So we have all seen them when we are in our cars – cyclists who decide that they are allowed to cross junctions on red or generally flout the laws of the Highway Code. As a car driver it is annoying, particularly as there are certain cyclists who seem to make it their ‘reason for living’ to annoy drivers! My wife has a particular hatred of these cyclists – they give good law-abiding cyclists a bad name.
Now I would be the first to accept that cycling is dangerous in cities, and that drivers should give cyclists due consideration, but it is a ‘two way street’ and they need to play by the rules as well – that’s how it works on the road.
So I can see the reasoning behind the recent attempt to get ministers to look into allowing cyclists to go through red lights, as an attempt to cut fatalities and serious injuries. Making the case for the debate supporters have expressed concern at the rising number of cyclists killed on the road and the “disproportionate number” of accidents involving vans and lorries.
There has been a pilot scheme agreed in Paris recently following a campaign by cycling groups to allow cyclists to turn right (the equivalent of turning left in the UK) or go straight on at T-junctions, even when the lights are red.
They are also trying so-called “Trixi mirrors” – fitted to traffic lights to give lorry drivers a better view of cyclists on their left side at road junctions – the reasoning being that large vehicles turning left do have a degree of difficulty in seeing people. Of 16 cyclists killed in London in 2011, 12 involved a goods vehicle – seven of which were construction vehicles.
So yes, I can see the reasoning behind the arguments – but my concern is that if the law changes the cyclists will then have to comply with the law and stop behaving as if they own the road – and I can’t see them changing their spots if I am being honest.