Thursday 23 April 2009

Questions, anyone?

One of the themes of this blog is that in every aspect of our society, it’s a car supremacist world (read the latest crazy example here). And two car supremacist institutions among many others are the Metropolitan Police and the BBC.

The Met has a long history of being reluctant to enforce road traffic law, hostility to speed cameras and indifference to the often atrocious driving standards of its own officers. The Met has comprehensively failed to protect the interests of vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians, has massively cut its complement of road traffic officers, and makes the major form of violence, death and injury in London, i.e. road crashes, a very low policing priority. The Met has a blanket policy of not enforcing Advanced Stop Lines for cyclists, on the grounds that enforcement would slow down motor traffic. The Met devotes far fewer resources to the investigation of road deaths than it does to murders. It is blatantly failing to enforce the ban on driving with a handheld mobile phone. The Met also wasted a small fortune in public money in its futile and vindictive attempt to have Critical Mass made illegal (the fifteenth anniversary of the first London Critical Mass is tomorrow, incidentally).

The BBC, home to Top Gear, is entirely lacking in programmes about urban cycling and is no friend of cyclists. The BBC is a public funded corporation but it follows a road lobby news agenda, marginalises road violence and represents motorists primarily as a victim group. BBC London News ignores most cyclist and pedestrian deaths in London. Not a single one of the deaths of cyclists under the wheels of a lorry in London in 2008 or 2009 was mentioned on BBC London News. BBC News describes most crashes as ‘accidents’, even though virtually all are the result of wilful negligence or recklessness.

So you might be surprised (or in my case NOT surprised) to learn that

The London Cycling Campaign has a range of cycling-friendly corporate supporters including the Met Police and the BBC.