This evening I happened to catch the short BBC Local News at 20:00 on BBC 1 Scotland between programmes this evening. One of the items featured was the ASA adjudication regarding the Cycling Scotland advert to improve cycling safety.
I then later recorded and watched the late evening news, which covered it in more depth (video below). It’s great that Reporting Scotland has picked up on the story, however it would have been better had they covered the “cycling in the middle of the road” issue much more than the passing remark. As someone who has had many close passes, including being knocked off my bike due to close passes, I have a significantly increased fear of being knocked off my bike by an overtaking vehicle. I am annoyed that the BBC didn’t pick up on the road positioning point more. This is rules 212 and 213 of the Highway Code, and is something that needs to be emphasised more, as often cyclists have to ride further out to avoid pot holes or to prevent a motor vehicle for passing so close that they knock the cyclist off their bike.
KT on twitter has done a little annotation of a video still to highlight why the rider in the advert is as far out as they are:
Namely so that they aren’t riding on the pavement nor in the gutter and are avoiding the potholes as per the highway code, whilst not riding on the pavement, which I’m sure someone else would complain about.
This tweet from icycleliverpool sums this space for cycling issue up succinctly:
Just to be clear, @ASA_UK looked at an advert about space for cycling and decided to ban it because it promoted giving space to cyclists.— icycleliverpool (@LoveloBicycles) January 29, 2014
I’ve made the relevant segment of the BBC Reporting Scotland late evening news at 22:25 available on YouTube:
It’s also worth noting that much of the cycling blogging community had complained about the original Nice Way Code adverts, however have become united against the ASA, due to both the plastic hat and road positioning issues, as pointed out in these two tweets:
Bez has made a great post on the problems with the ASA ruling, including links to the original background, thus I don’t need to repeat them all here.