Monday 5 August 2013

Niceway Code - No, really, its NOT a parody.

Although you might think it.

Here's the kind of rubbish they're coming out with now.

Here we're being compared with horses. They video is asking motorists to treat us like we're horses. So apparently we're going to ignore the fact that there are hundreds of reported incidents where motorists scare or injure horses and blandly assert that cyclists need to be treated likewise irrespective of whether thats any good.

I really don't want to be treated like a horse. I want to be treated like a person, on a bicycle. And if you think anything else is appropriate you can go fetlock yourself. I am not a horse.

Well it can't get any worse, can it? I mean, they'd not actually go further with stereotyping us in a negative and insulting way?

Oh, yes, dear readers, they would...

So lets get this straight, a woman goes through a red light while riding her bicycle, somewhat less than a second after the light has changed, and somehow we're all held responsible for that. 

Because of something someone else did we're going to be asked to all bear the burden of that, and rather than dealing with the fact that motorists portraying us all as red light jumpers on the strength of this one incident are simply showing prejudice, we're going to have public information films reinforcing the false perception that we are collectively responsible for the crimes of others based merely on the form of transport we choose?

We're going to spend a fortune on adverts targetting cyclists jumping red lights despite the fact that such results for something in the region of 2% of cyclist deaths and serious injuries (KSI), and in so doing we're going to reinforce the atrocious misconception that we're responsible for road accidents while ignoring the 70% of cyclists KSI entirely caused by motorists?  Oh, and we're going to show a teacher mocking a child who of course dresses like a freak because he's a cyclist, and thats what cyclists do?

This is offensive. This panders to, rather than stands against, the prejudices that allow motorists to get away with endangering, even injuring or killing cyclists. This isn't a public safety campaign or an attempt to improve manners on the road, its a cynical campaign to mock, ridicule and victimise cyclists. Publically funded by motorists, for motorists, its a cynical ploy to give them an even better argument against cylists.

I wonder whether Scotland will soon be launching equally offensive campaigns to target hate against people of different sexuality, race or religion? Maybe a anti-racist campaign using the Black and White Minstrels? Fagin from Oliver Twist to speak out against anti-semitism based on the negative Jewish stereotype? Or does crass stereotyping and victim blame now only apply to cyclists?

Scotland, road safety campaigners around the world are laughing at you. Not with you. 

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