Let's have two-way traffic in responsible road behaviour

Written by: Geraldine Faulkner | Published:

There is an elephant in the room when it comes to cyclists' irresponsible behaviour on the roads – particularly in busy traffic when there are vehicles such as refuse collection trucks and skip lorries. Everyone is tiptoeing around the issue in public even if in private there is much justifiable mutterings.

There appears to be the proverbial 'rule for one and a rule for everyone else' when it comes to a faction of Lycra-clad louts who literally ride roughshod over the rules of the road and general common sense.

While there is no disputing the benefits of cycling – it helps people lose weight, reduces stress, improves fitness and is a low carbon form of travel – there is a lot to dispute about some cyclists' irresponsible behaviour in busy traffic dodging between vehicles and paying scant regard for heavy trucks and their blind spots.

A well-known manufacturer of skip lorries told RWW recently that at traffic lights in busy traffic it is not uncommon for cyclists to hold onto the vehicle's wing mirror so as not to have to put their feet on their ground. In this case, the company says cyclists are told to let go immediately.

Quite right too, if the cyclist is injured because he/she doesn't let go in time when the vehicle pulls forward, who gets the blame? Not the cyclist, but the driver.

The surge in interest in cycling has even spawned a new industry in gadgets to attach to vehicles to help drivers of RCVs, skip lorries and waste vehicles to warn them when these two-wheeled menaces are about.

Transport for London has also launched new trials to "detect cyclists at junctions".

According to TfL: "The trials, which are taking place along Cable Street on Cycle Superhighway 3, detect the numbers of cyclists travelling along a route. This enables the traffic signal timings to be adjusted to give more green time when there are high numbers of cyclists at key junctions during peak times."

While such initiatives are very commendable, it would be reassuring to know that it is not just city authorities and manufacturers who are working hard to keep everyone safe on the roads, but that cyclists are also doing their bit to follow UK road cycling laws - because at the moment all the effort feels very one-sided.

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