Tuesday 11 August 2015

Piece of crap victim blame tweeted by Cycletoworkday

UPDATE: The folk at Cycle to Work Day have held their hands up and said sorry, we goofed, we've deleted it. So, thats good then - I'm happy they've retracted and good on them for saying sorry. I'll leave this article more or less as it is though - it was my first (horridly disgusted) response to an awful dis-infographic, a sublimely awful piece of anti-cyclist propaganda that I've a horrible feeling will re-emerge.

I refer in the title there to this awful, AWFUL disinfographic.

One would hope that the folk at cycletoworkday.org  would know better than to share such a buttock wrenchingly piss poor piece of anti-cyclist wank. One would be wrong. Its almost entirely incorrect in nearly every aspect it discusses - and while it ought by now be needless to correct bloody awful moton propaganda dished out by shitty little organisations who pretend to support cycling while in fact making our time on the roads worse by implying we're to blame for everything that ever went wrong in the history of humanity, I find myself once again refuting crap like this.

I'm bashing this out quickly during a work tea-break, so stats are from memory. Apologies for lack of referencing but if you require said refs then holler, I'll back these up and correct later if necessary. In the mean time I promise you I'm not far out with these...

From the top left, we can see this is about 'cycling and the law', and we're directed down the lamp-post where we're implored to wear a helmet and hi-viz - which is not required by law. At all. Even a bit. Nor does the benefit thereof show up in accident stats. So thats wrong to begin with. We're then told we must have lights - which is true, but of course the vast bulk of cyclist KSI's happen during daylight hours, and as a safety factor this accounts for something like 2% of deaths - and this is likely an over-estimate as it is often based on the sole living eye-witness (the driver).

There's a tree underneath it that for some reason blames jumping red lights (if memory serves thats another 2%, give or take, of cycling KSI) for the 85% of cycle injuries. Or, in other words, this ignores the measured, massive, overwhelming cause of cycling accidents (motorists not looking) and simply blames the victims. 

But then we've got the real doozy, the one that tells us unequivocally that this is to appease motons, not appeal to cyclists. We're told:
Use of cyle lanes makes your journey safer and is recommended in section 62 of the Highway Code
Section 62 does not refer to cycle lanes. At all. Even a bit. It talks about cycle TRACKS. Cycle lanes are covered in 63, where we're actually told:
 Cycle Lanes. These are marked by a white line (which may be broken) along the carriageway (see Rule 140). Keep within the lane when practicable. When leaving a cycle lane check before pulling out that it is safe to do so and signal your intention clearly to other road users. Use of cycle lanes is not compulsory and will depend on your experience and skills, but they can make your journey safer.
Bluntly, the highway code acknowledges that many cycle lanes do not make your journey safer - hardly surprising really.

This lying piece of crap disinfographic then tells us we must not ride 3 abreast (again, not in law - and not necessarily a good idea in the heavy cycle traffic of Cambridge, for example), it tells us that section 67 of the highway code tells us we should ride single file (it doesn't), and worst of all it gives us a fabrication for the most common causes of cyclist injury (every single cause they attribute to the cyclist - without mentioning that the most massive, overwhelming cause is motorist inattention/error).

This is worse than simple victim blame - its an intentional misrepresentation of the facts, of the highway code and of good cycling practice to pin the blame for accidents solely on cyclists with, I think, a simple goal of softening the guilt felt my motorists who cause such carnage on our roads.

For tweeting this, I'm clear in my mind that 'Cycletowork' are yet another part of the car lobby. All be it a particularly insidious, cynical part thereof.


  1. The motives behind producing this pile of steaming horseshit become very apparent when it turns out that Claims Connection are a bunch of shyster "No Win, No Fee" ambulance-chasing Solicitors.
    Their ignorance of the letters of the law would suggest that they're not very good solicitors.

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  3. I love the way they say "using cycle lanes makes your journey safer", but then admonish cyclists to "be aware of car doors opening in your path as this is one of the most common causes of cycling accidents". It would help if bike lanes, when they're not under parked cars, didn't occupy the door zone.

    1. Quite. http://hushlegs.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/dangerous-cycle-lanes/

    2. You missed one of my favourites! https://goo.gl/maps/YySTi Yes, that six-inch gap between the taxi and the Rolls Royce is a key cycle link. Thanks to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea for that gem.

  4. Bizarre that this was produced by a claims company that then goes on to say on their website "the majority of cyclist accidents that we deal with involve other road users simply failing to see the cyclist." Why produce an infographic blaming the victim, then admit that in the majority of cases the other road users were at fault?

  5. I hope someone got a screen-shot, it sounds worth archiving as an object lesson of anti-cycling, pro-car disinformation. Not having seen it, I'd like to see it in its full grotesquerie.

    And as for "sorry", not sure that really cuts it. The mentality is clearly demonstrated, and mentality doesn't simply change in so short a time.

    1. Good point re. the screenshot. I've updated the blog post with a working link.