Why are cyclists so careless?

Your letters
Your letters

I must admit, I am in a bit of a quandary. Why is it, I ask myself, that people who are normally intelligent, sensible, caring human beings suddenly become careless, selfish and totally incompetent once they get on a bike?

Yes, it is true that they do not have to pass a test or examination to take their machines onto the public highway, after all a ten-year-old can ride a bike on a main road in the rush hour quite legally, Something I saw only yesterday.

And it is also true that cyclists need to have no insurance, something quite near to my bank manager’s heart after the nearside of my car was badly scratched twice within a fortnight by cyclists trying to squeeze past my nearside when I was waiting at traffic lights.

The cheque he was presented with nearly reduced my credit rating.

Each time I had got out of the car to talk to the cyclist, but they both shrugged their shoulders and rode away,

one to the pavement, scattering various pedestrians who were selfish enough to actually be walking on said pavement.

Cyclists need have no knowledge of road craft and procedure, something patently obvious when you watch them.

And, of course, they don’t contribute anything to the costs of the roads unless they pay income tax, in which case a tiny proportion of that payment goes towards highway maintenance.

Now, of course, there are plenty – too many – incompetent motorists. But if they commit an error, misdemeanor or mistake, they are fined and have points on their licence which increases their insurance.

They can be banned, or even go to jail.

None of that applies to cyclists.

And, of course, we all know that red lights and one-way systems definitely don’t apply to cyclists.

To sum it all up, a couple of weeks ago I saw a young woman on a bike with a toddler in a child seat slung over the rear mudguard.

The woman was wearing a helmet. Her two-year-old was bear-headed.

A policeman was standing a few feet away.

But if a motorist doesn’t have a seatbelt on...

Roger Berlin

Cokeham Lane


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