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Cyclists criticise police's "lack of road user equality" after rider stopped on foggy climb due to motorists' visibility complaints

The reader was stopped three times by Isle of Man Constabulary who told him to put his bike in their van following a "load of complaints"...

Cyclists have expressed concerns with the treatment of a rider by police on a foggy Isle of Man climb after we reported last week that officers had stopped a man three times due to complaints from drivers who said they could not see him.

Chris Glencorse explained how the police told him to "put my bike in the van as it was too dangerous", something later commented on by Isle of Man Constabulary who said they had been dispatched to check on his "welfare" after several drivers reported that they had nearly struck the cyclist due to the apparent poor visibility and adverse conditions on the road.

The cyclist, who was climbing the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road between Ramsey and Douglas on Thursday, had "two lights on the back, a 1200 lumen front light, a bright orange jacket and hi-vis overshoes and gloves" and estimated visibility to be around 200 yards, leading some to question the complaints.

Commenting on our story, one cyclist said there is a "whiff of discrimination and lack of road user equality by the police".

"The reason cyclists' backs are up here is because anyone who cycles knows that generally cyclists are not treated with equal respect and are seen as second-class citizens on the road," Spencer Pyle suggested.

"There is a whiff of discrimination and lack of road user equality by the police attending to the cyclist multiple times. If the police were genuinely concerned for the cyclist's safety, they could have temporarily closed the road to motor vehicles or offered some form of rolling escort.

"They took the easiest option of attempting to remove the problem as if the cyclist was somehow in the wrong for using the road and the car drivers were in the right and had priority. I'm sure that wasn't the officers' intent, but there is a reason this has been shared on social media in a negative light."

Another cyclist, Ali Bean, added: "The operator of any vehicle should be able to stop in the distance they can see is clear ahead, any issue in seeing the rider is simply a whinge from someone who wants to drive too fast for the conditions."

Under our article eburtthebike commented: "The issue was that the drivers were driving dangerously, too fast for the conditions." A point raised by many, including BalladOfStruth who said: "If a driver hits a cyclist in reduced visibility conditions, it's not the cyclist's fault for not being dressed up like a hi-vis Christmas tree, it's the driver's fault for driving too fast for the conditions." They also suggested the point is "irrelevant" as "the cyclist in this story was visible".

However, some had more sympathy for the police, arguing the officers were just "acting on the information" they had.

Mungecrundle asked if they had potentially tried to be "well-meaning" and saw "some poor soul struggling up a hill in the rain and mist thinking they must be utterly miserable, at risk of hypothermia and in need of rescue from danger when in fact they are quite content and having a lovely time."

Adam Sutton commented: "Police are acting on the information they have, and at the end of the day cycling up a mountain that had only just been reopened in fog is questionable. Imagine for a moment something had happened and the police had done nothing. He wasn't stopped from cycling, the police spoke to him three times and got him to sign a waiver to cover [themselves]."

However, the little onion pointed out "the guy had front and back lights" as well as a bright orange jacket. "The police, if they had any sense, would have just have had a word once, maybe not even that. But three times?" they continued.

mctrials23 wrote: "I would assume they were genuinely concerned for the cyclist.
I would love to know what the response would be if the cyclist was hit and we then found out the police were called three times and did nothing... I know we are pro-cyclist on here but sometimes we have to perhaps indulge the thought that not everyone is out to get us. Just most of them."

What do you think? Let us know in the comments...

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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