Surveys are always interesting to some degree, often enough the screaming headlines in the MSM over some controversial result, or even the occasional shock, horror of a “no shit Sherlock” result that has the rest of us wondering who paid for the damn thing. And that’s where the key lies, along with the questions asked.
More than half of cyclists have jumped a red light, according to a survey.
The offenders – some 57 per cent of bike riders – said their main reason for the risky manoeuvre was that it was safer to get ahead of other traffic.
Around 14 per cent said they go through red lights regularly or sometimes, the poll by the Institute of Advanced Motorists revealed.
It also found that 73 per cent of cyclists ride on the pavement. A total of 54 per cent of the 1,600 surveyed thought cyclists should improve their riding behaviour, while the top concern was poor road and junction layouts.
As many as 81 per cent of pedestrians who did not cycle felt threatened when cyclists took to the pavement.
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: ‘Changes to road layouts and junctions can improve safety for cyclists, but no junction will ever be safe for those who continue to jump red lights.’
Only 43 per cent of the survey’s 1,600 respondents said they had ‘never’ cycled through a red light, while 19 per cent admitted performing the hazardous manoeuvre ‘once or twice’.
The majority of cyclists also admitted that they needed to improve behaviour at junctions, with 54 per cent saying they should adhere to the Highway Code more strictly.
The survey revealed a desire among cyclists for improved cycling facilities on roads, which they believe would improve safety.
Ok, first off is the fact that the survey is by the Institute of Advanced Motorists, this means that cyclists are unlikely to get a fair hearing, though judging by the declared results it does rather look to the jaundiced eye of this motorist that a great deal of fibbing is going on too.
Yet there are times I cannot blame cyclists for taking to the pavement, some roads are simply just too narrow and too busy to allow a comfortable coexistence, yet you can almost bet your bottom dollar that if road improvements are made it’s often to the detriment of the motorist. I also wonder just who the cyclists believe should pay for “improved cycling facilities on roads” I somehow doubt they believe it should be them alone.
What the Daily Mail also fails to mention is that the same survey found that 32% of car drivers also admitted to jumping red lights and a significant number of motorists used non-hands-free mobile phones while driving and most admitted to speeding on occasions.
The major difference being of course that even a slight collision that would merely scratch a car can be fatal to a cyclist. Yet there is an almost undeclared war out there between two groups of road users, neither of whom believe themselves to really be in the wrong and both able to bring up ‘instances’ where the other group has behaved badly.
Personally I’m of the opinion that putting a set of wheels under an ordinary person turns them into the mental equivalent of the Hulk.
I also cannot see any solution to the problem that would satisfy both groups, well other than demolishing streets to widen roads. I think this is a genuine case where we can say “A plague on both their houses.” at least to the fanatics out there…