I don’t know how many foreign cycling tourists have died on our roads but if only they knew how bad it was cycling in many parts of the UK, how lorries and other vehicles, keep killing cyclists and whether or not they know that our legal justice system is generally on the side of motorist. Maybe they would consider having a holiday in another country which is more cycling friendly, and safer!
I saw a couple of foreign tourists today, using the pavement (ie in their country there are cycle paths everywhere). Clearly they thought it was stupid to be cycling on the main road where they would quite easily have been killed.
I was talking to someone today who said that when he went to Thailand, that under Thai Law, if a motorist killed a cyclist, then the motorist would automatically be punished because ‘the vehicle is much bigger’ (even if the cyclist is at fault).
I think it would be interesting to read of international laws, both in Europe and beyond, that affect cyclists and how we can learn from them. Clearly the British Legal System, is failing us.
I also chatted to a friend .. oh and a motorist, this afternoon, who was admiring my new bike (oddly enough!) and we were talking about yet another accident on his road today, this time, between a horsebox and a 4×4 on the busy road etc. We got talking further and I mentioned to him how biased the ‘cyclist law is’. I mentioned to him that the motorist who killed 4 cyclists in Wales some years back , got let off with a £180 fine. You should see how shocked he was. His whole body language changed. I don’t think even motorists realise how unfair the system is. Even he said that he should have been done for dangerous driving (he had bald tyres) and had a much tougher punishment. I think we need to raise awareness that the English cycling laws are ridiculous in this country, even bad enough for some motorists to think like us! He told me it is a wonder any cyclists survive on our roads because he has seen so many nutters.
I will contact Visit Britain and see what they have to say on the subject on tourism.
Well, I have just seen their website and this is the first thing you see on their Travel Site:-
Bicycles are one of the best ways to travel around Britain.”
Yes, if it wasn’t so dangerous. This is quite misleading.
but fortunately, some ‘advice’:-
Cycling safety & adviceMany of these tips are common sense, but it’s vital you think about your safety every time you get on a bike.
Here are a few tips on how to stay safe when cycling around Britain:
Check your bike’s brakes, tyres and gears before starting your journey.Know your route before starting your journey. This will reduce the chance of you getting lost in an area you don’t know.Let someone know the route you’re taking. If possible, give them a copy of the route map.You must have front and rear lights AND reflectors – it’s against the law to ride without them.Wear reflective and fluorescent clothing, especially if you cycle at night.Always wear a cycle helmet.Don’t carry anything with you that will affect your balance.Be careful at blind spots: think ahead.Give pedestrians priority at all times.Always use the cycle lanes if they’re provided.Signal clearly and early to drivers behind you if you want to turn left or right.
There is no information on lorries and cyclists. It also ‘assumes that cycling on cycle lanes’ is safe. It doesn’t give any stats on how many cyclists have died here (or any road statistics) for that matter etc etc etc. Just looks like something that has been dug out from the Highway Code.
What I have decided to do, is to contact RoSPA (Royal Society for the Protection of Accidents) so that they can highlight the reality of cycling in Britain so foreign tourists are aware. At least PR centric Visit Britain should have a factual link. I think if I contacted Visit Britain, they ‘wouldn’t reply’ so I thought a Big Organisation would have more Clout!