On the M4 yesterday morning, I was overtaken by cars travelling well in excess of 70mph. Flying rockets in heavy traffic.
Driving from Crosskeys to Newport, I saw a car race to catch an amber at a pedestrian crossing. It shot through at speed. The light had turned red.
On the M4 yesterday evening I saw a car zigzag across the lanes dangerously, causing concertina traffic and bright red angry brake lights.
When I sat down to catch up on communications, I saw this article in the Welsh media. Only 11 cyclists were fined for riding on the pavement in the whole of Wales last year. How awful.
Anyway. It precipitated some thoughts. Perhaps it was bloody dangerous to ride on the road at the point the cyclists were booked, flying in the face of all of our – and by ‘our’ I also mean Welsh government – active travel aspirations. Perhaps these booked offenders were idiot yobs causing real issues or just plain silly, stupid and daft cyclists not paying attention to their environment, becoming an accidental nusiance thus deserving their booking. Or perhaps, just perhaps, there aren’t that many cyclists actually riding on the pavement and causing any danger. I don’t condone rule breaking incidentally, though I have seen plenty of occasions where riding a bike on the road puts you in serious danger of actual harm. I’m just calling for perspective.
Anyway, I’ll finish on two further points. They live long in my memory.
When I was a child, I was knocked over twice. Once aged 6 by a motor bike on a pedestrian crossing. Once aged 10 by a campervan on a zebra crossing. It was the day after my birthday. When I hit the floor I put my hand over my watch to protect it. The watch was a birthday present from my mum and dad.
Several years ago one of our club riders was tragically killed by a car on Caerphilly mountain. I won’t go into detail, it’s too painful for the people involved. Lessons however, must be remembered. The driver was found guilty of dangerous driving. The family showed remarkable compassion.