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Monday, 1 November 2010

How I wish this were a parody

I managed to stumble across this Department For Transport website, “Be Bright, Be Seen.” It is aimed at young children and after studying the site and playing the game, the main messages of the site seem to be:

  • Cycling and walking are very, very, very dangerous and abnormal activities
  • If you choose to engage in this kind of reckless behaviour, it is you, the child, the victim who is responsible for ensuring you do not become the victim of a negligent motorist
  • To do this you must dress up like an Xmas tree whenever you dare to have the audacity to want to cross a road
  • If you do somehow manage to live long enough to become an adult, it will be one of your basic human rights to drive a heavy & fast vehicle inattentively in the presence of children, without the terrible burden of any responsibility if you hit one, unless they are wearing the Xmas tree outfit that is. Then you might be partly to blame.


Taken from the DFT’s victim-blaming website Flash game.


Obviously the bitch had it coming. Taken from the same site.

I also found links to some “Educational material,” for children, again provided by the government. This included Amir’s story:

“After I'd opened up all they presents – they wanted to get the birthday cake ready – so I decided to go over to Jordan's to show him the bike. I was sorted. I had my helmet, my trainers with the reflective strips and I even clipped on the lights and made sure the batteries worked before I set off. Well, it'd be dark by the time I was coming back, you see. You need to be seen by other road users. That's really important. Be Bright, Be Seen. They're always saying that in school. I was only going to Jordan's so I didn't bother with the pads or the gloves.

The road was quite quiet but there were loads and loads cars parked all the way along. Anyway, I'm going up and down gears, testing the brakes.

Then, just as I looked up, this car door suddenly opened - right in front of me. I tried to brake but it was too late. It knocked the wind right out of me. Banged my chin, broke my nose and cut all my hands up too. Good job I had my new helmet on.

This is a great way to promote healthy, ethical and socially responsible transport to the next generation. Pads and gloves as a safety measure? No mention of the fact that the motorist who doored him was responsible for checking that there was no oncoming traffic at the time. By the sound of it, the helmet didn’t do a thing to help him, as you’d expect.

“It's not put me off my bike though. No chance. But I'll be a lot more careful in the future. Deffo. Just as soon as I'm better... Two weeks and counting.”

I bet you will, it was your own fault that an adult opened a car door right in front of you after all. Being a kid is full of responsibility, I bet he can’t wait to grow up and get his driving license so he can do away with being responsible once and for all.

EDIT: Email the DfT about this awful site if you feel as I do. Hopefully a bigger blog which specialises in this kind of disgrace will help spread awareness of this DfT crap.


  1. MrC, I can only say that this is depressing me no end... what xxxxx heads are the decision makers at the DFT to think this is the way forward? Pure scaremongery. Instead of promoting and supporting green travel options...

  2. When I first saw this I was so annoyed by it, it makes me wonder if the policy of victim blaming will be extended to crimes other than dangerous driving.

    Amir's story:

    "Then, just as I looked up, this guy pulls a knife - right in front of me. I tried to run but it was too late. It knocked the wind right out of me. Banged my chin, broke my nose and cut all my hands up too. Good job I had my new stab vest on.

    It's not put me off going outside though. No chance. But I'll be a lot more careful in the future. Deffo. Just as soon as I'm better... Two weeks and counting."

    It makes me wonder if this site was commissioned by the old or the new government. I could see a Tory minister wanting to make sure he didn't get his Jag covered in bits of kid, but I could also see a Labour minister buying into the "safety aspect," (not getting bits of kid all over the Jag would be more of a bonus from a Labour Party perspective).

    I think the DFT needs a motto, "The DFT, freeing motorists from thought and responsibility."

  3. I think that sadly, this society is firmly rooted in the car culture, believing the car is a right not a luxury. DFT is bad but I do not doubt they follow what the 'people' want (or think they want)... i.e. please the voters etc, rather than tackling the root of the problem... and it is not solely related to transport... it seems a way of thinking for many things :(

    The blame-the-victim culture is seen more and more, they just want to reduce us to a bag of nerves and fears, so we will stay locked in our own homes, being told what to do. A way of easily controlling the crowds... there aren't great people in the political world, but I really think this government is a backwards step of few decades.

  4. Disgusting it is...grrrr

    Have sent an email their way just for the helluvit, and am looking forward to recieving a fully detailed reply.

    Out of Office Automated Reply...more than likely but hey ho :>X

  5. I emailed them too, before I had even thought of writing this post. Not had a reply yet. If we all email them maybe we can get this site fixed. I hope this issue gets picked up by a bigger blog, such as Crap Waltham Forest, to increase the exposure.


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