Letter: Cyclists must play the game to stay safe on roads
SIR – The New Forest has more than its fair share of cyclists roaming its highways and byways and I was hoping that the new version of the Highway Code, due to be published shortly, might give more clarity not only to the responsibilities of motorists towards cyclists but also the other way round.
The updated version contains 33 modifications to 'clarify' what is already in there, plus a couple of new ones. The $64,000 question is, apart from new drivers, who on earth is going to read them?
What I looked for, in particular, concerned the relationship between cyclists and vehicle drivers. We all know that drivers and their vehicles are subjected to a huge range of regulations whereas cyclists have carte blanche to do whatever they like, wherever they like and whenever they like, simply because any misdemeanour can and does go unpunished due to lack of identification.
The only new thing cyclists have to adhere to now is to ensure that, as a vulnerable road user, they do not put themselves in an unnecessarily vulnerable position! The mind boggles.
In my view, if you are going to encourage the mixing of cyclists with vehicles, all road users need to adhere to the same common rules. Apart from having insurance, a legally roadworthy machine and passing a proficiency test, hi-vis jackets and a crash hat should also be the minimum legal requirement, and that's even before they are allowed on the public highway.
The list after that is too long for printing in a letters column and although I have no real objection to sharing the roads with these 'vulnerable' individuals, if they want to stay safe, they must play the game and, when they do, I'm pretty sure that most motorists will show less animosity to our two-wheeled friends than they do at the moment.