In the news currently is the case of a loony aggressive bloke who knocked a girl down on the road who subsequently died from a head injury sustained as she hit the kerb.
The death of everyone is inevitable but an early death is especially hard for those closest to bear. I just hope that all cyclists aren’t tarnished with the same brush as this man and that a stupid knee-jerk reaction doesn’t wing out across the land after the statement from Police Sgt Dominic Mahon of Thames Valley Police. People are ever so willing to slag off cyclists – like Matthew Paris say, who wants them decapitated.
There are three things going on here.
- The man is an aggressive man with previous convictions, by nature. Thank god he wasn’t driving his car!!!
- It’s everyone’s personal responsibility to keep their eyes open at all times. As I read the case, I see a bunch of teenagers wandering down the road, oblivious. Thank god he wasn’t driving a car!!!
- A bicycle is the world’s most efficient form of transport. It doesn’t belong on the pavement which the so-called cycle paths try to do with a raised centre line to separate foot and cycle. People on paths, all other vehicles on the road.
This man, Jason Howard, like this man, Peter Messen, have killed people by their dangerous cycling. However, the speeds they travel at are not uncommon. I myself normally cycle to work at 16-25 mph (dependant on wind direction) which is not excessive and within the speed limit. However, I do it on the road, in town,and have the brakes covered, ready.
If someone kills another person then the law should be all encompassing for all deaths and consistent. That is, if one person kills another then culpability should be automatically assumed until proved otherwise (there are moves afoot to try and implement something like this now). It’s likely that if the teens had been hit by a car, the driver would have had a £200 fine and 6 points or so, giving a weasely excuse for the cause…
You think not?
Check out the “Brake” website here which lists recent deaths and injuries of vulnerable road users. Most are cyclists. Some were World Champions! In fact two UK TT record holders have both been killed by motorists who claimed they didn’t see them. Jason MacIntyre, and Zak Carr. Others are people walking along a footpath….
Ever since my kids were little I’ve told them time and time again, that just because they are on the footpath, they are not safe from traffic….
“Keep your eyes and your ears open. You never know when some twat will come flying at you!”
They are used to me swearing. So far so good. They’re still here.
The Buddhist take on this is that whatever shit happens to yourself, it’s your own karma, your own responsibility. In the West, with it’s Judaeo-Christian-Muslim tradition, this is especially hard to understand.