‘Embarrassing, victim-blaming’ road safety campaign criticized for focusing solely on cycling ‘skills and PPE’; Climate change adviser calls active travel campaigner a ‘clown’; Ealing Lib Dems contradictory manifesto + more on live blog
We are happy to support the #NPCC2Wheels countryside. Over the next two weeks, we will be putting an extra emphasis on the safety of cyclists and motorcyclists to raise awareness of the dangers of not having the proper skills, knowledge and personal protective equipment. pic.twitter.com/Ph6p9EBaHQ
— NI Road Policing and Safety (@NIRoadPolicing) April 4, 2022
While their new uniforms may be a rip-off from the 2013 era Team Sky, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) seem to have adopted Movistar’s confused and outdated tactic when it comes to providing security cyclists on the roads.
A cycling and motorcycling safety campaign endorsed by the PSNI yesterday has come under fire online after Twitter users pointed out it focuses solely on how cyclists can better protect themselves, rather than trying to change the behavior of motorists, with a number of cyclists describing the campaign as evidence of “victim blaming”.
Organized by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), the “2 Wheels” campaign focuses on the safety of cyclists and motorcyclists. While other police forces used the campaign last year to educate motorists from the danger of close overtaking and reckless driving, to training drivers on how to stay safe, the PSNI seems to have forgotten that crucial first part.
In a tweet accompanied by a strange shoddy illustration (don’t worry, these aren’t your eyes), the Northern Ireland Police and Road Safety Unit wrote: “Over the next two weeks , we will place more emphasis on the safety of cyclists and motorcyclists to raise awareness of the dangers of not having the correct skills, knowledge and personal protective equipment.
Unsurprisingly, the campaign’s focus on educating vulnerable road users immediately backfired, with Cycling Twitter uniting to condemn the tweet as ’embarrassing’ and indicative of ‘car blindness’. .
Graham Finlayson responded to the campaign by tweeting: “Drivers. The danger for me when I ride a bike is the drivers, in oversized cars, on their phones. Control their behavior instead of blaming the victim. A helmet is useless if you get run over by a 4×4.
Patrick Eakin echoed Graham’s sentiments: “Motor vehicles. It is motor vehicles that cause the injuries. Every day killing five people in the UK. Focus on them.
A Belfast cyclist wrote: ‘Wow – let’s talk to cyclists that it’s their fault motorists kill them.
Tom Flood said: “Same old weak, reverse message, but this time they can’t even bother using a hi-res/readable version of a terrible communication. It’s how little we care. Checkboxes.
“Two weeks of instruction of cyclists and motorcyclists on the dangers of the road. They must kill over 50 people on NI roads every year,” noted Brian Shannon sardonically.
— TBSteve (@TBStevesPix) April 4, 2022
I’m just wondering what personal protective equipment has been proven to protect cyclists from dangerous drivers, especially those using cell phones, speeding, close passing, etc., etc. ? Don’t you think that targeting the REAL problem would do more for road safety?
— Peter Smith (@Pinarello_Pete) April 4, 2022
I mean…given the answers…is there ANYONE at HQ, walking into the Super’s office to say “I think we may have miscalculated here, Chief… ” pic.twitter.com/x8WRgFlxGP
— CycleBelfast (@BelfastCycle) April 4, 2022
And, finally, someone started analyzing THIS image:
Why is there a woman riding a bicycle in a trench? Why is the horse on the wrong side of the road? And why is it purple? Why are women super hot and in miniskirts? Why is there a 1989 Sierra Cosworth? Why is everything happening in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro?
— Folk cycling 🌳 (@VeganCyclist4) April 4, 2022