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Opinion : The cyclist in black

| January 26, 2016


After a punishing day at work the last thing one wants is a stressful journey home.

The other evening, while making my way home, yours truly had the misfortune to get stuck behind a cyclist.

Obviously care needs to be taken when passing cyclists however in all my years of driving my good self had never seen anything like the particular cyclist in question.

At this time of year it’s always dusk when going home however the fact the bicycle the cyclist was riding had no lights or rear reflector didn’t help matters.

It was the clothing the cyclist was wearing that struck me most.

A black coat, black rucksack, black trousers, black socks and black shoes. Luckily the cyclist was wearing a helmet, however that was black too!

Oh, and before you say anything, yes, the bicycle was also black.

A person dressed completely in black on a black bicycle without any lights riding on a busy road after sunset. What could be more dangerous?

Naturally I gave this kamikaze cyclist a very wide berth as my good self passed them in my trusty motor.

Of course sooner or later the cyclists in question will encounter a driver who may not be as careful as me and they will come a cropper.

I think it’s time that the law was changed so cyclists are compelled to wear bright day-glow clothes so they can be seen. If they don’t then they should be pulled over by the police and fined.

What struck me most was that the cycling helmet worn by the cyclist was also dark in colour. Surely manufacturers of cycling helmets should be compelled to make fluorescent, reflective, day-glow cycling helmets? Why on earth are black helmets ever being produced in the first place?

It beggars belief that the law does not compel shops and manufacturers to only sell and produce cycling helmets that show up in the dark, sadly it seems not.

The same should go for motorcyclists too. Black motorcycle leathers should be outlawed and the only type of helmet allowed should be reflective and fluorescent.

If a cyclist or motorcyclist is involved in an accident and they are are wearing dark clothing they should instantly be at fault no matter what time of day, how light it is or what the driver of the other vehicle did.

Drivers have enough to contend going home after a stressful day at work without having to look out for other roads users who are dressed to hide in the shadows.

What do you think?

*My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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