The Pedal Club: March Report

Chris Lovibond with a report on the March luncheon for the Pedal Club where the speaker was Charlie Allen, whose subject was road safety education

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The Pedal Club: March Report

PLEASE HELP VELOUK SERVE THE SPORT OF CYCLING – THANK YOU (thanks to Sheldon, Anthony, Linda, Matthew, Nicola, Emma for their donations. It all helps keep me on the road).  

The Pedal Club’s speaker for March was Charlie Allen, whose subject was road safety education. He was representing ‘Vision Zero’ an international network which aspires to reduce road related fatalities to zero by the year 2040. This is an organisation which works with Transport for London.

He spoke eloquently and passionately about the work he has been involved in, for over a decade, to reduce road casualties. His basic premise is that road user education has an important contribution to make towards the elimination of road deaths.

Originally a cycle trainer, his scope now includes all road users, although because of his connection with Transport for London his main focus is on urban conditions. He spoke at length on training for commercial vehicle drivers, who are now covered by comprehensive legislation involving regular compulsory training including awareness of cyclists.

Naturally, this is good news for the Club and for cyclists generally, but when Mr Allen touched on the Highway Code he, quite correctly, made a distinction between actions which should be taken and those that must be done. Some members felt that there is a problem with the ‘must’ aspects of the code when there is, in practice, so little enforcement of traffic regulations they often only have significance after a tragedy has already happened. And as it happened that very evening there was a news report of a fatal accident caused by a boy riding an electric scooter, at speed, on the pavement, contrary to various prohibitions. Sadly, teenage boys (and many others) are often impervious to education.

So the Club wishes Mr. Allen every success with his work, but feels that he needs more support with law enforcement to approach that zero target.

This March lunch was held at the Civil Service Club in Great Scotland Yard, Whitehall. There has been some dissatisfaction with both the last two establishments the club has used, but members felt this new venue to be a big improvement, so perhaps the club has made a useful step forward. There were forty four members and guests in attendance.

Chris Lovibond. March ‘23


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