The ASA say cyclists must ride in the gutter, must wear helmets
The ruling is here
Furthermore, we were concerned that whilst the cyclist was more than 0.5 metres from the kerb, they appeared to be located more in the centre of the lane when the car behind overtook them and the car almost had to enter the right lane of traffic. Therefore, for those reasons we concluded the ad was socially irresponsible and likely to condone or encourage behaviour prejudicial to health and safety.legolamMember
“the car almost had to enter the right lane of traffic” – What an unbelievable misunderstanding of the primary position.
What’s even worse is that the public can’t complain about the ruling – only the advertiser or one of the original complainants can do that. We should be lobbying Cycling Scotland to get this reviewed.Posted 4 years agovincienupSubscriber
That sounds very much like the Highway Code just got ignored completely?
Helmets are a constant bone of contention and really need to modded as flamebait whenever they crop up. I doubt the ASA are aware of this though. I like helmets, personally but they’re a free choice and I’m good with this. I particularly detest the growing expectation that cyclists should dress head to foot in hi vis.
This sounds like a very poor piece of work by the ASA.Posted 4 years agoBezSubscriber
Please politely contact the ASA:Posted 4 years agoDiscJockeyMember
” The ASA’s ruling added: “We were concerned that whilst the cyclist was more than 0.5 metres from the kerb, they appeared to be located more in the centre of the lane “
It’s probably because she’s about to overtake the person standing there taking a photos FFS…..Posted 4 years agoGreybeardMember
I didn’t see anything on the ASA website that said I couldn’t send them an email using their contact form, so I did:
I have read the report on the BBC website regarding your banning of a cycling safety advert. I am shocked and appalled at your action. It is not for you to decide where in the road it is safe to ride, or how. I personally wear a helmet, but many cyclists feel safer without one, because it promotes more socially acceptable response from drivers. Driver behaviour is the big hazard for cyclists. Cyclists are fed up with drivers who think they own the road, and car advertising encourages drivers to think like this. Can I assume you will in future ban any advert for a car that promotes any attributes or features other than safe driving?BezSubscriber
“she’s probably passing a parked Range Rover“
The image above is a frame from a video. The camera is on a moving vehicle in front of the bicycle.
You can watch the video here:Posted 4 years ago
This was the shocking bit for me in the BBC news article:
But the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it should not be shown on TV again as not wearing a helmet was “socially irresponsible”.
I can’t agree that not wearing a helmet to ride to the shops is socially irresponsible. The only person’s safety it could really influence is your own – and then only in the highly improbable event that you have a crash.
Wearing a helmet to ride to the shops makes sense if you already have a helmet hanging from your bars and ready to go. However if not having a helmet to hand means you take the car instead hence increasing car traffic and congestion on the road and causing air pollution as well as making it more unpleasant for pedestrians and cyclists then that would be more socially irresponsible.Posted 4 years agoStonerSubscriber
Email sent to Guy Paker, CE of the ASA.
Dear Mr Parker,
I am astounded that the ASA think it within their realm to adjudicate on what is or is not safe cycling with so little knowledge or understanding of the matter.
While the ASA admit on one hand that “UK law did not require cyclists to wear helmets or cycle at least 0.5 metres from the kerb”, on the other the ASA then go on to adjudicate that showing cyclists doing either is
“socially irresponsible and likely to condone or encourage behaviour prejudicial to health and safety” and so should be prohibited. Since when did the ASA become the arbiter of social responsibility and health and safety?
The extent of the adjudicator’s research appears to have got as far as a Daily Mail article and no further. Perhaps they could read a copy of Cyclecraft by John Franklin, or any of the research papers published on the rates of helmet use.
Comments like “when the car behind overtook them and the car almost had to enter the right lane of traffic” really highlight the astonishing lack of knowledge of the issue and make it necessary for the ASA to amend it’s adjudication.
It is disappointing that access to the Appeal process is so heavily restricted as there is a substantial body of people who feel the ASA has reached far beyond the limit’s of it’s role making an ill-informed decision contrary to best evidence and practice.
Perhaps the ASA’s Chair, Lord Smith, who is also patron of Sutrans the cycling and green transport organisation, may be able to assist in educating the adjudicator.
Yours sincerely,Posted 4 years ago
comment sent via website:
I have just read your adjudication on Cycling Scotland’s ‘Think Horse’ advert. Clearly you have never ridden a bike on a road, or read the highway code (and it’s companion book: Cyclecraft).
To suggest that promoting the primary position could be deemed ‘socially irresponsible’ is ironic in the extreme. The primary position, as backed up by both Cyclecraft and the highway code is the best and safest position for cyclists to hold, since it virtually guarantees visibility and forces drivers (note: not cars, but drivers – cars do not make decisions) to treat cyclists as part of traffic and to overtake them in accordance with both the law and a general respect for human life.
Furthermore, I’d like to take issue with your premise that cars *must* overtake bikes regardless of the road situation. You say: “…when the car behind overtook them and the car almost had to enter the right lane of traffic…”. The driver did not *have* to choose to overtake the cyclist at that point, and if it was unsafe for the car to cross into the other lane then they absolutely *should not* be overtaking there, since there is demonstrably not enough room for the manoeuvre to be completed safely with respect to all parties.
I live in hope that you will reverse this decision, or at least revise the wording of your socially irresponsible ruling.
RegardsPosted 4 years ago
I’ve emailed both the ASA head and the independent reviewer – writing your own letter is best as it doesn’t look like spamming, but this is what I wrote:
I am writing to ask you to consider investigating the above decision made by the ASA in respect of a Cycling Scotland television advert. The ASA’s decision is contrary to both the law and accepted good cycling practice.
On the first point, wearing a helmet or safety clothing is not a legal requirement when riding a bicycle. When promoting cycling to non-cyclists, it is generally accepted that when “normal” people are shown cycling it makes a big difference to the likelihood of people taking up cycling, and the health benefits of doing so far outweigh the risks.
On the second point, the side of the road is not a safe place to cycle. The side of the road is rougher. With more obstacles, and puts the rider at greater risk of being squeezed at pinch points. The primary riding position, as shown in the advert, is accepted by all cycle trainers as the safest place to cycle. The ASA’s comment that the overtaking car is forced into the opposite lane shows a shocking misunderstanding of traffic law and good practice, as that is exactly what should happen when a car overtakes a bicycle safely.
So I ask you to please investigate and reverse this ASA decision which, if upheld, would mean cycling adverts in future have to portray dangerous behaviour.Posted 4 years agowilljonesMember
If I recall correctly, the volume of complaints relating to specific ads that the ASA receive is lower than one might expect, and from my experience they are a very communicative organisation (albeit with an air of finality accompanying their rulings). However, the agency supplying the ad for approval will have been given opportunity to respond and give their side of the story – seems odd that this hasn’t happened, particularly given the irrefutable evidence against the decision. Perhaps they’re holding out for the PR shitstorm?
In short, I’d imagine even a few emails will set off a warning light somewhere.Posted 4 years ago
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