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.
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.
I thank him for raising that. But he goes on:
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.
That last part is fair – who pays? Cyclists currently don’t, except through their council and other taxes and there is the answer really – they do contribute, just as the motorist does. It’s just that they don’t pay road tax on their vehicles – footpath tax? And if so, will you tax every child who rides a bike?
I’d be willing to pay a levy for cycle path improvement and overall facilities for cyclists, for sure. In my impecunious state, I’d be willing to give £2.50 a week and if fully employed, £7 a week, if it was guaranteed:
1. That the money would go direct to cycle lane and general infrastructure improvement in our area;
2. I could have input on just what the money was spent on.
Not a problem. How many cyclists is this overall, in my area, to tax? I’d say not all that many compared to the drivers. And who does the most damage to the roads – the cyclists or the drivers? And let’s look at what the government wants – to reduce dependence on the car, which I’m fine with. But to do that, they must put the money up front and that comes from the taxpayer, of which I’m one.
Then there is the aesthetic aspect – the more wimmin we get on bikes, especially in summer, the better. [I’d be interested to know if Julia cycles to work.] More seriously, the more women who ride, the safer it will become because the motorist will be forced to acknowledge the sheer numbers.
The UK has an appalling attitude to the cyclist, often with good reason but it’s more infrastructural problems which are the killer. Sort these out and you’d get the European situation where bicycles proliferate and are regulated better in terms of what can and can’t be done with them, even in taking them on trains.
Quoting surveys at us to vilify us solves nothing.