Now that 2wheelsbad has been going for a month, I expect you’re wondering, amidst all the problems I pose, what my solution or solutions might be. Well I’m glad you asked. Because apart from simply wanting safer behaviour and more considerate behaviour from the cyclists who don’t display it, I would like to suggest the following (and before anyone gets uppity, remember this isn’t a non cyclist or an anti cyclist speaking. I’m a cyclist myself – albeit not a commuter and not every day – and these ideas simply feel like common sense to me).
1. Stop the leniency currently displayed around cycle related offences. I know there’s the whole encouraging cycling argument but the simple fact is that bending the rules for cyclists encourages BAD cycling and that’s no good for anyone. If cyclists receive equitable treatment in the eyes of the law they will be less likely to offend or behave dangerously.
2. This one is controversial, but for cyclists who are caught breaking the law, compulsory training along the lines of the ‘speed check’ classes that speeding motorists can opt for. There’s nothing like being faced with the reality of what dangerous behaviour can do to make you think twice before blasting across that red light junction or cutting in front of a bus to mount the pavement.
3. Compulsory bike helmets. I can’t see on what planet this doesn’t make sense.
All I’m after is to get the minority of dangerous and inconsiderate cyclists to ride more sensibly. Then we can all enjoy what is a fantastic mode of transport, which should, like this chap I snapped this morning carrying, inexplicably, a giant unicycle, bring a smile to all our faces.