Reckless cyclists

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Chris Oliver (Letters, 3
August) asserts that cyclists who are involved in road accidents with vehicles should be entitled to strict or presumed liability compensation from any motorist involved in a collision with them.

They are to receive this compensation without first having to proceed through “a clumsy legal process”.

As a driver in Edinburgh, I take exception to this proposal.

The majority of cyclists behave properly and correctly, with due regard to their own safety and the safety of other road users. However, a large number of cyclists in Edinburgh behave with reckless disregard for their own safety and the safety of others, in direct contravention of the Highway Code.

Anyone driving in the city on a regular basis will confront cyclists travelling at excessive speed in traffic; weaving in and out of moving traffic; cycling immediately behind vehicles; cycling though red lights; ignoring pedestrian crossings; riding on pavements; proceeding the wrong way down streets; riding without lights at night and the like.

It is difficult enough for a car driver to deal with some of that behaviour, and it must be very much harder for drivers of larger vehicles, such as vans, trucks and lorries.

The proposition that any driver of a vehicle who is involved in a collision with a cyclist should be “presumed liable” when such cycling behaviour is common would be manifestly unjust.

Equally, the imposition of some automatic entitlement to compensation in respect of such cyclists would condone 
irresponsible cycling and encourage a further deterioration in cycling behaviour.

J L Mitchell


Charles Thompson (Letters, 5 August) is correct to castigate drivers who do not use their lights, even in broad daylight, but has a false idea of the efficacy of “running lights” or sidelights.

These are parking lights. They are almost useless in motion;
indeed, they are dangerous as they give a false sense of security to the driver.

The acid test is what you can see in a quick glance in your mirrors, in rain or bad light, at speed.Only dipped headlights – as is the law in many countries – will ensure you are seen.

David Roche