There was an interesting headline in the BBC this week, ‘The government says it will consider new laws to tackle dangerous cycling”. Apparently Theresa May has made a commitment when asked about the trial of the cyclist who knocked over and killed a woman.
Charlie Alliston – whose “fixie” had no front brakes – was convicted under the 19th century offence of “wanton or furious driving”. It looks as though the PM has asked for the offence of dangerous driving can be extended to cyclists.
I have no issue with this. I do think that cyclists at times are stupid and do dangerous things – I have seen countless cyclists run red lights and generally ignore road signs. They will get little sympathy from me.
However, as a cyclist I also see the very worst of car drivers. On my ride last week there were at least half a dozen times when motorists drove dangerously close to us. Some are simply unaware and some deliberately, I’m afraid, ‘cut’ across you.
As is often the case in the city, when I catch up with them, I politely ask whether they would drive so close to a horse and rider? This is invariably met with abuse. F-ing cyclists shouldn’t be on (their) roads and my favourite – that cyclists don’t pay “road tax”. I guess there is no point explaining that road tax was abolished in 1937 and replaced by Vehicle Excise Duty. This is, of course, a tax on cars, not roads. A waste of breath I know.
So yes, let’s make everyone play nicely on the roads – but also take a tougher line on drivers who endanger cyclists…