Bike safety campaign launched in Oxford

first_imgOxfordshire police have recently launched an ‘Operation Bike’ campaign in a bid to improve cyclists’ road awareness.Since June police have been attempting to educate cyclists about road laws and theft prevention. They have emphasised the use of helmets, bike lights, and abiding by the same rules as cars.The officer behind the campaign, Sergeant Matt Sulley, explained the impetus behind the idea. He said, “The idea is to keep people safe… Only by education can we do that.”Sergeant Sulley and his colleagues have been operating from Broad Street every Wednesday to register bikes and try to educate people on bike safety. They have also been more active about giving tickets for improper behaviour.The police have been especially keen on picking up those ignoring red lights, ‘no entrance’ signs and those who neglect to have bike lights on when it is dark. Sergeant Sulley attributed these violations to a mixture of some people consciously flouting the rules and others being genuinely ignorant about proper road safety. He explained, “We do find some cyclists just do not know what road signs mean. Some cyclists consciously break the laws, but some just don’t know what is going on.”A second year Hertford student was recently stopped for not possessing fully functioning lights, and thought the police very amicable about the matter,. He said, “They let me off a fine because I had a back light, and my front light had just run out of batteries.” He also reported that cyclists are given the option of buying and installing lights within an allotted time in order to forgo any potential fine, and added that he was given an informative leaflet to explain the aims of the programme.Since beginning the programme, police have registered 1,400 bikes and in the last six months bike theft is down 13% on the same period in 2012. The police have no intention of stopping the programme and have said it will run indefinitely.The Fire and Rescue service have also got on board, teaming up with the police in order to encourage taking active personal responsibility for safety on the roads – particularly with regards to wearing helmets and high visibility clothing.A survey has found that less than half of cyclists in Oxford wear helmets or other appropriate protective clothing. Matt Henderson, a finalist studying English at University College, is a strong advocate of wearing a helmet. Inspired by the outspoken campaigning of Olympic rower James Cracknell – who only avoided being killed when he was struck by a lorry in America due to the fact that he’d been wearing a helmet – Henderson asked, “How can there even be a debate about it?”last_img read more

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New House economic package includes $2.25 billion for biofuels

first_imgWASHINGTON — The $3 trillion economic recovery plan introduced in the U.S. House includes $2.25 billion for the biofuels industry. Iowa Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer, a Democrat from Dubuque, is part of the House Biofuels Caucus that lobbied for the assistance.“This is obviously a meaningful step towards protecting our producers and providing relief to this vital sector of our economy that means so much to our state, to our agricultural community, also to rural Iowa and our cities,” Finkenauer says.Under the plan, ethanol and biodiesel plants would get payments based on the gallons each produce.“At a rate of 45 cents per gallon for fuel produced between January and May of this year,” Finkenauer says, “and then for plants forced to shut down, the bill provides 22.5 cents per gallon on the amount produced during the same period last year in 2019.”There are eight biofuels plants in Finkenauer’s congressional district which covers the northeast quarter of Iowa.“And I know they are struggling,” Finkenauer says. “Just last month the ADM ethanol production plant in Cedar Rapids shut down, furloughing 90 workers.”Growth Energy, a trade group for the industry, projects biofuels production has been cut in half due to the pandemic and the Trump Administration waivers for oil refineries, so they don’t have to blend ethanol into gasoline. Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne, a Democrat from West Des Moines, is also a member of the House Biofuels Caucus. She says the downturn in the biofuels industry is having a devastating economic impact, leading to rural job losses and falling corn prices.last_img read more

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