Letter: Cyclists at great risk

May I thank all correspondents who responded to my letter on the vulnerability of cyclists.

cyclist

I take on board the comments of Harry Morris, of Shrewsbury, (Star Mail, November 23) and accept that a minority of cyclists do not present themselves well to other road users.

But I cannot understand how motorists translate this into some form of permission for them to administer their own punishment.

These people will intimidate the cyclist by such methods as aggressive horn sounding at close quarters, driving past within inches and generally cutting riders up.

Surely the hallmark of a good motorist is to understand and be aware of the problems of other road users – and also to make allowances for their occasional failings.

The cyclist is one of the most vulnerable of all road users along with motorcyclists, horse riders and pedestrians.

All of these road users deserve special consideration from drivers of bigger vehicles.

Until you have experienced a car overtaking at 60mph within inches of your shoulder or been squashed into the kerb by a huge lorry, you cannot understand how terrifying these incidents can be.

In France it is unlawful to pass by a cyclist without leaving a clear one metre around them.

Perhaps this should be adopted as best practise in the UK.

It is worth remembering that more cyclists are using helmet cameras to record incidents of bad driving and intimidation, which can be used by police in court and may result in the loss of a driving licence.

May I reply to Clive Brogan, of Telford, (Star Mail November 24) and advise him that he is wrong in believing that I am not a motorist.

I have nearly 46 years’ driving experience on motorcycles and on four wheels and, like Clive, pay my road taxes and insurance through gritted teeth.

I can see little to be gained by imposing the same misery on the cyclist who, at the end of the day, is more sinned against than sinner.

Jon Lakin, Shrewsbury

Comments for: "Letter: Cyclists at great risk"

Lance Taylor

believe me it is just as bad or even worse here in Ireland, i think the drivers get a buzz out of how close then can drive passed you at speed, i understand drivers get frustrated when a group of cyclists travel 2 or even 3 deep on roads when there is no chance of passing for quite some time which i think is very selfish by the cyclists

Mancini Williams

There is no excuse for motorists' bad behaviour towards cyclists.

There is also no excuse for some cyclists' disregard for the basic rules of the road. It is all too common to see cyclists riding the wrong way down a one-way street, riding without lights, riding on the pavement, ignoring red traffic lights; I could go on...

Just because cyclists are thought of as 'green' does not excuse their disregard for the same rules we motorists MUST obey or we get prosecuted.

Perhaps the Police should take action against (as cyclists say) the minority who disregard these rules. If cyclists knew they would not 'get away with it'perhaps things would be different.

My respect for cyclists would increase if they were subject to the same rules as motorists.

Peter

I cycle to work on an occasional basis. I always use a cycle path where provided, use a reflective jacket and cycle helmet and ensure my bike is suitably lit in darkness or in poor weather. I'm also a keen motorist.

There is one stretch of road on my journey - a slight uphill on my way to work, which contains 4 pedestrian refuges to aid crossing and provide traffic calming near to a school. Given that it's uphill, and that I'm no Bradley Wiggins, I take perhaps 30 seconds or so to negotiate this stretch, where the refuges are one after another in quick succession - there is no alternative cycle path at this point - only a narrow pavement, not designated for cycling.

Despite the very short delay this might cause motorists, on a daily basis I find cars attempting to pass alongside me within the pedestrian refuges. There is simply no room to do this safely, and on a number of occasions I've been forced to stop by their irresponsible behaviour to avoid collisions.

Why should I have to put up with such behaviour? I understand that Mr Williams has a level of disrespect for the minority of cyclists who behave irresponsibly - but he has no right to visit any level of disrespect or indeed revenge upon those of us who behave properly!

The Original Jake

Yet another car/cycle letter to the Star.

There are idiots in cars and there are idiots on bikes. There are idiots on foot too. Basically, there are idiots everywhere. At the end of the day nobody wants a nasty accident on their hands, so the simple rule is not to rise to it when somebody does something idiotic. It leads to tit-for-tat behaviour and the unintended consequences can be nasty.

Andrew finch

Re this comment

"It is worth remembering that more cyclists are using helmet cameras to record incidents of bad driving and intimidation, which can be used by police in court and may result in the loss of a driving licence"

The legal use of private video footage taken by joe public or reporting of bad driving witnessed by joe public in a court of law is somewhat dubious and questioable as to if it could result in any form of prosecution or removal of licence or even any action taken against a motorist , a cyclist is NOT a sudo policeman .

Cyclisst are just as likely to be abusive or as law breaking as any other member of the public .

The Original Jake

It's already been tested and used as evidence to bring about a prosecution and successful conviction in more than one case. In fact, police have actively asked for copies of footage posted on YouTube.

andrew finch

How many convictions? Actively asking for footage off youtube does not result in a conviction alone .

As with if you as an individual, report a case of bad /dangerous driving to the police they can i agree investigate but an incident must be wittnessed by a serving police officer for a prosecution to take place.

As has been said you have good and bad driving from all quarters lorry drivers car drivers motor cyclists , cyclists tractor drivers, van drivers etc i wonder what would happen if we all started filming it on a daily basis and handed it to the police and request they investigate , in fact stand on bailys island at rush hour every day it would keep our friends in blue busy for months .film a tractor driver on the public highway with no indicators on his trailor etc etc

Gary

From last year’s figures, statically motorcyclists are at the greatest risk followed by pedestrians, then cyclists and lastly vehicle occupants. The continued letters of persecution from cyclists needs to gain some perspective- there is always room for improved road safety from all highway users. Last week’s BBC documentary highlighted the gross stupidity and intolerance displayed by a minority of both drivers and cyclists.

Kelly

Statistics show that there are more obese car drivers than cyclists.

The Original Jake

Statistics also show there are more relevant comments on these pages than irrelevant ones.

Andrew finch

Statistics show cyclists are more attracted to wearing licra than any other member of the public .

Martin

In reply to reference regarding distance in between car & cycle in France, the same rule applies her

In Highway Code Rules 163, 212 & 213 - Give vulnerable road users at least as much space as a car when overtaking

Andrew finch

It needs to be remembered members of the public are not sudo policemen , seems the original writer is under the impression they are.

Two Tone

I'll frequently cycle to work. Its a reasonably simple journey and for all but a couple of hundred yards I can use cycle paths. Hi Viz jacket, bright LED lights and worst I have encountered was a patch of ice and a bruised backside and scraped shin albeit a few years ago.

On my way home just last night, in the car this time, I narrowly missed a paper boy cycling without lights or any form of protective wear who appeared from seemingly nowhere then to be right in front of me. It was only a last minute avoidance action that prevented a potentially horrid accident.

There is a place and valid purpose for H&S, without some of the extremes we hear of and read about, but surely the newsagents must have some responsibilities towards sending out these young people into a high risk environment poorly prepared and then of course the parents too, they should share some of the responsibility to keep their own children safe.

Yes there are no doubt many well prepared and equiped paperboys and girls but I only need to hit one of those poorly prepared to ruin many lives.

I think it was Friday last week when travelling from the PRH roundabout towards the Furrows roundabout in Telford at about 18:00 hrs (ish) when I passed a youngster on his bike travelling in the same direction. No lights, no hi-viz, no safety wear and dressed in black or very dark clothing WITH HIS HOOD UP OVER HIS HEAD!!!!

Just a complete danger to himself. I actually stopped and waited next to the old pub there on the Furrows RAB to give this lad a bit of well intended and what would have been politely offered 'free advice'. However he didn't tavel that far. Must have turned off at some point.

The Original Jake

Having encountered several darkly-clad paper delivery boys and girls on unlit bikes in recent weeks, I too wondered about the newsagents' duty of care.

Perhaps it's something the Shropshire Star should take on board. After all, the bulk of the evening deliveries will be their paper.

Andrew finch

Well do they not just give them a bright coloured bag and vest? then it is down to them if they wish to wear it or not.

The Original Jake

I'm not sure whether they do or not. The bags are certainly bright, but not reflective. There ought to be a "no lights, no job" policy.