Virtually every cyclist who rides on the road will be aware of the antipathy that is directed towards people who ride bicycles.
Well part of fighting that antipathy can be overcome by being personally aware of our behaviour, and ensuring that as individuals, we behave lawfully, thoughtfully and considerately towards others. Partly, that could be by joining a cyclists organisation and taking advantage of the benefits of third party insurance that results from such membership.
But that alone isn’t enough. Not only do we have to behave considerately, but we need to educate cyclists in our locality to behave considerately too.
What started me on this? Well, I was involved in a rather protracted online disagreement about antisocial cycling. While there were numerous claims by people who claimed to know people who had been nearly killed on the pavement by pavement cyclists, which were clearly exaggerated, some presumably so convenient it’s hard to believe they weren’t invented. When I pointed-out that the risk to pedestrians on the pavement as posed by cyclists was insignificant compared to those from motor-vehicles*, I inadvertently stirred-up a virtual hornet’s nest of bile and angry false accusations.
Despite this there may have been some genuine grounds for complaint, pavement cycling is annoying, (it irritates me), but it certainly isn’t anything like as dangerous as often portrayed in the media and the public swallow that garbage.
Essentially, we must do what we can to be responsible and be seen to be responsible. I’m not sure quite how do do this, but it must involve adolescents, largely because these are the group who would seem to be heavily involved in antisocial cycling. There is little doubt that some of these will continue their antisocial ways into adulthood. All cyclists then get tarred with the same brush.
*What the available statistics say
Using DFT figures, from 2007-2008, 60.7 pedestrians were killed on the pavement by motor-vehicles, whereas 0.5 were killed on the pavement, by pavement cyclists. This is based on 10% of pedestrian casualties being on the pavement or verge as was the case 2007-2008. The ratio of pedestrians killed on the pavement by motor-vehicles to those killed by cyclists is therefore 121.4:1. The ratio from 1998-2008 is 820.1:3 or 273:1 (uses the same 2007-2008 10% pedestrian casualties figure).
E&OE. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
We have an image problem and while being a group of individuals, we clearly aren’t responsible for the actions of others, but we are being treated as if we are in some way responsible, at least by association.
So, I put it to the membership of the CEGB:
What do we do?
How do we set about correcting this situation?
Ideas & comments gratefully sought.
Pedestrians injured Seriously injured and killed by cars, motor vehicles and cyclists – Hansard UK
Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2008
22 Reported accidents: involving pedestrians and one vehicle: by severity and vehicle type: 2008 – Page 130
Pedestrian casualties in road accidents: 2007
Road Accident Statistics Factsheet No. 3 – November 2008
Pedestrian casualties in reported1 road accidents: 2008
Road Accident Statistics Factsheet No. 3 – January 2010