Bromley's senior road safety officer Andy Mills doesn't want anybody to think that Calderdale's RSO is "a typical road safety officer." Mills calls him "archaic" for writing a press release warning parents about buying "killer bikes" for Christmas.

Not all RSOs think bikes are “killers”

Peter Shepherdson issued an official Calderdale MBC press release asking can there be "any bigger killer and crippler of children than the humble bicycle?"

In the release, Shepherdson said 74 local children had been hit by vehicles in the past five years yet directed his ire not at motorists but at the parents who buy bicycles for their children, equating cycling with allowing children to play with knives or fire.

Following complaints about the "killer bikes" press release, the Institute of Road Safety Officers issued a bland statement that did not condemn Shepherdson’s comments.

Such a stance worries some road safety officers, believing they will be tarred with the same brush as Shepherdson.

Andy Mills, the senior road safety officer in the London borough of Bromley, said:

"I am upset to think that the bike public see the writer of the ["killer bikes" release] as a typical road safety officer.

"He must receive telephone calls from the general public complaining of ‘fast, dangerous roads’ in the locality. Surely he must respond that it is not the fast dangerous road, but the attitude and lack of ability of the users to blame?

"How can a local government officer working with customers in the twenty first century have such archaic views? The road safety world has to adapt not only to casualty reduction but in encouraging [people] to adopt a fitter and healthier lifestyle.

"In a metal box, cocooned from fresh air, the view [of the motorist] is somewhat different from those more vulnerable and less protected.

"The answer has, in my view, to be better driver standards and tolerance to fellow travellers, together with good, consistent training and better facilities for [cyclists]."

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