Most alleged road safety experts totally ignore the simple truth that if you get run over by the wheels of a HGV or Bus, it leaves you just as dead at 5 Mph as it does at 50 Mph, but then fraudulent Climate Scientists deny the impact of our Sun !
Perhaps the problem stems from the fact that Civil Engineers not Mechanical Engineers are those charged with improving road safety, I once saw a professor from Leeds University claiming that It didn’t make you a better driver if you understood the science of vehicle motion. I would make its teaching compulsory in secondary schools even if just to make Maths and Physics lessons interesting and actually relevant to pupils future lives, plus defend them from corporate snake oil salesmen. I suspect that the fluid you need to buy for the latest emissions technology is actually pre-mixed screen-wash and can probably be safely substituted with such !
Casting back to the 1980s. Norman Fowler ( Now Lord ) when Transport Minister decreed that all trucks ( excluding Tippers ) had to be fitted with MONSANTO Clear Pass to stop spray on motorways. It was hedgehog rubber door mats under the mudguards which soon got full of shit and reduced their alleged effectiveness anyway, it also weighed half a ton which meant you were overloaded with a 20 ton load on a 40ft flat including pallets at 32 tons Gross.
It didn’t actually stop the spray it just made it finer so when theer was salt on the road your screen was soon totally obscured and you had to use the washers, unless you had one of the old toughened screens where good wipers would clear it without wash. The next problem was the manufacturers linking the wipers to the washers, which made it fatal to run out of wash as it left you totally blind, and now the Waffen SS Traffic Police do you for empty washers.
Its even worse now since the introduction of politically correct quiet road surfaces which remain wet for ages after its rained and requiring frequent washer use, the old Hot Rolled Asphelt ( the drivers called it Pig Shit ) with 20mm Gritstone rolled in which above friction afforded some actual mechanical grip in emergency braking. I recall questioning Lancashire County Council the merits of the latest road surfacing technology , and got a letter back from the then Environment Director Graham Harding, where he affected to decern the merits of the increased coefficient of friction of the coating.
Needless to say the miracle coating soon washed and wore off, and perhaps why their are so many potholes in our main roads is due to the fact that you can’t lay Tarmac in the rain and expect it to stick to the original surface, even if you use ” Tack Coat “. I have heard cases where the lunatics have even laid it in wet snow, when they must of know the drivers put a coating of water in the Box prior to loading Hot Stuff to stop it sticking.
Other examples of late 1990s LCC Officers corruption included replacing old Victorian Man Hole Covers for no good reason other than to sell them to Heritage projects for personal financial gain. Similarly Royal Mail managers replaced the VR post box built into the former weighbridge of the 1836 Bold Venture Limeworks ( Chatburn Racing Pigeon Club HQ ) and replaced it with a GR one. It could be said its actually an improvement as there is less chance of the rain getting in in an east wind, but since privatisation the residents of Sunderland Point have had theirs nicked but not replaced.
I would appear to have gone off at a tangent from Cycling but whilst at my favourite pup and otside for a fag I encountered a guy around the same age as me with one of the latest high tech mountain bikes. It looked pretty impressive with disc brakes etc but it cost £500 and on closer inspection it was obvious the Bottom Braket ( the bearing the pedals turn on ) was undersize. I pointed this out and guy admitted that there was already play in it despite being less than six month old, the small wheel bikes built in London featured on the BBC the other night look similarly afflicted.
Perhaps the problem stems from Computer Aided Design, experts at writing software may be incompetent as mechanical engineers, the competence of whom may be tested by asking them when is a 16mm bolt not a 16mm bolt. The answer is when its a Set Screw,. as the threads reduce the cross sectional area, and perhaps many of our road design incompetence is due to idiots using software intended for countries with left hand drive. That’s probably what happened with the design of the new Tilcon Wigan ( opposite Springs Branch loco shed ) concrete plant where you were forced to back artics on the blind side, a nightmare to be avoided when possible.
It would appear that Transport For London boffins have nicked my ideas for improving cycling safety, via total segregation from other traffic but done it in the most expensive and inconvenient for everyone way possible. I include my Brossen99 article in the comments which became a conversation with an intelligent cyclist and on most things we agreed. Perhaps one reason for the high accident rate ( and particularly in London ) is due to perhaps particularly young women ( but not exclusively ) attempting to prove they are doing their bit to ” Save The Planet ” as indoctrinated by the BBC. They may see it as a way to impress a potential partner, or simply pier pressure to conform with the Green Tendy herd, the Green Party is quite popular in some towns and cities. For all his faults and intellectual dishonesty on Climate Change, at least Jeremy Corbyn has a proper bike !
The abject stupidity of some cyclists who use rural roads and keep pedaling up steep hills in the lowest gear possible whilst wobbling about all over the place attempting to avoid actually falling off. Most local people learned as kids on single speed bikes when at primary school that the best policy was to ( Get Off and Milk It ) as you could walk faster than ride pushing it up hills. I can picture in my minds eye some brainwashed idiot wobbling up The Archway during evening rush hour and disrupting the theoretical efficiency of the Bus Lane, perhaps in the Vain Hope that Karl Marx can be resurrected from his nearby grave !
No amount of fancy mirrors or video cameras can solve the cycling safety problem in towns, now compounded by the short cycle lanes leading to the boxes for cyclists in front of traffic. Boxes at traffic lights just encourage dangerous practice, and perhaps all HGVs & buses need fitting with a clear sign on their bums stating DO NOT OVERTAKE TURNING VEHICLE as in Aussie as long ago as 1987. The police just laughed when anybody got squashed sneaking down the nearside of trucks, their main then road safety problem was people attempting to stop or corner on bald tyres in thunderstorms.
It seems that the new mandatory front mirror has to be viewed through a part of the screen not swept by the wipers, and in any case mirrors are worse than useless after the salt or just dirt containing spray from the forever wet quiet road surface gets on them. There is nowhere to stop and clean them, which is impractical if they are still damp anyway, the same principle applies to the lenses of any video cameras.
Its obvious that Dick Turpin Phd and disciples are playing the corrupt politicians at there was an old woman who swallowed a fly again, next the Cycling Lobby will be demanding motion sensing technology which is likely to drive the driver insane with false alerts. Hauliers are finding it increasingly difficult to find drivers as it is now, skilled men leaving the industry pissed off by having to pay a Private Tax to some parasite company for safety certification.
I believe David Cameron has given former Nottinghamshire coal miner Patric McScab an honor for blowing billions on Smart Motorways using US Toll Roads by Stealth ANPR technology. The Average Speed Cameras need to be used to enforce a Minimum Speed for lanes whilst at the same time dumping the EU Speed Limiters to allow HGVs to make up lost time where safe to do so.
Perhaps we need to go back to find the true future as far as road safety is concerned, in the 1970s Radial Tyres transformed road safety, likewise we will need some ( as Engineering professor Stanley Unwin used to advertise on TV ) ” Wetty Grippers ” to cope with the impending Mini Ice Age. Modern and especially low profile tyres are useless in snow, combined with Quiet road surfaces and ABS make descending hills an absolute nightmare At least with the old Pig Shit with 20mm gritstione rolled in a locked wheel would dig through the snow and give you some chance of stopping.
To end on a brighter note, at least Theresa May hasn’t got a dick to keep in her pocket, perhaps a good reason to elect more women politicians and put women on company or public services boards. Its not a good idea putting workers from the shop floor on boards though, as they will probably be trade union reps, most efficient workshops made the idiot Shop Steward just to get them out of the way. We Also need to evict the criminals from the House of Lords, it seems the latest celebrity to block me on Twitter is former CBI Chairman Lord Digby Jones, and whom I perhaps mistakenly thought I could trust implicitly !