Road safety, and the lack of it for cyclists has always been a popular subject in the MTBrider forums. The generally held view is that most car drivers has no understanding of what it's like to be cyclist on the roads and fail to give them enough space when over taking, often failing to see them altogether.
Recently I've discussed the matter with several PSNI officers and they say that view is echo'd within the services personal: Car drivers 9/10 times do not give cyclists enough due care and consideration on the roads often resulting in casualties. And it's not hard to work who the casualty is going to be in a cyclist/car incident!
But, if a bus advertising campaign is to be taken at face value the DOE (Department Of The Environment) feel it's the cyclists themselves who bring most accidents on themselves due to "careless inattention".
The DOE's Pedestrians & Cyclists section of their website has scant information on, well anything really, other than backing up this assertion and broadening it to also include pedestrians:
"In 2005 a total of 1,208 fatalities and serious injuries occurred in Northern Ireland as a result of road traffic collisions. Pedestrians accounted for 17% of that total and cyclists 2%.
Pedestrians were responsible for the vast majority of the fatal and serious pedestrian injuries. Thirty nine percent were attributed to a pedestrian not paying attention to traffic when crossing a carriageway, 12% were due to pedestrian consumption of alcohol or drugs, 8% were cases in which the pedestrain's movement was masked by, for example, a parked car and 12% were due to inattention or attention diverted"
It might be argued that the single biggest cause of both pedestrian and cyclists road death is due too much speed and too little attention by car drivers, but a quick look at the car sections of the website list many directives and consultations aimed at reducing car incidents and related deaths, but little to no mention of these two key issues. One could go so far as to say, on the face of it, drivers are told accidents are normally due to circumstances outside your control whilst all pedestrians and cyclists are told is that any accident is most likely your own fault.
The only thing for sure, with such messages as that on the back of the bus being sent out to drivers cyclists should not expect things on the road to get any safer or better any time soon.