IN 1967 as part of the campaign about road safety ‘The Wear Something Bright At Night’ was started.
To me an advert which has remained in my mind always. However, the level of stupidity I see by pedestrians and cyclists on today’s road is almost beyond belief. According to figures just released in June this year, … the annual average number of injured and killed while cycling between 2014-2018 is 53, which is 74 per cent greater than the 2004-2008 baseline average….[The Irish News]
But why am I in despair – firstly cyclists – last week as I was waiting or a bus on a main arterial road. I saw a car with driver pull up at the end of a side road at the double broken white line, check the road was clear and then having indicated pull out and turn right. Meantime coming from the left came a cyclist, with high visibility leggings, a high visibility waist coast which was lying open, and therefore flowing back so you couldn’t see it. Just as the cyclist came up to the road with the motorist halfway out, he (the cyclist) suddenly decided to turn right onto the side road without indication or warning. In itself, not a major problem as the motorist was going one way and the cyclist the other, however, the cyclist broke the highway code in a number of ways:
- Firstly not indicating his turn
- Secondly deciding to skip behind the car turning right and therefore crossing the oncoming traffic lane, not turning into his lane for travel
- Thirdly, he did not have a front headlight or red reflector on his bike – which the law states must have (…a white front light and red rear lights that must be lit at night. A bike is also required to have reflectors…) [Rule 60]
So gripe one; but this is not the end, because obviously there is this continuous unnatural hazard being caused to motorist and pedestrians when cyclists come up on the inside of motorists sat at lights and then cut across them, and then with pedestrians, the cyclists come flying down the footpath, no bell, no lights – a silent menace to everyone.
But pedestrians are equally irresponsible because the go out in the dark without anything white or bright and then complain when motorist says they couldn’t see them.
Over the last few years, there has been a campaign to get motorcar drivers to pay attention for motorcyclists and also to not drive in the blind spot of vans and lorries, something which I commend and have not a problem with.
However, I now feel that the level of respect for the highway code and for recognising that our roads and footpaths are becoming very congested (more so that they everywhere) means that local government and the police need to re-evaluate their current strategies on road safety and target cyclists and pedestrians as well.
Bring back suitable campaigns, even some of the older ones –
LET’S ALL WEAR SOMETHING BRIGHT AT NIGHT
and be thoughtful to our fellow road and pavement users.
- Wear something light at night (1967)
- Be bright be seen