An e-mail I got from TFL…
I am writing to both cyclists and drivers to remind them to take care on London’s roads.
Cyclists are reminded to:
- Be aware of blind spots all around large vehicles. It’s often safer to hang back
- Make eye contact with drivers to make sure they have seen you
- Not ride through red traffic lights. It’s dangerous and you can be fined £30
- Allow space between you and parked vehicles. Doors may be opened suddenly
No mention of what drivers are reminded to be aware of on the roads. Hopefully a bit of education about cyclists and their needs on the road but that is probably a long shot.
Received this comment on one of my videos.
Us cyclists are freeing up space on the road by cycling instead of driving! If we all drove instead, nobody would be able to get anywhere, or at least it would take them a lot longer. Considering how impatient a lot of car drivers are, they should be thanking us! Ungrateful bastards 🙂
Haha, made me chuckle. If only they where thanking us!
Cyclists are often outed by other road users for not stopping at red lights. But no group is innocent at this.
A TFL study showed that 84% of cyclists in London stopped at red lights, so why is it perceived that we jump red lights?
Cyclists generally cycle through red lights when other traffic has already stopped at them, they cycle slowly, sometimes stop, and check if it’s clear to go. It’s clearly viewable by other road users and in most cases done safely. You get the odd Silly Cyclist who cycles through pelican crossings far too fast and without checking for pedestrians.
Where as other road users generally drive through the amber and red lights just after they have changed, they do it at high-speed and without checking. This can often cause crashes if the light sequence is very tight and you get someone pulling away from the lights early.
Which is worse? Well they are both technically as bad as each other. There is an argument that cyclists do it safely because they wait, look and then go. Where as motorised vehicles drive through the lights at speed and without checking, their vehicles are often considerably bigger, heavier and harder than a cyclist. Doing it safely and slowly doesn’t make it any better. The act of doing something so visibly wrong is damaging to the rest of us that cycle, hence why we are all tarred with the same brush.
We are mostly taught to ride our bikes in a park by our farther. He pushes us along and we learn to ride in a straight line. As we cycle more we get more confidence.
How do we learn to ride on the road? We can go to bikeability courses or other cycle training run by local councils or qualified individuals. But will adults go to these course, will people actively seek out education on how to use the roads safely?
I suspect most won’t, why do they need to be told how to cycle. It’s a fairly easy task to ride a bicycle but doing so in an environment full of faster moving, harder and sometimes recklessly driving vehicles is much harder.
Understanding traffic flow, the mindset of most drivers and common dangers can give you the vital foresight to position your self in a safe and sometimes controlling position.
Getting lessons can provide people with the confidence and knowledge to cycle on the roads safely but are there other ways we can teach people to cycle safely?
I’ve tried giving the odd tip to people on the roads, “Cars indicating left will often turn at the turning, so don’t undertake them” but people don’t take well to being told what to do. Even if it is with the best intentions. So it often results in being sworn at.
The Mayor of London and his team boast about how much cycle training they have provided, don’t get me wrong, I think it is great! But something needs to be done to educate the cyclists that don’t think they need training. I see people cycling in the gutter and lane splitting on multilane roads daily. These are the Silly Cyclists we need to educate, as one day their style of riding may result in them getting injured.
Something I’ve had shouted at me as vehicles pass me or been told on other occasions. Statements like this show the stupidity and naivety of people who shout them.
For starters, the definition of traffic is not vehicles being held up or stationary but in fact just describes any vehicle on the road. So I am traffic, as are you and that is without other vehicles behind you.
Traffic: Vehicles moving on a public highway: “a stream of heavy traffic” (Source: Warp Training Australia).
Even if the word traffic meant a queue of stationary or slow-moving vehicles. Are cyclists the ones causing these queues? Or is it the hordes of other vehicles using the road?