Category Archive: risk

Oct
21
2009

Safety Fears Stop Bikes For Africa

This is one I have to share Found on an excellent website – http://www.copenhagenize.com/ 18 September 2009 “Here’s an appropriate little ‘wedgie’ in the Fear of Cycling series. The Isle of Wight County Press Online [big name for a little paper :-)] reports that the Hampshire Constabulary has cut off supplying unclaimed stolen bikes to …

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Sep
22
2009

Seat belts – from the archive

Now in retirement and culling my files in the process of downsizing I came upon the following letter from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents dated 7 July 1981 shortly before Parliament was to vote on a seat belt law, and encouraging Parliament to vote for the law: “TO ALL MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT …

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Feb
11
2009

Ban horse riding, or …

Below is a letter to the Guardian, published today (11 February 2009) in reduced form. Jacqui Smith is keen that the Government’s classification of drugs should send clear messages to would-be users. One message conveyed by her attack on David Nutt (Drugs adviser says sorry over ecstasy article, 10 February) is that she does not care …

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Feb
09
2009

The world’s biggest mega transport project

In December 2007 I delivered a Working Paper entitled “Managing risk in a hypermobile world” to the OMEGA Project  – a project dedicated to thinking about Mega Projects in Transport and Development. I began thus: “Transport projects facilitate new connections between trip origins and destinations. In so doing they disturb previous patterns of connection, often …

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Feb
07
2009

Risk Management: the Economics and Morality of Safety Revisited

Abstract The introduction to the proceedings of the Royal Academy of Engineering 2006 seminar on The Economics and Morality of Safety concluded with a list of issues that were “worthy of further exploration”. I have  reduced them to the following questions: • Why do moral arguments about ‘rights’ persist unresolved? • Why can risk managers …

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Feb
03
2009

Vashti revisited

I began my inaugural blog on this website – On becoming Vashti – as follows: “My nomination for the most prescient work of science fiction is The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster.” A recent comment on this posting by a former student, June Gibbons, has prompted a further re-reading of The Machine Stops. With each …

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Dec
31
2008

Deus é Brasileiro?

Preface for Risco – the Brazilian translation of Risk – to be published in Brazil in March 2009. I first encountered the idea that God might be a Brazilian forty years ago. I was a visiting student at the University of São Paulo. On a trip from São Paulo to Santos I was the passenger …

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Nov
05
2008

Proving a negative and the onus of proof

Two assertions that I cannot prove: ·      No one, anywhere, ever, has been killed by a bicycle bomb. ·      No life, anywhere, ever, has been saved by the life jacket under their seat.  Anywhere is a large place, and ever is a long time. The most one can do is broadcast an appeal for disproving …

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Aug
21
2008

Three days national mourning for 12 days death on the road?

Spain’s Prime Minister declared a three period of mourning to mark the Madrid plane crash of 20 August. This reaction to the crash highlights yet again the intractable problem of finding a metric that everyone can agree upon for measuring risk. The crash was what is sometimes referred to as a low-probability high-impact event. “High …

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Aug
15
2008

Cycle helmets and the importance of culture

On 11 August the Guardian published an article entitled “Do cyclists really need helmets?” It noted the difference in cycling culture between continental northern Europe and elsewhere. I submitted a letter on the subject that they declined to publish. So I have submitted it to my blog where I have a 100% success rate.  Do …

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