Sunday 20 August 2017

Comment: 'The more that seems to be given to cyclists, the more badly behaved many seem to be'

Stock photo
Stock photo
Campbell Spray

Campbell Spray

There is a sense of entitlement developing among cyclists which is not very nice at all.

I cycle to work about three times a week on my sturdy steed and I have another bike - admittedly not much used yet - for fast spins into the countryside, so I'm fully supportive of trying to get more people on two wheels and ­having a proper structure of cycle paths, greenways and ­traffic-calming measures.

Yet the more that seems to be given to cyclists, the more badly behaved many seem to be.

Driving in the mountains at the weekend, I find that groups and pairs of the Lycra fraternity seem to relish holding up the traffic by cycling in formations that militate against passing. Yet that is a minor issue compared to the many urban cyclists who break red lights, go through crowds at pedestrian crossings and cycle the wrong way up roads with impunity. Then there are the multitudes who think the pavement is for them and not for pedestrians.

When I'm walking Sam at night, I reckon that nearly three-quarters of the cyclists who pass us have no lights.

Cyclists have to cop on. We deserve a better infrastructure and to be treated with respect on the roads.

The more cyclists, the better it is for the nation's, and planet's, health. But respect works both ways. The two-wheeled fraternity have to obey the laws, not upset other road users and not be rude or arrogant.

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And while I am in my angry mood, I can totally understand the rage and upset felt by the mother of a child killed by a drunk over the delaying tactics in the Dail to Shane Ross's very reasonable effort to put off the road all drivers convicted of a drink-driving offence.

I think the penalty is even too light. Just three months! I remember when the breathalyser first came in, you would be put off the road for a minimum of one year. That's how it should be.

The drink-drive deniers in the Dail are an insult to the memory of four-year-old Ciaran Treacy and his brave mother Gillian, who are the faces of the current Road Safety Association advertisement campaign.

Sunday Independent

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