LETTER: Show cyclists more respect on roads

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Research has shown mobility scooters were involved in 200 accidents in 2016, nine of which were fatal, e.g. Labour peer Lord Thomas Taylor of Blackburn, who died after a collision with a van outside Parliament.

As a consequence, Nottingham University – using state-of-the-art cameras and visual tracking devices – are making a video to educate scooter drivers.

People using mobility scooters have described the machines as ‘giving them a pair of legs’ and being a ‘life saver’.

Whether a person walks, uses a scooter, a bicycle, a motor-bike, a motor vehicle, or public transport, it enables them to access education, work and buy food, i.e. every mode of transport is essential for survival.

In the recent case of cyclist Charlie Alsiton causing the death of a pedestrian, the Government called for an urgent review of laws covering dangerous cycling.

Also, a leading newspaper published a two-page article headed Killers On Two Wheels, in which it identified six pedestrians being killed by cyclists since 2007. Had more pedestrians been killed by cyclists in the last 10 years, you can be sure the paper would have identified them.

So what about killers on four wheels, and indeed six and eight wheels, i.e. articulated lorries, some with trailers?

In the last ten years, more than 1,000 cyclists have been killed by motor vehicles.

Also in the last ten years, the Government’s claim several million children have received ‘Bikeability’ training. But if only one per cent of those children cycle to school, and use the footpath to do so, it surely proves something is seriously wrong with the way people drive.

One of the biggest problems for mobility scooterists is pedestrians with mobile phones – they are distracting, and erode, if not destroy, respect and good manners. Even with tougher penalties for using one whilst driving, some 23 per cent of drivers reportedly still do so – that amounts to at least five million drivers being a threat to cyclist safety.

Now with plans for people to access health care using their smartphone, won’t our streets and roads become even more life threatening?

If Britain’s drivers were more respectful of cyclists – enabling more people to cycle – then wouldn’t Britain be fitter and healthier, with fewer people needing mobility scooters and blue badges, and indeed enable the poor to better combat poverty?

Allan Ramsay

By email

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