Cyclists and drivers – sharing the road

Roads are far more hazardous on a bike than in a car

Letter of the Day

Sir, – Recent letters (May 15th) discuss the rules of the road for left turns, and the difficulties that arise when cars want to turn, but a cyclist is going straight.

Sometimes cyclists foolishly try to pass on the inside when the car ahead of them is indicating to turn left. This is dangerous for the cyclist, and very annoying for drivers.

The equivalent behaviour for motorists is drivers speeding up to pass a cyclist so they can turn left ahead of them.

Motorists tend to overestimate their ability to do this safely, and unless aided by the cyclist braking suddenly, are liable to hit and seriously injure or kill the cyclist.

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Signalling while making this manoeuvre is useless: by the time the cyclist sees the flashing indicator, the fact that the rest of the car is heading straight for them offers a more striking indication that the car is turning.

This reluctance to yield also occurs when motorists want to turn right, but there is a cyclist coming the other way. If there isn’t a car also coming against them, some motorists will take the right turn, cutting across the oncoming cyclist. Again they tend to indicate before and while doing this, although in this situation it is unlikely because they believe it gives them right of way. Indicating or not, they wouldn’t make the turn if they were facing an oncoming truck.

Whatever about the rules of the road and who is right or wrong, the pertinent fact the cyclist must keep in mind is that the simple act of going past a side road, or through a junction when you have right of way, is a hell of a lot more hazardous on a bike than in a car. – Yours, etc,

COLIN WALSH,

Templeogue,

Dublin 6W.

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