Cycling dangers

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A MARKED contrast is blindingly obvious between the balanced and reasonable views on cyclists expressed by Clark Cross (Letters, 25 July) and Dave Rice’s vitriolic anti-motorist, pro-cyclist rantings (Letters, 27 July), which included personal abuse against Mr Cross.

I have had countless near misses resulting from the reckless, unlawful behaviour of cyclists who are not, as Mr Rice glibly asserts, “those few cyclists who transgress the law”. In my opinion, the vast majority of cyclists routinely break the rules of the road, while exhibiting overt aggression towards motorists as they do so. I have twice been sworn at by cyclists entering the clearly marked “exit only” at my local supermarket.

All of this is so common that I have emulated cyclists’ helmet cams by fitting my car with a “black box” video camera because it seems inevitable that, one day, a near miss will become a collision. Finally, Mr Rice believes that motorists think that cycle lanes are the only places cyclists are allowed to be. The true facts are that cyclists assume the right to be – and to have priority – everywhere, including pavements, pedestrian crossings and, of course, to weave at will on roads while ignoring all legalities, including traffic lights and one-way systems.

DJ Hollingdale

Easter Park Drive

Edinburgh

I FIND it difficult to sympathise with David Rice in his reply to Clark Cross on the subject of cyclists because of his use of self-promoting sarcasm, such as dismissing a cycle tax because some cars avoid vehicle excise duty by creating no emissions.

Compulsory cyclist insurance makes sense, given the careless behaviour of both drivers and cyclists. I’m just back from York, a city of many bicycles and narrow streets with double-yellow lines – freely ignored – where I witnessed a teenage lad cycling hands-free across a busy bridge while texting on his mobile.

As an experienced cyclist and driver, and having been knocked off my bike by a careless motorist, I think all cyclists should wear a “high-viz” vest, which could also bear a registration number, solving Mr Rice’s problem of where to place a number plate.

Petty reference to “the appropriately named Mr Cross” contributes nothing to this serious debate, and Mr Rice’s sole positive contribution is to suggest raising awareness among drivers of cyclists’ rights to use the road.

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road

Tranent, East Lothian

David Rice clearly has never observed the behaviour of cyclists who are a menace because they fail to observe the Highway Code.

As a pedestrian, I have twice been struck by a cyclist. Once on a zebra crossing in Melville Street, Edinburgh, when a cyclist just could not be bothered to stop, and failed to hurtle between people using the crossing, and also while walking on Princes Street, when a cyclist mounted the pavement to avoid traffic lights.

In both cases I was injured, and in both cases I sued the cyclist. I received nothing, because neither had any money.

At the very least, cyclists should be legally compelled to carry third party insurance.

Malcolm Parkin

Gamekeepers Road

Kinnesswood, Kinross