Why Sunderland’s cyclists need to take care

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Although in a very different context, the recent, tragic death of a pedestrian run over and killed by a bike rider does remind me that the subject of some bikers riding very carelessly, mainly on pavements, is a continuous one brought up by St Michael’s ward residents at our councillors’ surgeries, residents’ meetings or by personal contact.

I imagine it will be the same elsewhere in the city.

I think it is fair to say that many people, including myself, have had narrow escapes from some sort of injury as a bike rider has passed, going far too fast on a pavement.

This, of course, tarnishes the reputation of the majority of bikers who ride with care, in the right place and are correctly attired.

One example of massive danger is the casual bike rider without any protective gear, usually a male in my experience, who treats pavements and road junctions alike, and has not got the first idea nor seeming interest that there are such things as traffic lights and cars passing on green.

I have witnessed this myself on many occasions over the years.

I wonder if the police might consider being a bit more pro-active in this regard if they see a cyclist riding without any care for others that could lead to an accident.

Maybe they are but the public would be heartened to read of any further action.

I witnessed and watched in fascination when in Paris one year as a cyclist went through traffic lights listening to music with his earphones, oblivious to the danger he posed to others. Unfortunately for him two policeman were around. He was waved down and they tore a strip off him that seemed to last an eternity. He was an extremely uncomfortable young man at its conclusion.

I do get the impression that the public would welcome this type of approach now and again as a deterrent to those who at the moment seem to think it is their right to cycle on the pavements, some even racing, and then through traffic lights without the remotest care for others or the possible consequences of their recklessness.

Coun Michael Dixon,

St Michael’s Ward.