I came across a quiz about what cyclists can and cannot legally do.
Among other ‘don’ts’, I was surprised to learn that cyclists are never allowed to cycle on the pavement.
If this is the case, I wish somebody would tell the many hundreds of cyclists in this area who do just that.
I have had several run-ins with cyclists when they have almost knocked me over coming from behind on a narrow pavement. I have confronted them at times, but all I got was a load of cheek and informed confidently that they had every right to be there.
By all means encourage folk to get on their bikes - it’s healthier all round - but this should not give them the right to break the law and endanger pedestrians’ lives.
I cycled everywhere as a youngster, even doing a cycling tour of France with a school party at the age of 16 in 1947, but I never wore any kind of protective clothing.
Apparently, in spite of the proliferation of helmets, knee pads and elbow pads everywhere today, the law does not require cyclists to wear any protective clothing, not even a helmet.
To dodge traffic lights, many cyclists in my experience mount the pavement, cycle across the road and go on their way. This is illegal; cyclists have to obey traffic signals in the same way as motorists.
Cyclists are not required by law to have a bell or wear a helmet when riding a bike in daytime; all that they need is a set of working brakes and reflectors. After dark, the only lighting cyclists require is white front and red rear lights, plus amber pedal reflectors.
What surprised me was that it is always permissible for cyclists to ride two abreast.
I have formed single file with other cyclists as a matter of routine when traffic was heavy and roads narrow.
On our way to France in 1947, the PE teacher in charge had us dismount and push our bikes along miles of busy streets.
Later, I did that as a matter of courtesy and for my own safety.
Today, only a five-minute outing in my car would reveal dozens of cyclists breaking every one of the rules in the book.
As for me, I’ll have to stop cursing under my breath when forced to follow a group of cyclists mile after mile at far below a safe speed for a car because they have been riding two abreast and preventing overtaking.
With all those laws being broken and so much tax-payers’ money expended on cycle lanes and other improvements to assist cyclists, it would help all round if cyclists had to be insured on the road, had to be registered and show a registration number front and back and had to have their bikes MOT’d every year,
These requirements would help deter cyclists from riding dangerously and risking the lives of pedestrians, motorists and themselves. At the moment, motorists and pedestrians cannot nail them because their faces are partially obscured by helmets and they are displaying no number to report.
With a registration number clearly visible, if they broke the law, they could be reported to the police and their behaviour in traffic improved. George K McMillan
Mount Tabor Avenue