Don’t forget the poor pedestrians who have to share their pavements with cyclists – many who are completely oblivious of good manners and quite happy to cut you up….
In my experience most drivers are cycle aware, if only to stop their car being damaged. A few days ago in a small village I spotted a child followed by their Dad cycling towards me but on the pavement. The child looked a little wobbly so I slow so I could stop quickly in case of need. As it was the Dad fell off his bike into my path so I run over his head……only joking I stopped with no dramas. So drivers need to be aware of cyclists even when their not sharing the road with them.
Oh we have cyclists, Fossil, who ride in the middle of the road (and horses, which can be even less predictable).
I suppose I wish everyone behaved a bit better – it’s not okay for cyclists to scratch cars, but it’s not okay for motorists to cut them up. I struggle with the ’let’s blame them all’ idea, when the reality is we have limited space in cities (and on narrow country roads) and we need to find a way for all of us to use them safely without anyone losing his/her temper.
Some good points @JoCarroll but maybe you don’t have the amount of cyclists where you live as we do in London. The majority of cyclists in the centre of London are commuters in a hurry to get from point A to point B.
Pedestrians however don’t run into you car when you have to brake suddenly, they don’t scratch your car or break exterior mirrors, albeit accidentally when they pass by, they don’t swerve in front of you without warning, they don’t jump red traffic lights into the path of vehicles with the right of way. As for their rights on the road they are not required to pay towards the upkeep of road, are not required to have insurance and there is no requirement to make sure their bike is fit for purpose. When they have the same obligations as motorists then I will agree they have the same right to be there.
My personal belief is the law needs updating to make them culpable for their actions and carry insurance.
Example, cyclist rides across red light and collides with car. Car damage comes to several hundreds of pounds. Who pays, car drivers insurance. Driver pays his insurance excess and loses no claim bonus for something that is not his fault.
I get why motorists are impatient with cyclists – but sometimes it seems as if they have more time for pedestrians than they do for cyclists, who have as much right to be on the road as they do. And when they clash, the cyclist always comes off worse.
We can all be irritated by other road users, but cyclists are particularly vulnerable and too many car drivers seem to think the road belongs to them. Surely we can find a way to share road-space and make sure we are all safe?
My personal perception from someone who spends quite a lot of time in London is that to many cyclists, traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, one way streets and generally the rules of the road do not apply to them. They should be fined or prosecuted as they bring into disrepute the thousands of cyclists who obey the law.
It cuts both ways – they should also fine cyclists for endangering motorists! How many ti es has a cyclist cut in front of you, or decded the red light doesn’ refer to them?
On Sky News now there’s a debate about West Midlands Police’s decision to introduce fines for drivers endangering cyclists. Given that West Midlands Police appear unable to enforce the law on using a mobile whilst driving, I’m not holding my breath on this one!
Would I cycle in London, definitely not, I won’t even drive there. Would I cycle locally on the roads, no. However, I always try when driving to give cyclists a wide berth as like some car drivers you never know what they’re going to do next. It is irritating when you come across cyclists six abreast across the road, with no intention of moving…..