20 Sep 2017

20th September 2017: "London cyclist mown down by Kerb Lemming phoning furiously!"

Wednesday 20th 53F, 12C, calm, overcast and wet. Showers forecast [and provided.]

After further consideration, I have decided that my only real complaint against the "furiously riding" London cyclist rests solely on his not having a front brake. And thereby attracting negative publicity for all cyclists following "an unusual accident."

The tragic death of the women involved was a very rare occurrence and very likely entirely her own fault. She stepped out and then reversed back into the UNFORTUNATE cyclist's path. Leaving the cyclist with an intolerable choice COMPOUNDED by his deliberately crap choice of an illegal braking system.

I still believe he could have reduced his speed far more effectively with a decent front brake instead of a uselessly skidding back tyre on a wet road.

Denying that he did not know it was illegal, as well as ridiculously unsafe, is like saying he didn't know whether he needed a saddle or handlebars on his bike.

NO cyclist moving in cycling circles, as he was over several years, is unaware of the legal and safety needs for a front brake. His own choice of machine, to avoid having a front brake, largely resulted in the publicity surrounding the tragedy which unfolded.

His speed at the time was totally and utterly irrelevant provided it was under the legal speed limit. The cyclist has no special duty to dawdle below the local traffic's speed "just in case."

His lack of helmet was an entirely personal choice and not yet a crime against humanity.

His online opinions, in the aftermath, on a lemming who stepped out in front of a cyclist, were as valid any other's. Tragedy aside, he was the "injured" party and had every right to complain! Only in perfect hindsight and sharing normal human sympathy did they seem in rather poor taste. Though still fully understandable and fully justifiable as he had no knowledge of the women's deteriorating condition.

I hope he appeals against his sentence. Not least to undo the "hanging court" proceedings of a universal manslaughter charge brought simply for not having a front brake on a bicycle. Particularly when a pedestrian deliberately casts themselves off the pavement into his path.

The cyclist was riding on the road. NOT on the pavement.

The pedestrian had the choice of using a nearby crossing but chose not to enjoy its far greater safety. That choice resulted in her death. As did her inattention before stepping onto the road where cyclists and vehicles are normally to be expected.

The court finding could be interpreted to mean that no cyclist, anywhere, may safely exceed 14mph in any built-up area without public criticism, media lynch mobs, or even police prosecution. Is such a punishment warranted for all cyclists, everywhere? Even if they have legal and powerful brakes?

In my own youth popular brake blocks were absolutely useless on steel rims in the wet! The brake blocks were still sold. As were the steel rims by "nefarious" cycle shops and manufacturers globally! Would any cyclist today be charged with manslaughter for having steel rims on their bicycle if they had a collision with a suicidal pedestrian?

This cyclist's punishment completely ignores the freedom of the majority of motorists to drive like uncaring sociopaths at 30mph in any built-up area. Without suffering any sanction at all!

If drivers really cared for pedestrians, then they would surely not allow themselves to drive above a walking pace where pedestrians wander? Just in case a mobile phone abuser behaves suicidally.

Think about that aspect for a moment. The chances of being killed by a quiet car, or motorcycle, are far higher than by any breathless cyclist at the same speed. It's all about mass and acceleration of the "victim" in the collision. Shouldn't motorists be required to crawl along rather than the cyclist? Statistics and science both tell us that the cyclist struggles to cause the awful mayhem and serious injuries of any moving vehicle.

Very quiet electric vehicles, motorcycles and millions of bicycles already inhabit roads. Surely the onus is on the pedestrian to behave sensibly rather than playing the Kerb Lemming?

And for cyclists, who must inevitably ride closer to the pavements than most other vehicles, your duty to humanity is simply to have proper brakes. And to pray you don't meet another Kerb Lemming.

Isn't it time that walking on any road, with an active mobile phone, was banned with a hefty fine? What's sauce for the goose is surely sauce for the gander[er.] If a cyclist may not use a mobile phone. And nor may any driver. Then why not demand suicidal Kerb Lemmings follow suit, by an immediate change in the law? Or has the unfortunate cyclist become the new 'N' word under the law?

There is ongoing discussion on finding better ways to prosecute cyclists who ride dangerously enough to cause injury to pedestrians. Still no discussion on penalizing jay walking while using mobile phones. Local councils are responsible for setting road speed limits and signposting. May we look forwards to signs for cyclists to ride at speeds well below vehicle speeds? 

The arrival of near silent, electrically assisted bicycles is going to cause mayhem if they are allowed to travel above walking pace in built up areas. Elderly riders with slow reaction times will be moving as fast as trained athletes.

Training the Kerb Lemmings via costly TV safety campaigns to look out for Tesla boys and girls is very unlikely to have much impact on them. They already know the roads are stuffed to the gills with impatient drivers in their extremely dangerous vehicles. The statistics scream out the warnings that crossing roads is a dangerous sport. Yet still they step into the road with the attention span of a gnat [or Lemming.]

By all means have a £1000 fine or a year in jail, or both, for not having a front brake on a bicycle. But what about the penalty for walking straight into the path of a moving vehicle or bicycle? A posthumous fine? Denial of emergency health care unless they are blocking the traffic?

Click on any image for an enlargement.

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