13 April 2011


Cyclists - don't you just hate them?

Apparently MPs are to discuss a bill about punishing cyclists for reckless cycling, or killing

To be honest, it seems a little frivolous as I don't think they are very likely to kill us directly, or even indirectly, very often

But what I really want to rant about is the defence of cyclists, who once again continue to believe the rules do not apply to them

They cite stats that say they don't kill anyone - is anyone claiming they do? Their main crimes are breaking road rules and causing distress to pedestrians, nothing so grand as killing - it's a few kilos of thin metal going at most 30 mph, it's not particularly lethal

In particular, Guardian columnist and cycling advocate Zoe Williams says she is exasperated by the references to red light-jumping whenever bikes are discussed.
She insists the practice largely stems from fear, not arrogance, due to the high number of cyclists killed each year by heavy goods vehicles turning left at junctions, and says ministers should concentrate on tackling such deaths if they really want to make the roads safer.
 In short, she doesn't care about the trivial issue of bikes jumping lights - does anyone seriously believe this has anything to do with heavy vehicles on left hand turns? To tell the truth I don't mind the left turn on red (an idea I support for cars) as long as it's not a pedestrian crossing, what about all the other times they jump reds? In my experience typically on straights

I make a note of cyclists I see in the city every day at work, I have so far noted one single cyclist that didn't break a road rule (nothing technical about lights or helmets, usually pavement surfers or light jumpers), the vast majority seem to drive on busy pavements at speed and expect you to move...I will snap soon

And guess what happened just yesterday? I was with my mother, who is fairly immobile these days thanks to a back problem and isn't that agile, crossing at a simple pedestrian light, no turns or anything, and this dickhead in lycra ploughs straight through the middle of us at full speed, nearly knocking her over - yes, the lights were very much red (she's not that slow) and cars were waiting, there was a group of people crossing and this guy didn't even look - I had already crossed so frankly he was lucky to not hit someone, wasn't like he even had a gap!

So, Zoe Williams, defend that one - still a minor issue? Should cars break reds if they have a gap? My answer would be licence bikes as they are becoming so numerous, I should be able to report this sort of person as he is far too fast for me to even kick, and any pleasant, law-abiding cyclist should have absolutely no reason to disagree with this simple rule that all other vehicles are subject to

She adds: "Can you imagine if every time we talked about cars people complained about drivers doing 80mph on the motorway?
This has got to be one of the most up-your-own-arse arguments I've ever heard - bikes jumping red lights is comparable to slight speeding?

Considering light-jumping is an offence for both vehicles why are we making this comparison? You jump a red in a car you will probably get in trouble, why is the same offence for bikes as trivial as doing an appropriate speed

And likewise - drivers can, and do, get punished for doing 80, bikes have no enforcement - get some actual rules being applied then maybe we'll start making crazy comparisons

1 comment:

  1. What we need is a bit of enforcement. Red lights apply to cyclists as well as everybody else, but when did you last see the Traffic Rozzers at the side of the road, giving Boris Johnson (or some other cyclist) a ticket for going through a red light...