Friday, 25 August 2017

Time for the law to catch up on cycling

Woman using mobile whilst cycling: Photo By Colin Rose

The bus I was travelling home on tonight nearly got into an accident after the driver let a cyclist turn right and a car suddenly came shooting out from nowhere. If it hadn't been for the brakes there would have been an accident and there was a possibility I would have been injured being close to the front. We have all known for years that there are bad drivers and there are plenty of laws to ensure our safety on the roads.

That is it seems unless it involves bikes.

The recent killing of a woman crossing the road by a very arrogant young man riding a bike without any brakes has appalled everyone. This particular individual showed no remorse and blamed the dead victim for the accident. The fact remains had his bike been fitted with brakes this young mother would still be alive today.

A motorist would have been thrown (quite rightly) to the wolves had they been driving without any brakes. So why not this cyclist who at most faces a maximum of just two years in prison? The exclusion of cyclists from appropriate punishment is an oversight that planners and politicians alike have not considered as cycling is encouraged as both environmentally friendly and healthy for users.

Pedestrians however remain unprotected from those cyclists that abuse the roads by ignoring red lights, pedestrian crossings and the like. They are not a "tiny minority" as the cycling lobby would have us believe. Every day I see cyclists breaking the highway code and putting not just pedestrians but drivers at risk.

When I went to Central London a couple of weeks back nearly every cyclist I saw ignored the red lights, one was lucky not to have got hit by a lorry but two girls crossing the road (at a pedestrian crossing where the bus had stopped were pushed out the way by a cyclist. Our driver sounded his horn not that the recalcitrant took any notice.

Efforts have been made to police cyclists but not enough it would seem. Riders not fit to be on the road seem to be proliferating every day. I've seen cyclists on their mobiles , feet on the handlebars, jumping on pavements to undertake buses and lorries.

The law needs to catch up with the growth of cycling. Yes it has benefits but far too many users are inconsiderate. Certainly those that put others at risk must be firmly dealt with.

Two years for killing someone when driving a bike without brakes is not enough. An "unusual accident but one that must be punished with the full weight of law. Just like the driver of any motor vehicle would be.

**The author has never ridden a bike, driven a car or any other vehicle and uses public transport.

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