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So what should the Police be doing?

September 27, 2011

Following on from yesterdays post about the Police trying to bully cyclists off the roads of Surrey. The Police claim this is not their aim and in their defence tweeted:

Nearly 500 #Drivesmart interventions for drivers in east Surrey this month none for cyclists as we have been trying to engage and educate

Impressive numbers at first glance. However the only figures we have for problems with road users are the accident figures and of those the only accurate ones are the killed.

Nationally slightly less than 1 person a year is killed by a cyclist from a total of about 3,500 people killed each year on the roads. I have to use the National figures as I can’t find any record of a cyclist killing someone in Surrey, ever.  So for the Police action to be proportionate they need to stop 3,500 motorists to every cyclist. Suddenly that almost 500 does not look so impressive. Even if we strip out the motorists killed we are left with about 1200 Pedestrians and Cylists killed. That 500 is still not looking very impressive. Only when you remove all road users killed except cyclists does the 500 come into a reasonable light. 186 cyclists killed against less than 1 killed by cyclists.

So from a point of view of safety there does not appear to be any justification for clamping down on cyclists.

What about the complaints of large number of cyclists riding in groups?

Lets turn that one around. If you see a large number of cars on the road you call that traffic. A large number of cyclists is just the same. Traffic. Cycling in a group is not illegal and I’ve seen no evidence that it is more dangerous. (The opposite is probably true do to motorists actually noticing the groups). I find the large number of cars on the road inconvenient to me. They queue up blocking the road slowing me down as  a motorist and as a cyclist. That gets called traffic. Groups of cyclists are just traffic.

All these complaints need to be viewed through a filter to spot prejudice. Then I’m sure they will evaporate.

So what should the Police do about cyclists?

The obvious answer here is nothing. There simply is not a problem with cyclists. Yes other road users need to accept they are on the road. Yes other road users may have to slow down for cyclists as they should for other road users.

If the Police really want to make a difference then get they need to get out of their cars and onto bikes and stop looking through the world through a windscreen.

Road casualty statistics 2010:


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