Full cycle

Brenda Mitchell in her Friends of the Scotsman article on cycling (23 August) is correct, in my view, in saying that the law needs to be changed – but not to bring in a law making drivers automatically responsible for an accident involving a cyclist; what is needed is a law making cyclists responsible for themselves.

A driver must pass a test of competence to use the road in the first place, and must drive a vehicle that is registered and, therefore, traceable, has been maintained to a safety standard, and is insured for third-party risks (for example other road users such as cyclists).

Cyclists should voluntarily undertake road-use training before taking to the streets – for their own safety as much as a courtesy to other road users if nothing else – but the wearing of safety helmets and high-visibility clothing should be compulsory, as should insurance for cyclists (it is already obtainable from any decent broker).

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In this and her previous articles and letters, Ms Mitchell has not once advocated that cyclists should take some action to help themselves; it’s always somebody else’s fault as far as she is concerned. In the photographs on her website, none of the cyclists is wearing high-visibility clothing and most of the bicycles in view do not have lights fitted. Perhaps her campaign should be aimed closer to home.



East Lothian

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