compulsory?


Probably not, but then I'd never consider getting on a bike without one.

Quote:
Should high-vis gear be used in daytime?


Sure, if you want to ?
Most conflict with motor vehicles in my experience is lack of observation & anticipation (on their part mostly!), either they're not looking or they've seen you and not anticipated your speed or position correctly. So how much would hi-vis help ?

Quote:
Banning headphones


Probably, I can't understand why you'd wear something that would reduce your awareness but then I'm horrified to see people wearing big headphones whilst driving cars too!

Quote:
Should cyclists ride in the middle of the lane?


Sure, if they need to.

Quote:
Flashing lights or steady lights?


Both!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2014 15:06 
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ed_m wrote:

Probably not, but then I'd never consider getting on a bike without one [a helmet]


If you rode a bike in continental Europe you'd look very strange with a helmet on! Are you sure you'd wear one if riding in say, Amsterdam?


ed_m wrote:
Quote:
Should high-vis gear be used in daytime?


Most conflict with motor vehicles in my experience is lack of observation & anticipation (on their part mostly!), either they're not looking or they've seen you and not anticipated your speed or position correctly. So how much would hi-vis help ?


Yup, it even said this in the article under the question!

Quote:
Some 44% of fatal cycling accidents are caused by drivers failing to look properly, according to independent research firm the Transport Research Laboratory.


ed_m wrote:

[banning headphines for cyclists] Probably, I can't understand why you'd wear something that would reduce your awareness but then I'm horrified to see people wearing big headphones whilst driving cars too!


Just winding the windows up in a car reduces the amount you can hear by more than wearing earphones.

I'd never wear them on my bike, but I do whack the stereo up in the car.

If they banned wearing them for cyclists, surely they'd have to mandate all drivers go round with their windows down and stereo off?


ed_m wrote:

Quote:
Flashing lights or steady lights?


Both!


Agree. It's clear a flashing light helps be noticed, but it's hard to tell where it's moving and how fast, steady lights are better for that so I have both on the front of my bike (actually a combined one that's steady but has brighter pulses).


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 00:33 
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ed_m wrote:
Ok I'll open the bidding as it does seem to have been an interesting week on bbc breakfast even if i've usually left the house by then..

Quote:
Should helmets be compulsory?


Probably not, but then I'd never consider getting on a bike without one.


Me too, but I don't think they're very effective against anything other than falling off. a mate of mine is currently involved in a bit of research following a fatal acident (n cars involved). We need to somehow improve the safety level they provide.
ed_m wrote:
Quote:
Should high-vis gear be used in daytime?


Sure, if you want to ?
Most conflict with motor vehicles in my experience is lack of observation & anticipation (on their part mostly!), either they're not looking or they've seen you and not anticipated your speed or position correctly. So how much would hi-vis help ?

In poor light conditions (or in fact, anything other than ideal light conditions) I think it's a big help. In the car, I haven't yet hit a cyclist, but pretty much without exception, I spot the ones in hi-vis earlier than the ones without. It doesn't (or at least hasn't yet!) made the difference between "normal" braking and "panic" braking, but it's just so much easier to plan ahead for the next few hundred yards if you can see them a few hundred yards off. The nearest miss I've had was actually a dog walker in (of all things) army camouflage! (It worked very well - I actually saw the dog before i saw the person)! If I had to choose between a helmet and hi-vis, it would be hi-vis every time. A bit like wearing a seat belt in a car - It's not like there's a downside!

ed_m wrote:
Quote:
Banning headphones


Probably, I can't understand why you'd wear something that would reduce your awareness but then I'm horrified to see people wearing big headphones whilst driving cars too!

My experience may be skewed because all my cycling is on rural roads - many of the single track and all of them quiet. Hearing something coming up behind me is absolutely invaluable. In fact, on the downhill bits when the rush of the wind in my ears drowns out other noises, I feel quite paranoid. ANYTHING that gives me better or earlier warning is, to my mind, absolutely essential. Whether it would be quite so useful in a big city with lots of traffic, is another question though.

ed_m wrote:
Quote:
Should cyclists ride in the middle of the lane?


Sure, if they need to.

I guess they'd have to at some point (e.g. turning right). I guess the question is more to do with habitually riding in the middle of the lane. Personally, I don't, but I'm aware of the arguments in favour of it and can understand why they might.

ed_m wrote:
Quote:
Flashing lights or steady lights?


Both!

Yes, that seems sensible. Like the hi-vis, it just helps. Cycle lights can be so bright thee days, it's useful to have a flashing one to differentiate between a pushbike and a motorbike at a distance. Front ones wold have to be both because (again, my kind of cycling might be a particular case!) I need to see where I'm going on an unlit lane!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 01:14 
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An interesting article.
As they highlight with 44% of all cycling accidents happening due to failing to look properly - this is far more down to the skill of managing risk and having good judgement, and so riding safely and properly, than having the need for separate lanes or adding safety items.

1) Should helmets be compulsory?
No IMHO.
Helmets are not necessarily better but make injuries less, however I think it correct that it is down to the individual.
I find wearing one alters how hot I am and if hot I am uncomfortable and it distracts my thought processes. When I wear one it is highly likely to never stay on for long before I feel uncomfortable and find that it is annoying me (& yes it has many vents in).
So I think it quite correct that it is not compulsory.

2) Should high-vis gear be used in daytime?
Just little benefit if any, so no point. However one might argue that a habit that is only for poor light is better practiced all the time than now and again. However imagine a blistering hot day, you don't want anything more on than necessary to help keep cool!
Nights or poor light are usually cooler temperatures, so no it shouldn't be compulsory.
Hi vis is very helpful to see people better, but mostly of greater benefit during reduced light levels only.
Having every pedestrian and every cyclist wearing them would make it less effective for all cyclists. Horse riders are at least usually higher than a car or cyclist so still stand out.

3) Banning headphones
Probably not but I would insist that they are not placed on the ears but just in front so that the traffic noise is lulled but clearly heard when required and necessary. I found that listening to music background was pleasant and helped my cycle rhythm especially when on a long run or if I was a little tried from work. That helped my attention than decreased it.
I'd like to see this research studied before making a sweeping decision based on inadequate data.
However I would like to see it strongly discouraged that a full headset is worn directly on the ears ... However what about motorbikes ... they can have earpieces to hear each other, (and surely much is drowned by the noise of the bike?) but does this also deliver music (to one ear) ? If they can cope with music is this of any significance with this ?
I if know that I really want to listen to something (a phone call ?) can I still cycle safely? Can I provide all additional attention and observance needed to compensate or must I have to stop?
What if I cam cycling on a lonely cycle path - would that rule still apply? And lets face it many cyclists just ride on the pavement so these rules will change then too!

4) Should cyclists ride in the middle of the lane?
Definitely one for the dense urban areas only IMHO. And unlikely. Although on rare occassions it maybe sensible, cyclist wishes to turn right, static traffic and so cyclist goes down the center of the road to make a sensible turn and goes on their way, and the rest of the traffic no longer has to worry about them.
However cyclists are just going 'every where'. To go into the central line to turn right and then have to cross back in front of the traffic when completing the right turn is highly and un-necessarily dangerous and deliberately places them on a collision path with motor vehicles. I see it time and time again! I think it highly irresponsible riding.
There is an an onslaught of cyclists diving around cars on all sides sometimes and it's only when some cyclists get into a car and experience it that they realise how difficult a driver can find it to avoid 'everyone'. No longer are many cyclists riding in any predictable manner at all.
They have decided to 'choose' where they think is safe and go there.
No longer abiding by the rules of the road and safe positioning whatsoever.
[So it is no wonder that cyclists have come to think that they can now just go wherever they think is a good idea. This appalling attitude needs to be changed. There is nothing wrong with cyclists like everyone else waiting in turn to complete a manoeuvre on the roads.]
Geffen's idea of deliberately having a good position is sensible in principal but not the amount. Nothing wrong in being observant to see a driver potential about to alight from a vehicle and pull out enough to be safe momentarily, but not to stay there all the time 'just in case' that's, over & un-necessary compensation!
I'm not surprised that vehicles left less room the more a cyclist was out from the curb... it's human nature to want to try and correct 'injustices' (inappropriate behaviour) ...

5) Flashing lights or steady lights?
I completely disagree with the use of flashing lights for bikes, all the time on every trip as it is un-necessary, unless having to do a particularly awkward or tricky manoeuvre.
To use flashing lights for bikes, because of the help that it provides to observe, fast moving actions of emergency vehicles that have to act in an unpredictable behaviour, isn't right IMHO.
I personally detest the flashing of cycle lights. IMHO they are no more obvious as they are so slow moving. Many are on the pavement anyway so why do I need to be informed of this crucial movement?
I'm surprised that the various Epilepsy organisations are not up in arms about them?
A road user who is looking and observing will see the cyclists perfectly fine with a light and not one that is trying hard to blind them!
Flashing lights are becoming so bright that they are blinding drivers. Reports are found on many public media where cyclists have been flashed by drivers due to the high intensity of the brightness of lights.
A steady light helps you observe better.
Flashing lights demanding greater attention more than likely un-necessarily, shows a lack of trust between groups which can cause frustration and annoyance.
The judgement of your position I agree with the article is easier without the flashing. So if you want to show where you are and provide better detail to road users, use steady lights only.

To cement better relationships between all road users reminding them that no one is of greater importance than another would help. Reminding cyclists that they MUST obey the rules for their safety and that of all road users.
The more segregation the worse it will get, as it implies greater importance and a need to protect, one group over another, which helps to separate trust and potentially justify their fear.
If every cyclist and all road users ride and drive, so that they can stop in the distance that they know to be clear, they will be safe. :)

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