Car drivers need to have road safety lessons too

Published on Thursday, April 05, 2012 - 11:07


LETTERSFrom Jilly Elston, Yarmouth:

SO, AN event called Bikesafe to improve riders’ confidence on the road and help save lives is coming to the Island.

To quote from Jamie White’s report (CP, 16-03-12): "We look at things, such as riders’ attitudes on the roads, their motivations and how to respond to other road users. It’s fair to say many riders get complacent about those routes they’re more familiar with and are prepared to take risks they otherwise wouldn’t, which makes them more likely to be injured."

Well, I ride all year, including the Military Road two or three times a week, and have done for the 11 years I’ve had my bike.

Far from being complacent, I worry every time I go out about who will cut me up and pull out of a junction because they 'didn’t see me coming’.

I have been cut up at the Co-op roundabout in Freshwater, Newport Road T junction in Afton Road, Compton Bay more times than I can remember, Brook T junction, IW Pearl, Chale, Blackgang viewpoint and many others.

I’m sure there are many other bikers who will have had the same happen to them .

The report mentions 400 riders have been injured in collisions on the Island in the past five years but what about the number of bikers killed during that time?

What about holding a road safety event for car drivers to show them how to react on the road when there is a biker approaching?

I can honestly say every time I go out on my bike, there is an incident where I am nearly hit by a car.

Last Tuesday, a car driver on the one-way system approaching a T junction in Niton did not even look to see if anything was coming down the road on his left and pulled out with me right on the junction, and this happens time and time again. Yes, certainly hold road safety events but not just for bikers.

What about the car drivers who stop dead in the road when they realise they have gone the wrong way and do a U-turn without even looking in their mirror? This happened to me four years ago. I ended up being airlifted to hospital while the driver drove off on his holiday in a car not taxed, mot’d or insured.

I’m pretty sure there isn’t a biker on this beautiful Island who hasn’t had a near miss with a car driver, so why not have Carsafe events with films, talks, and tips to car drivers on how to prevent the senseless deaths of so many innocent bikers on our roads? Teach them how to see us and make them realise they must Think Bike.

The Bikesafe report insinuated bikers are the cause of so many accidents on our roads. This is very far from the truth. All we want to do is ride the Island roads safely.

Not all car drivers are to blame, of course. There are those who are considerate enough to encourage the safety of bikers around them, and there are also bikers who need to be more careful around car drivers, but please, police, if you think only bikers need road safety events, then I would implore you to think again.

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