I think this is true also of uninsured cyclists. One day we will look back in bemusement at how they were allowed on our roads without insurance.. I spend a lot of time on the roads, covering on average 800 miles each and every week so I see a lot. There are many things that incense me with ignorant attitudes but here we are just concerning ourselves with the increasingly bad behaviour of cyclists.
I see many incidents every week and in my opinion it is a growing problem. Firstly, I lose count of how many times each week I am behind a cyclist with either myself or a learner at the wheel, perhaps even just about to overtake, and suddenly they swing out, sometimes as much as half a metre, to avoid a drain or a small hole without even the slightest look behind them to see who is there. And whose fault would it be deemed to be it they were hit? The motorist of course…
There is a growing arrogance amongst cyclists that they are untouchable, and in the eyes of insurance companys at this time I think they probably are.
Also, I am sure everyone is aware many have a complete disregard for the laws of the road, namely red traffic lights. They either suddenly mount the pavement if the light turns red, or they brake the lights completely. I saw an incident a few weeks ago that stuck in my mind where the light had been red for 4 to 5 seconds, and a lady with a pushchair had just entered the crossing. At that moment along came a cyclist without stopping, possibly not even seeing the pedestrian, and if it wasnt for her whipping her pushchair and child out the way they would have been run over. Did the cyclist stop? You know the answer.
There was another incident just a couple of day ago where I was driving but stationary at red traffic lights at a t-junction. The road I was on is slightly obscured by trees and the solid white line you have to wait at is perhaps 5 to 6 metres back from the main road. My light went green and I pulled away. Just as I entered the main road a cyclist suddenly came from my right at quite some speed and had to brake fairly hard to not hit the side of my car. Obviously they had gone straight through the red light perhaps not even realising the road to their left which I was waiting in. But thats no excuse as surely thats what traffic lights are for.
The behaviour of a lot of cyclists now is entering epidemic proportions.
It is my belief that not only should cyclists be insured, but their bikes should also have the equivalent to an M.O.T test, be properly registered like all other road vehicles have to be, and taxed. Maybe then attitudes would change and we’d see more responsibility taken by them. It should also be law for them to all have helmets on and a right side wing-mirror fitted, so before they think about swerving out and endangering themselves and other motorists they can ensure it is safe to do so. Isnt this whats expected of everyone else? You cant pass your driving test without properly checking your mirrors so why should this be different for cyclists.
This is not a general rant at cyclists, its about improving the safety of our roads for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, and as soon as we all start following the same rules the safer our streets will become.