Saturday, 1 September 2007

Don’t drink and ride

I’ve written to What’s Brewing myself on the subject before without my letter being published, so it was good to see the following appear in September’s letters column from Jim Sack of Birmingham:

Why is CAMRA encouraging drinking and driving on bicycles? We all know the dangers of drinking and driving motor vehicles but being drunk in charge of a bicycle can be just as bad. A bicycle is not just ridden, it must be driven ie steered, slowed, braked and stopped. Alcohol can impair the judgment of a bike rider just as it can that of a motorist.

I do feel very uneasy when reading WB articles on pub cycling tours.

The fundamental law is exactly the same for drivers and pedal cyclists – you must not drive or ride while under the influence of alcohol. The only difference is that there is a prescribed alcohol level for drivers above which somone can be prosecuted without any supporting evidence of impairment.

Now I have no objection at all to someone going out on their bike and having a couple of pints. But it is wrong of What’s Brewing or any other supposedly responsible publication to print articles that actively encourage people to do so, or imply that it is “safe”. Some CAMRA newsletters – particularly that published by the York branch – are equally guilty of this.

Also see this column of mine from October 1999.

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