Categories:Personal Injury

"Cycling solicitor” sees off police fixed-penalty claim – then slams Boris

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  • The average city cyclist is an arrogant, occasionally violent, loudmouth with little knowledge of (or respect for) the highway code and even less common sense. He constantly puts mimself/herself in danger (eg running red lights, cycling on the inside of stationery lines of traffic rather than waiting his/her turn, inadequate lights/clothing) and then blames motorists for not making allowances for his/her own stupidity. Time to impose road tax and compulsory insurance obligations on these Darwin award nominees.

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  • Average Motorist: There is no such thing as road tax. There is Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) however, which is what you pay for your car, based on engine size and CO2 emissions. Which is, of course, why cyclists don't need to pay it. See: http://ipayroadtax.com/

    Yes, there are a lot of foolish cyclists out there who don't help themselves but there are an awful lot of considerate, careful ones and the same principle goes for motorists. A cyclist acting foolishly is far more likely to injure him/herself. A car, truck, bus on the otherhand, will tend to inflict the damage, much more severely...

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  • Average Motorist, you have turned an article about the CPS dropping a case against a cyclist who allegedly ran a red light and the solicitor who acted into a rant about all cyclists beng arrogant, occasionally violent, loudmouth and lacking common sense and it being time to impose road tax and insurance obligations on cyclists. Perhaps you should reconsider who it is that is arrogant, loudmouth and lacking in common sense. I truly hope that you are not an Average Motorist because your opinion is certainly not the same as mine and what you describe is not an average cyclist. I agree that there are bad cyclists but there are also bad drivers. The difference being that cyclists have to look out for themselves on the roads and the risks if they get it wrong are great. I am extremely grateful for car drivers that make allowances when I sometimes make a bad decision (we all do it) and I hope that those drivers realise that even a small contact with a cyclist can cause death or serious injury and all that I have caused to them is a very slight inconvenience on their journey for which I usually hold up my hand. But we cyclists also make allowances for bad drivers and if we don't we can end up dead! I don't know what the stats are but I suspect that there are lots more cyclists killed by bad drivers than car/truck/taxi drivers killed by bad cyclists?

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  • @ average motorist

    Let's have some perspective. There are bad drivers and bad cyclists. I stop at all red lights and wear visible clothing / lights. Some cyclists don't and that frustrates me as much as it does anyone else. Equally, some drivers drive dangerously - driving too fast, driving aggresively, not checking mirrors etc....

    This debate should focus on condemning both bad drivers and cyclists, and about what we, as a society, can do to improve the infrastructure and laws for both. Unfortunately, contributions such as yours, do nothing to improve the situation.

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  • p.s. I forgot to point out that cyclists DO pay road tax via their council tax. They do not however, pay Vehicle Excise Duty (which is what - I think - you were trying to refer to). The reason they don't pay VED is because VED is based on fuel and C02 emissions. This is also why some low emission cars do not pay VED. So no, it is not time to impose Road Tax obligations on cyclists.

    In terms of insurance obligations, I do not disagree with you.

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  • VED/Road Tax - thank you for pointing out that very important distinction. My opinion remains unchanged - yes there are. of course. bad drivers, but on an average commute my observation is that the vast majority of drivers comply with the highway code and apply appropriate caution, whereas the vast majority of cyclists do not. They have that sense of entitlement reflected in some of the preceding emails - "as I am likely to come off worse in any accident, even if caused by my own arrogance or stupidity, it is the responsibility of vehicle drivers to ensure I don't come to harm". Seriously? If you can't take responsibility for your own behaviour and decisions you have no place on the roads.

    As to emissions, I am sure a cyclist must emit more CO2 than a motorist or pedestrian. Leaving aside the effect of exertion, all those lentils and nut cutlets must have an effect.

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  • @ Average Motorist

    I have a sense of entitlement when I am on my bike and when I am in my car. In both cases, I have a right to be on the road.

    Do I do any of the things you mention? No (or at least, I try very hard not to). Some cyclists do. And I think more should be done in this country to cut down on bad cyclists. More should also be done to improve the infrastructure to reduce conflict between all road users.

    Your comment that the VAST MAJORITY of cyclists infringe the highway code is probably wrong. The fact is, you are more aware of cyclists that break the highway code whereas you are less likely to notice cyclists that don't (people see what they want to see etc...).

    You seem to base your judgment on what YOU see, without applying much thought. In a similar vein, you saw the word 'road' and you assumed that it was a tax on people that use the road. You notice a cyclist go through a red, but you don't notice all those waiting patiently by the lights, so you assume the vast majority of cyclists go through red lights.

    I am not trying to say there aren't any bad cyclists, I am just asking for a little perspective in your one-sided and slightly ignorant (road tax/VED) comment.

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  • As a motorcyclist, I am something of a half-way house. I am left vulnerable to vehicles turning left into a cycle/bus/motocycle lane (or indeed anywhere), but also at the mercy of cyclists in that same lane. It's no exaggeration to say that I have had the experience of countless more idiotic cyclists than vehicle drivers.

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  • Average Motorist, what would 'road tax' (not sure what you meant here) and compulsory insurance do that everyone (drivers and cyclists) taking care and being observant wouldn't solve? Surely that is the answer rather than just generating money for the government and insurance companies? Your 'solution' does not solve what you see as a problem.

    For what its worth, having just spent time living abroad in a continent where the rules of the road are, shall we say, not particularly well observed, I saw fewer incidents as a result of the fact everyone was observant and used some common sense than I do here in London, where I both drive and cycle. Sometimes I think motorists here use THE LAW as justification for their actions, whereas, if we look at what the laws of the road are there to provide (safety), sometimes common sense should prevail? I as a cyclist have been in the wrong before (eg wrong lane) and had motorists drive dangerously by me even though they are, techinically, in the right. Whats the point? If I ultimately die as a result of my own stupidity, is that a worthwhile outcome for anyone?

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  • @average motorist

    That's not true, is it? You don't see the "vast majority" of cyclists riding without appropriate caution on your average commute. You don't see it because it doesn't happen.

    What might be true, though frankly on the evidence of your posts I for one would not give you the benefit of the doubt, is that of the cyclists you notice and you remember the vast majority are riding without what you consider to be appropriate caution (making no allowance for whether you actually know what amounts to appropriate caution for an cyclist.) The reasons for this are well known errors I reasoning to which we are, sadly, all prone if we are not careful, confirmation bias, outgroup homogeneity, and attribution error.

    In fact TFL have shown that the vast majority of cyclists, 84%, do obey traffic signals. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/businessandpartners/traffic-note-8-cycling-red-lights.pdf I'm not thrilled that there are 16% of idiots out there but its not a "vast majority", is it?

    Or do you still think you know better?

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