Monday 6 September 2010

The Perils of Headphones

The Daily Express decided to headline the tragic story of a young woman dying when she collided with a HGV as


Now, I don't wear headphones whilst cycling. I don't think it the best idea to dull one of your senses when a cyclist pretty much needs all of them to survive at times. Do I think this is reasonable - well no - the fact is that I shouldn't have to strain to listen for that speeding car coming up behind me for a close pass. But I do.

However, the Daily Express seems to believe in this case that headphone wearing is the primary cause of the accident. From the limited details it would appear this is another tragic case of inadequate off-road cycle lanes putting a cyclist at risk at junctions with the road. If she had been cycling on the road, the HGV would have been in front or behind her - with poorly designed facilities, the HGV crosses her path.

I am not saying the facility was the cause of the accident any more than the Daily Express should be concluding that headphones are the cyclist's greatest peril.

My primary thoughts are with all those involved. My secondary thought is that whilst councils manage to construct cycle facilities that are stupid and dangerous, cyclists are being put at greater risk. I leave you with Harlow's effort to provision for cyclists as an illustration of my point.

cycling stupidity

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