Time to crack down on irresponsible cyclists

Enforcement needed to help free-and-easy cyclists get the picture

Re: Wearing a helmet is critical for cyclists’ safety (Letters, March 29)

For the safety of cyclists and lessened anxiety for motorists, I would suggest that in addition to safety helmets which can reduce injuries, more accident prevention warrants attention.

One step towards this is for cyclists riding after dark to take more responsibility, wearing reflective vests and using front and rear lights. While the majority show common sense, there are still cyclists who seem to have a death wish. This is most apparent in the dark months of December through February. My eyesight is good, yet I find it difficult to see these road users, and in the rain with oncoming traffic, they are almost invisible.

On a few occasions I have stopped to calmly explain how precarious it is for these cyclists, who may not drive and may be unaware of the vision difficulties for motorists. This has usually resulted in receiving verbal abuse from the riders.

While my responsible citizenship in such cases is done, I still don’t relish the possibility of going through the traumatic experience of injuring this type of cyclist.

A way of reducing this irresponsible behaviour is to have more police presence during the winter months. Ticket offenders and confiscate their bike for six months.

Anyone without the common sense to realize the danger of cycling in dark clothing and without lights will not respond to gentle, reasoned persuasion.

James McMillan

Victoria