On following rules

After suggesting to twitter that somebody who hangs out on a forum called “Bicycle Driving” might be beyond parody, I stumbled upon John Forester’s recent speech given to a Dutch conference — written up as a pseudo-academic “paper” and posted as a PDF (if ever you needed proof that this is a man who won’t be taking to twitter…).

As usual, the paper provides quite an insight. I particularly enjoyed this insight into the vehicular cycling belief system:

My discussion takes it as proved that if all roadway users obey the same rules, they can all use one set of facilities, while if there are two groups of users who obey conflicting rules, they must each have their own facilities.

Leaving aside the exuberance of ways in which this is obviously bollocks, the bit that tickled me most: if users obey rules. That’s quite some if.

Again, amazing how people have this bizarre idea that, unlike big and expensive and difficult engineering solutions, human behaviour is simple and easy to control and change.


4 thoughts on “On following rules

    1. kraut

      When people start following rules, I’ll get behind his position. So shortly after we’ve abolished the police, the criminal justice system, HMRC, and lots of other organisations that try to make sure people follow rules, I’ll start advocating vehicular cycling as the solution, instead of the best way to cope with a bad situation.

      Until then, I’ll campaign (softly, I’m almost British, after all) for proper segregation, and ways of reducing the risks of dangerous traffic (HGV bans, play streets, assumed liability, speed limits, etc).

      I want my daughter to be able to cycle.

  1. Schrödinger's Cat

    How harsh a system would we need for everybody to follow the rules?

    Even North Korea has huge prison camps for those deemed to have broken any rules, despite the total mind control which the government there attempts to wield.

    Ergo, North Korea must be John Forester’s ideal system.


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