Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wanted it Wednesday

Wednesday, 13th February 2013: Oh joy – Microsoft's Patch Tuesday has delivered a truckload (19) of patches to fix 57 flaws apparently – some serious. Since my BSODs (computer crashes) seemed to start off when doing patches a while ago (6 months or so) culminating in my computer crashing every time I logged in. Even after 6 weeks of fettling I don’t feel I have completely sorted (or understood) the problem. After an OS re-install I have had one episode of crashes and am currently hiding behind Windows protection rather than McAfee AVS.

So before I install the patches I thought I’d better write a quick post in case my computer plays up and keeps me off my Blog for a while! I haven’t been out along the Cambridge Guided Busway cycleway for a while but by all accounts it, unsurprisingly is flooded. I wonder how many days that makes it so far this year? Well I should have read the comments – nearly 100 in the last 10 months. High quality cycleway – non!

Regular readers will know that I am concerned that the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire (PCC) seems to be fixated on “anti-social” cycling with the result that it seems to be a focus of the Police with Operation Pedalo. Whilst ignoring the fact the most hard to vulnerable road users (such as pedestrians and cyclists) emanates from the motor vehicles on the roads. The Cottenham Cyclist has raised these very issues and gotten a bland response from the PCC. Here is an interesting FOI request report on Cycle and Motor vehicle accident statistics in Cambridge and Cambridgeshire over the last 5 years (2007-2011).

Accidents for Cambridgeshire – injuries to pedestrians

                             Collision with pedal cycle          collisions with motor vehicles

Fatal                     0                                                    34
Serious                 6                                                   185
Slight                   45                                                  570

Now I have just lifted one comparative set of data. The document does point out that of the slight injuries to pedestrians, caused by a collision with a cyclist, 9 of the 45 injuries involved a cyclist cycling on the pavement.

Well the PCC was on the local news last night defending his stance on anti-social cycling and when pushed on where there are not more serious matters such as theft  and burglary and vandalism seem to say that everything was a priority. Well, sorry you can’t claim everything is a priority – that isn’t how priorities work.

He does seem to make a big thing of “the law being the law”, but when cyclists point out how dangerous it can be for them on the roads and yet how difficult it can be to get anyone to take it seriously. The stock response seems to be – that if you have an incident (when cycling) then get a witness. The inference being that safety for cyclists on the road is the cyclists problem. Yet too often we hear that people refrain from cycling because it is too dangerous. Or as the PCC puts it “I used to be a keen cyclist but am not happy in traffic – see Q2” (Perhaps it is because road safety is improving for car drivers/passengers – it is 2just” getting worse for vulnerable road users.)


So we have a PCC not happy cycling in traffic, but presumably happy to drive telling, us that Operation Pedalo is for the good of cyclists (and pedestrians) yet ignoring the real source of danger on the roads – the motor vehicles. When a cyclist is intimidated on the roads – this is what happens “Failure of the Cambridgeshire Police” – nothing. The trouble is many cyclists know this, and so don’t even bother to report issues. So the issues then get under-reported – hey presto – there is no problem.

Except the increase in the deaths and injuries on the roads of cyclists and pedestrians shows that it is not true – THERE IS A PROBLEM. What makes the increase on deaths an injuries even more obscene is the way that the reasons get explained away -  “youngsters striving to emulate their sporting heroes, road safety experts said today”. I know that it was a report in the DM – and the quotes in the article don’t actually attribute blame and do say that it “makes uncomfortable reading” – Too damn right it does.

While I am on a rant I might as well also mention Road Safety Adverts. I learnt the mantra:

Look right, look left and look right again, if it is all clear walk quickly across.  (They now add a bit about listening in the Green cross Code.) Well despite the increase in deaths and injuries to child pedestrians on the the TV Ads are being axed. Go figure.

So back to the theme of cycling related stuff I got for Christmas. When I have a mug of coffer I like a large mug. A while back my daughter got me a mug with the Ladybird Story of the Bicycle book cover as the art work. That is the mug on the right. It has suffered from repeated washes in the dishwasher and has a few chips as well.  I like it though – so she got me another, the one on the left. This year she got me the red mug – she apologised that it actually says “grumpy OLD GUYS RULE” – mind you after reading this post I reckon she is right.

Cyclists like larger mugs!

And finally – some stunning pictures of rice terraces in China and pictures of a new terminal being added to Grand Central Station.

Right – now for those patches!

No comments:

Post a Comment