Tuesday 24 October 2017

Drivers and cyclists need to learn about each other

The past week showed me that buses, bike users and motorists do themselves no favours, writes Campbell Spray

IT was good for a week, at least, not to have a car in the garage barking at me to test it. But the beast that is lurking there this weekend is something else altogether, but more of that soon. The respite also enabled me to reconnect with Dublin Bus, my bike and the old feet.

Yet it wasn't a wholly satisfactory experience. Drivers and cyclists have so much to learn about each other. The latter have to start obeying lights and staying off pavements unless it is absolutely necessary, which is rarely.

When I'm out with the dog or carrying the shopping I'm heartily sick of cyclists demanding you get out of their way. Lights and reflective jackets seem to have also gone missing in big numbers.

Yet motorists must give space on the inside for cyclists who have to cope with the worst part of the road where potholes, drains and rubbish -- especially glass -- are just waiting to bring you down.

Dublin Bus, which has deserved praise in the past, still needs to give many of its drivers a day in charm school. Some surliness lets the whole side down.

It's a pity because in spite of some fairy-tale timetables there is a very good service. But the public is voting with its feet and the census showed that between 2006 and 2011 the number of people commuting by bus fell by 25 per cent.

We drivers don't do ourselves any favours. I really believe in John Crown's bill to outlaw smoking in cars when there are children present but I'm less than confident about implementation.

The number of drivers on mobiles; driving with poor tyres or being totally unaware of the dangers of children, pets, the infirm and knowing what filter lights and yellow boxes actually mean is awful. As drivers we are slovenly. We often don't deserve the brilliant cars out there with the technology that now saves us from our excesses.

Indo Motoring

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