If you read opinion pieces in papers, and even moreso the comments section on any piece about road safety and bicycles, you could be forgiven for thinking that the greatest evil on the roads these days is cyclists who run red lights. Even though I’m not the RLJ (red light jumper) type, and get exasperated by the people who cross pedestrian crossings when they should be stopping instead, I want their critics to shut up or develop some perspective.
Cyclists do not ignore the amber light and then hit a pensioner whilst going 45mph. They’re unlikely to hospitalise two teenagers by driving into them. On a very, very rare and unfortunate occasion a cyclist will hit a pedestrian and kill them. But for every time this happens well over a thousand people are killed by motor vehicles.
So until people give a proportionate amount of opprobrium to drivers who ignore, or speed up for, the amber light, use their phone whilst driving, turn without signalling, speed and commit any number of other potentially fatal sins they can’t expect me to respect their opinion when they whine about cyclists.