Too Young To Die; Too Good-Looking For Prison
Sometimes when riding on the road, I wish I were carrying some sort of motor vehicle repellent. Or maybe wearing some sort of muggle-repelling pheromone spray.
muggle (n.) one who would rather drive the four miles to work than get on a bike and ride it. See also delusional and denial
It’s one thing passing another car closely - the worst that’s likely to happen is that you smash wing-mirrors, scrape some paint, and end up in a whole bunch of hassle with your insurance company. But when passing someone on a bike, those few inches could be the difference between their life and death.
Carlton Reid came up with an interesting idea to help repel cars & trucks & busses a while back - clothing to cause motorists to do a double-take & think just a little harder before squeezing past you.
As Carlton points out, you could also try cross-dressing like that nice Dr Ian Walker from Bath. Ian assures us that he wears the long blond wig purely in the interests of academic research, in which he found motorists giving his apparently female form a wider passing margin.
Hmmmm . . .
I wonder if we could take this idea a little further? How about this design, that I knocked up this evening:
I’m absolutely certain that most motorists would allow lots of space to pass if they saw you wearing this, which has the labelling done in Scotchlite reflective material (yes, I have that technology - it’s who , not what you know). Of course, some motorists would probably ram you off the road on purpose, having mistaken you for a police officer.
And then there’s the awkward matter of Section 90 of the 1996 Police Act :
Any person who, not being a constable, wears any article of police uniform in circumstances where it gives him an appearance so nearly resembling that of a member of a police force as to be calculated to deceive shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.
Gulp! OK, so there’s no mention of prison, but that’s still a £1,000 fine.
So maybe we’ll not be wearing that sort of ‘Polite Traffic’ jersey any time soon . . . how about this modification to the design though:
There was a CD of The Specials free in yesterday’s paper, so maybe I’ve been influenced by the whole two-tone / ska thing . . . but hey, it’s a Concrete Jungle out there, people drive like they’re in a Rat Race or chasing Gangsters, and I’m Too Much Too Young to die.