Cyclists: Safety — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:37 pm on 3rd March 2015.

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Photo of Lord Scott of Foscote Lord Scott of Foscote Crossbench 2:37 pm, 3rd March 2015

Does the Minister agree that a cyclist’s main protection should be his or her own eyes and ears? The eyes are there to warn against impending danger from the front and the ears ought to assist in identifying impending danger from behind. I cycle regularly from my flat in Camden to Westminster—it used to be Lincoln’s Inn, then it was the Royal Courts of Justice and now it is Westminster—and I am appalled by the number of cyclists who bicycle with earplugs in their ears listening to music. If they listen to music, they cannot possibly hear any danger approaching from behind. There are regulations to ensure the use of lights on bicycles in dark or dingy weather. Should there not also be a regulation to prevent the highly dangerous practice to which I have referred?

Annotations

Andrew Reeves-Hall
Posted on 4 Mar 2015 11:05 am (Report this annotation)

Lord Butler of Brockwell and Lord Scott of Foscote may want to consider if they support deaf or hard-of-hearing people cycling, walking and driving; Or listening to the radio with the windows rolled-up in their cars, HGVs and lorries.

Katja Leyendecker
Posted on 4 Mar 2015 11:58 am (Report this annotation)

The Lord should learn more about risk, hazards, dangers and risk and danger perception and management. Transport is a holistic subject and the Lords and Ladies should be keen to see it that way. They would then soon realise that vehicle drivers are the biggest risk on our roads, and building cycleways would make it better for all including drivers and pedestrians. Clear space delineation is key.

Chris Beazer
Posted on 4 Mar 2015 12:46 pm (Report this annotation)

Another prime case of "blame the victim". How is cycling with earphones a "highly dangerous practice"? These comments illustrate the perverted thinking that the general populace and The Lords, in this case, apply when considering danger on the roads. A motor vehicle weighing over a ton being driven at speeds of over 30mph with its driver insulated from the outside world by closed windows, multiple blind spots and an internal sound system is accepted as "safe", whereas a bicycle weighing, with its cyclist, probably 12-14 stone, travelling at 10-16 mph, with its "pilot" being able to have unrestricted all-round vision is perceived to be a danger if he is listening to music on a personal device.