Sunday 19 November 2017

Don't shoot messenger: rules of road for everyone

Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Talk about shooting the messenger . . . I have had an amount of invective directed towards me after the story I wrote for Monday's Irish Independent about so many cyclists breaking the rules of the road.

I simply reported the critical details of an excellent two-day roadside survey by Semperit Tyres Ireland.

It found that 21pc cycled on footpaths; 19pc broke traffic lights and 14pc went up one-way streets or against the flow of traffic.

In all, the survey found that nearly half (46pc) the cyclists observed over that time broke the rules of the road.

And the younger the cyclist the more likely he or she was to offend -- again and again.

Frankly, it was confirmation of what most of us observe every day.

By the same token, we see drivers flout rules of the road.

And we see pedestrians take huge risks by dodging in and out of fast-flowing


Not to mention mothers pushing prams head-first on to busy city streets and taxi drivers slapping on the brakes without bothering to indicate when they spot a fare.

The reality is in the particular instance of cyclists the survey shows there is a problem: 46pc breaking rules underlines that.

Semperit Tyres Ireland chief Paddy Murphy put it in perspective: most cyclists observe the law; those on two wheels are vulnerable, often endure abuse and have to put up with poor road conditions.

But the "significant minority" who don't obey the rules are a safety hazard.

The figures speak for themselves.

As they have done in the past for lunatics behind the wheels of cars who speed recklessly.

Both need attention. Shooting the messenger is not the way to address it.

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