Monday 13 December 2010

Two London women cyclists down

Police are appealing for information after a cyclist was left fighting for life when she was hit by a van at Marble Arch.

The 29-year-old woman is in a critical condition after colliding with a security van carrying cash at 8.50am. Police are contacting her next of kin.

The 46-year-old van driver was arrested on suspicion of careless driving

Mark of ibikelondon writes about this collision here.

Meanwhile in the London Borough of Sutton

A female cyclist has been rushed to hospital after a collision with a car.

London Ambulance Service said the 46-year-old suffered neck and leg injuries when the smash took place at 6.45am in Lower Morden Lane

Various commentators said that last Thursday’s student protests witnessed ‘the worst violence London has seen for many years’. Which is a classic example of the way in which journalists and politicians sanitise and marginalise the greatest form of violence in London, namely that which occurs in road crashes, which far exceeds gang shootings, youths with knives, terrorism, or demonstrations:

3,227 people were killed or seriously injured on London’s roads in 2009

That's nine or ten a day, including 204 people killed in 2008 and 184 in 2009. It might be argued that in a city populated by 7.5 million people that's not an awful lot, but if comparable numbers were killed or seriously injured on London's Underground or Overground networks each year there would be uproar

140 of the 184 people who died following collisions in 2009 were pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists

Pedal cyclist casualties [of all severities] showed a 14% increase in inner London, and a 16% increase in outer London.

When the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police states that he is determined to get to grips with violence I am less than impressed, because he is a man who like his predecessors regards road traffic policing as a very low priority, and he is a man quite at ease with the fact that up to 13 per cent of London drivers are uninsured and therefore driving unlawfully. But then the Commissioner and the Met’s Commanders all enjoy the luxury of a chauffeur-driven limo lifestyle, which detaches them from the reality that their policies impose on those most vulnerable to them – pedestrians and cyclists.

And if the Met was remotely concerned about threats posed to the safety of all Londoners there would be a massive police raid on the Thames Materials depot, with every driver coming in and out regularly tested for drink and drugs and every lorry checked daily to see that it was in a roadworthy condition and fully in compliance with the law.

Woops! I was forgetting. "At the moment, people assume - quite correctly - that they can take drugs and drive a vehicle with little chance of being caught and convicted.