Posted by Catherine Osaigbovo on 25th November 2013.
Six people have recently died on London roads in a two week time frame. London’s cycling campaigners seem to be outraged by suggestions that cyclists should start taking more responsibility for their own safety. Who do we blame? Boris Johnson, the truck drivers or the cyclists themselves? This question is relevant in all parts of our daily lives – do we take individual ownership or look to our boss or colleagues to tell us what is right or wrong?
I have lost count the number of times I have seen cyclists ride straight through red lights sometimes ploughing into pedestrians. A decade ago this behaviour only applied to professional couriers. Now it is common place. They think they are protecting their own safety but this is at the expense of pedestrians. Cycling without front and rear lights is illegal after dark yet thousands still do it. Why is wearing a helmet not compulsory? Why is weaving in and out of lanes without signalling not unlawful? Who pays for medical cover for an injured pedestrian when cyclists don’t have insurance? When did we lose all common sense?
In today’s fast-paced daily working life, we should all take responsibility for our own actions. Cyclists should not routinely blame the larger vehicle before looking at their own behaviour. As a community we live together and must support each other. We are relying on Boris Johnson to improve the road and cycling infrastructure but is this enough? Common sense must prevail. Just by abiding to what is legal is not enough. From a “newly on the road” cyclist to a truck driver to Boris, we all are part of the same community. If you just pay attention to your own actions and listen to what is around you then London will be a safer place now and for the next generation. Stop blaming others.
Catherine is a Senior Consultant in London and would never ride to work as the helmet would mess with the hair.