Listen to Radio 4’s Thought for the Day (1st Sept)
I just want to turn my thoughts to Jeremy Vine’s recent incident with a motorist in London. This clip throws into perspective how ludicrous road rage is. I don’t understand the aggression that this woman (below) shows. It’s unreal how rude and abusive she is and there is really no need. Having been a victim of road rage – as I image most cyclists have – I am really pleased that the below video has thrown into the public spotlight what a big problem this is. It is certainly something that needs addressing.
Do you think Jeremy Vine was right for cycling in the middle of the road? I do. He’s right that you should give a cyclist as much room as when you pass a car. For example, you wouldn’t want to drive any closer to another car than you have to – so this begs the question of why are many people happy to drive so close to a cyclist. A cyclist is vulnerable – fatally so – much more so than another car. Do motorists think it’s some kind of joke getting so close to a person on a bike? It will not cause you much delay by waiting a couple of minutes to safely get by a bike. In fact, they’ll most likely pull over for you if there has been a long stretch where you obviously haven’t been able to get by because it is courteous to do so. However, if the driver is being aggressive, I can image that they’re not going to do so. Either way, a little patience never hurt anybody.
Now I appreciate that so far it has been motorists getting the blame but, although a large proportion of incidents are caused by them not looking properly or driving aggressively/speeding, often the blame does not always lie with them. There are some cyclists who give others a bad name and do not follow normal road rules, which doesn’t earn them or the rest of the cycling community much sympathy. It’s vital that everybody uses and respects the road in the same way and that way there should be no arguments, as in theory everybody has the same rights. For cyclists it goes further than using the road like they would were they driving. They should make themselves as visible as possible and be generally sensible about their safety; it is, after all, the cyclist who is the vulnerable party. As an example, today I witnessed three mistakes by road users. The second was by a cyclist who pulled out into the road without really looking properly. She was wearing dark colours, no helmet and had head phones in, which isn’t really conducive to safety.
The other two mistakes were made by both motorist and cyclist, reinforcing the need for everybody to co-operate and be vigilant when using the road. We all need to use road-ways in our day to day life and we all want to get home. Letting somebody let you get as wound up and angry as the woman below, is pointless. It’s slightly sickening how narrow-minded some people can be and so this is why I feel it’s important that he has published this video. To round it off, I want to point to the thought for the day linked above again (in my short video). This is a lovely piece and worth listening to. Even if you’re not religious there are some profound thoughts in there that make you contemplate the meaning and place for violence.
Jeremy’s video of his road rage incident