Four in ten drivers across the UK admit that they fail to concentrate at times when behind the wheel - rising to nearly half of motorists in London, the South West, Yorkshire & Humberside and Scotland, according to a new poll.
Research firm Vision Critical polled 1,447 motorists on behalf of road safety charity, IAM, with the survey also finding that while almost three quarters of drivers aged over 65 said that they concentrate on the road all of the time, and a further 26 per cent that they do so most of the time.
A Cambridge lawyer has maintained that motorists need to be aware of what they can do to minimise risks of hitting cyclists, and that to say the rider “came from nowhere” is an unacceptable excuse following a collision, reports Cambridge News.
Daryl Robinson, who works as a personal injury litigator at law firm Barr Ellison Solicitors and was himself described as a cyclist, made his comments as Cambridgeshire County Council published figures showing that during 2011, more than 468 cyclists were injured on its roads, 218 of them in Cambridge itself.
Cyclists’ organisation CTC has said that the case of a teenage driver who repeatedly drove at a cyclist in an attempt to run him off the road is just one example of the dangerous driving that bike riders face on a daily basis, and has urged cyclist to continue to report bad driving.
Yesterday, we reported that 18-year-old Benjamin Harrison had received a suspended sentence after aiming his vehicle at off duty police inspector Melvin Martin as he cycled home from Burnley police station.
The Government has rejected calls for legislation to be enacted requiring motorists to leave at least three feet passing distance when overtaking cyclists despite a petition on the Prime Minister’s official website attracting 2,600 signatures in favour of such a move.
Cyclists’ organisation CTC plans to make 2010 a landmark year in its 131-year history by adopting the status of a membership-based charity. The news comes as the organisation, which counts 63,000 cyclists throughout the UK among its membership, reflects on what it calls “the most successful year” in its history.
Police in Gosport, Hampshire, have warned cyclists to make themselves more visible to other road users after an increase in the number of cyclists injured on the Hampshire town’s roads.
All cyclists have heard the “sorry mate, I didn’t see you” excuse from a driver after a near miss or collision with a vehicle, but a 68-year-old farmer from Oklahoma has elevated it to new levels after failing to spot a two-tonne elephant on the road ahead of him.
Bill Carpenter was returning from church with his wife in their SUV when he belatedly registered the presence of the eight-foot-tall elephant on the road ahead, forcing him to swerve to avoid a head-on collision.
Preliminary data released by the Department for Transport yesterday suggest that the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads is on the rise, growing by 19% to reach 820 in the quarter ended June 2009 against the comparable period in 2008.
It’s a given that cyclists feel threatened by the behaviour of some drivers – understandably so, given their vulnerability when faced with half a tonne of metal box being driven by someone who may not even have registered their presence – but it seems that pedestrians increasingly feel the same way about those of us on two wheels.
We’re all aware of the SMIDSY excuse – “sorry mate, I didn’t see you” – currently the subject of a high profile campaign by UK cyclists’ organisation the CTC, but a court case in the US in which a driver failed to spot a six-foot tall orange rabbit raises it to new levels.