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‘Careless cyclists’ to blame for own accidents say Sussex Police

1 in 3 bicycle accidents last year were caused by cyclists

1 in 3 bicycle accidents last year were caused by cyclists

Cyclists in Brighton and Hove are to blame for a third of the accidents they are involved in according to Sussex Police. Inspector Phil Clarke commented to The Argus last week that: “There is an increasing problem in the city with some cyclists riding irresponsibly and sometimes unlawfully.” Figures reveal that last year a total of 131 cyclists suffered injuries as result of collisions, 23 of those cyclists, sustaining serious injuries.

Improving facilities and extending routes for cyclists is high on the city Council’s agenda now; Brighton and Hove has recently become one of 11 new Cycling Towns and is set to receive funding of £1.6m between this year and 2010.  Sussex Police, more keen to promote the safety of cyclists, have stressed the responsibility of cyclists riding more sensibly.  Inspector Phil Clark said: “First, cyclists need to exercise more care and be responsible, and second, they are vulnerable to the actions of other road users.”  He cited ignoring red lights, cycling on pavements, cycling without lights in the dark and failing to cycle in cycle lanes as the main offences committed by cyclists.  Sussex Police have pledged to deal with a clampdown on rogue cyclists, warning: “Those who wish to ride carelessly or contravene legislation that applies to them, can expect to be dealt with robustly.”

In response to issues raised by Inspector Phil Clark Brighton and Hove District Cycling Group, Bricycles, have requested more detailed statistics of accidents involving cyclists from Sussex Police.  Their feeling that there is a long way to go to improve the safety of cyclists in the City has led them to call for lower speed limits across Brighton and Hove and the surrounding rural area.  Sussex student, Becky Robinson commented: “Quite a lot of students do cycle without helmets and lights, which can contribute to accidents.

As a cyclist you must be aware of yourself and the traffic around you and not rely on cars watching out for you. ”  Readers of The Argus were keen to note that while cyclists might be responsible for accidents they were involved in last year, at least two thirds of safe cyclists were involved in accidents for which motorists or pedestrians were most likely to blame.

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3 Comments

  1. I was knocked off for the first time in twenty six years of cycling in November 2009. The driver received a warning letter and this meant I had no problems claiming on her insurance. There was a witness fortunately. Probably because I shouted such a loud waring before I was hit. The driver hadn’t looked in my direction, didn’t respond to my warning and pulled out into the side of me. She never asked how I was or apologised. But tried to find out what the witness had seen. Presumably so that she could tailor her story. The traffic officer was all smiles with her while behaving in a rude and arrogant manner towards me. He would not consider recommending prosecution of the driver which I feel is wrong. This decision offered me no protection or justice. I have complained to Sussex Police about the fact that they wouldn’t prosecute but have received no reply after nearly four months.

    Reply
  2. I just hope the bike rider has some insurance to compensate for his accident. It is very agonizing that he would be the one to blame despite the accident and injuries he incurred.

    Reply
  3. I’m very disappointed to discover that Inspector Phil Clark is so ignorant of the law on the use of cycle lanes.
    “He cited ignoring red lights, cycling on pavements, cycling without lights in the dark and failing to cycle in cycle lanes as the main offences committed by cyclists.”

    He should know that it is NEVER mandatory for cyclists to use cycle lanes, although (if they are bounded by a solid line) it is illegal for motorists to enter them.

    I wonder what the true proportion of fault is once you correct for his ignorance of the law – although surely the fact that by his own admission 2/3rds are the fault of the motorist makes a nonsense of the title of this article, as well as most of the content.

    Reply

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