Cycling is a safe activity. Per hour the UK Department For Transport finds it is on par with walking and driving in terms of risk of serious injury or death. Also cycling brings significant health benefits that outweigh any risks by a factor of 20:1.
Under this ruling cycling can only be portrayed in UK adverts as requiring safety equipment and positioned in a manner as to expose the cyclist to the risk of car doors being opened on them, or to encourage close/unsafe passing by motor vehicles. This is contra to the Highway Code Rule 67 ("Leave plenty of room when passing parked vehicles and watch out for doors being opened or pedestrians stepping into your path") and Rule 163 ("give motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car").
A cycle helmet is not a legal requirement in the UK, nor have they ever been shown by peer-reviewed research to reduce serious or fatal injury rates among cyclists. They have however been shown to dramatically reduce cycling participation, particularly amongst teenagers and women. Portraying cycling in the UK as requiring a helmet or only ever happening whilst helmeted sends the wrong message to the general public, with potentially disastrous long-term consequences from the health and economic impact of reduced cycling participation.
The ASA is factually incorrect in inventing such a contrivance as 'the parking lane' to justify its ruling - there is no right to park a vehicle of any description on the public highway.
Rule 152 of the Highway Code states: "You should drive slowly and carefully on streets where there are likely to be pedestrians, cyclists and parked cars." The ASA has repeatedly refused to ban motor vehicle adverts that clearly breach this rule. This double standard makes a mockery of the ASA's authority to adjudicate on road safety matters.
- The Independent Reviewer of ASA Adjudications
Sir Hayden Phillips
Please reverse ASA ruling A13-238570 finding "cyclists should be shown wearing helmets and placed in the most suitable cycling position...[no] more than 0.5 metres from the parking lane"
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