Monday, 5 August 2013

I am not a horse, but an individual!

Well the nice way code finally launched with two of its videos today.

The first asks drivers to see people who ride bikes as if the are horses and give them the same consideration.

Some may find  the 40 or so seconds quite humorous, with most of the time spent with a person on a bike in stables being fed and shoed like a horse. Only in the last few seconds does the actual message get put across, which for drivers to give people riding bikes the same consideration as animals.

That's right, animals! in the minds of the geniuses behind the nice way code, the road hierarchy appears to be drivers, then animals, then people on bikes. Absolutely beggars belief.

But it gets even bloody worse

The second ad, starts with a person on a bicycle going though a red light, and then jumps to an old fashioned school master taking the piss out of a child for his name, and concludes with the message cyclists should not give all cyclists a bad name by jumping the red.

All that does is reinforces the view that every individual is collectively responsible for the actions of every other person riding a bike. 

They haven't tarred all drivers with the "one does wrong, everyone does wrong" brush, just cyclists and pedestrians.

Pedestrians are targeted with with texting and not looking. Driving whilst using a phone or texting gets barely a footnote. For frigs sake, out of walking or driving, which is the most dangerous activity?

It is a disgrace that this campaign is funded from sustainable transport funds, especially cycling, and yet targets the most vulnerable who are the very people it should be protecting. It's like running a campaign to get people to wear stab vests in day to day use. It just wouldn't happen, there would be a crackdown on knife crime and a public backlash.

All that has happened to date with the Niceway code is that drivers age old prejudices have been given official sanction.

It's not just a waste of scarce money, it is verging on reckless negligence. Some of the campaign team have come out as active cyclists. 

I would be ashamed if I was associated professionally with something which was this bad and misguided.

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