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Created by: MrCommuter

Deadly tension on the roads - drivers vs. bikes: We need changes to the law


The amount of times I have seen videos on YouTube of car drivers cutting up cyclist who justify their actions based on the cyclist doing something wrong is ridiculous. When a cyclist does something wrong (and there's plenty), some car drivers think they have a just excuse to endanger the cyclist's life with an aggressive reaction.

Unfortunately, it is not commonplace in this materialistic day and age for one to think beyond their own realms in favour of wider consequences, that's why we need changes in the law.

Well, a message to all aggressive road users (Car/HGV/Bus drivers and cyclists alike): be warned, things are going to change!!!

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Cyclists often get a bad press about their antics while cycling on the road. However the vast majority of opinions are that of drivers who somehow think they have more rights than cyclists do and are often hypocrites who break the rules themselves. The difference is, a vehicle with a weight of at least 1.2 tons travelling at a much higher velocity whilst breaking the rules is far more like to cause serious injury or death than a bicycle breaking the rules.

If everybody stopped and looked at the wider implications instead of from their own self-righteous and individual perspectives, a much clearer picture can be drawn.

This article however, isn't just to propose a clamp-down on just Car, HGV and Bus drivers (referred to as "drivers" for the rest of the article to save me keep typing it), this article proposes changes in the law so that definition can be obtained instead of cyclists and car drivers left to fight it out themselves.

Some will not agree with laws that are laid down, but if a ruling is made, then no more will people be able to point the figure as it will have clear definition.

I know some cyclists jump lights and swerve around pedestrians (and I wish the police would clamp down on it), but for every cyclist jumping lights, there are hundreds of drivers speeding their way through city streets. Driver speed and other forms of dangerous driving is the number one cause of pedestrian deaths on roads worldwide. So let's exercise some perspective!

Time to focus on safety instead of arguing who's right

It is time to focus on the safety of cyclists and pedestrians instead of arguing about who is right or wrong and regardless of the views of any individual road user and whatever form of transport they use.

There are many forms of transport favourable over hopeless dependency on car use and associated planetary desecration. However, as an avid cyclist that recently gave up dependency on cars, this article will focus on changes to the law to better protect respectful cyclists against aggressive drivers as well as reprimanding cyclists who are a nuisance who in turn enrage drivers behind the wheel of lethal weapons.

Too many times have I heard car drivers rant at me personally about cyclists doing the following:
1) Jumping lights
2) Hogging the road
3) Not being visible enough
4) and a whole host of other pet hates from car drivers.

The ridiculous thing is, I never do any of these. I always ride with lights after dusk (and keep them on the bike in all conditions just in case I get caught out), I always wear hi-vis clothing (even in daylight). I NEVER jump lights. I will always give way to vehicles & pedestrians, even if it is my right of way. Yet I still get branded as a nuisance simply because I'm on a bicycle.

So, it's time to review this selfish one-sided argument.

Still convinced cyclists are the bad guys?

Well, here are some basic stats:
1) In London alone, so far this year (Oct 2012), number of cyclists killed by car drivers: 61
2) NATIONWIDE, so far this year, car drivers killed by cyclists: 0 (ZERO)

It's time for some perspective, as I'm sure the problem is not just down to cyclist training and discipline, but also down to driver's limited perspective in that they think they have a higher priority.

It's like the mentality of car drivers is such that when one gets in there car, its war. You see this mentality between mutual car drivers who both think they are right and the other is wrong, so why single out cyclists? The truth of the matter is, road usage and speed goes hand-in-hand with selfishness, therefore it is something the government needs to act on and not something that should be left to the individuals to fight out.

Who has more rights?

Essentially, no individual road user has more rights to the roads, we all have the same rights. The reason many drivers rant about cyclists is because at the end of the day, they have to slow down for them. And that (as they say) is the bottom line!

Tax disc, Car tax, VED... call it what you will, but it IS NOT ROAD TAX...
Drivers of powered vehicles that require taxing seem to think they have priority over those that don't. Well, I am not going to start a discussion about tax discs except to say that this disc is not a license to use the road, it is a license for the vehicle to be used on the roads. This is a BIG difference which most vehicle drivers do not understand. 85% of road engineering budget comes out of a central pot financed by Inland Revenue, and believe me, as a higher rate tax payer, I earned my right to use the roads regardless of which form of transport I wish to use.

Because drivers have more power on the tarmac and are capable of driving faster, they somehow think cyclists shouldn't be in their way.

What next.

This isn't a pro-cycling anti-car agenda as such; it's an extremely important strategy that our nation needs to adopt as the future rolls towards us.

Imagine you're in your car frustrated at sitting in a queue. Wouldn't it be nice if 1 in 4 of the drivers in front of you were not in their car, out of your way, and on a cycle path?

The trouble is, there is not enough being done to make cycling more viable and many are put off thinking that it's just too dangerous to take to a bicycle and exacerbate the problem by constantly giving into the car. This is why the nation needs to put pressure on the government for change.

It works in Holland, so let's get it working here. It will benefit almost everybody including our economy. Sir Richard Branson, Lord Sugar and a number of key blue chip companies from the UK have joined this programme because they have enough logical understanding to clearly see the benefits.

End of Article

Recent Discussion Activity (Top 5 threads)...
Title:Posted:By:Replies:Views:Last Post:
Will licensing and tests make cycling safer?5 years agoHatedCyclist11,4325 years ago
Motorist's attitude is as dangerous as poor infrastructure5 years agoMrCommuter01,4345 years ago
How's about this for another perspective...5 years agoMrCommuter11,4765 years ago
Pedestrian deaths in London5 years agoRealityPhil21,7635 years ago
The truth about cyclists breaking the rules5 years agoMrCommuter01,4975 years ago
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