And another thing...! Idiots on bikes

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Idiots on bikes - what are we going to do about them?

I’m talking about the mindless minority who seem to think that the rules of the road - and for that matter the simple notions of common courtesy and good sense - somehow don’t apply to them.

To be clear from the start, I’m not talking about the large number of cyclists who ride around perfectly properly and all too often find themselves on the rough end of a moronic motorist.

I refer instead to the small but significant number of pedalling pillocks. You know, those who ride a bike at night with no flicker of a light.

And those who cycle two or three abreast when it’s patently unsafe to do so.

And those who ride on pavements in a manner so dangerous that they clearly don’t give a hoot about the welfare of pedestrians.

And those like the two fools it was my misfortune to encounter in Fratton Road recently.

I heard the first idiot before I saw him. ‘Get out of the way you (expletive deleted) din!’ was his war cry. It was aimed at a young woman who was using a pedestrian crossing WHILE THE LIGHTS WERE ON RED FOR TRAFFIC! (Caps for his benefit if perchance he (a) can read and (b) sees this.)

He’d obviously almost hit her as he broke one of the basic rules of the road, and the fact that she gave back as good as she got verbally didn’t excuse him on iota.

No more than two minutes later, as I approached the next crossing, a couple had to pull sharply out of the way as another cretin RODE STRAIGHT THROUGH A RED LIGHT! (Caps for his benefit... well, you get the gist).

So what are we to do?

If a driver committed such an offence, and was caught, penalty points or even a lost licence would follow.

Cyclists though have no licence to risk - which is maybe why a minority feel they instead have a licence to risk the safety of other road users.

I’m not advocating a registration system for all cyclists - that would be as unpractical as it was undesirable.

But we’ve somehow got to get tougher at rooting out these clowns.

How often have you seen a police car drive straight past a cyclist behaving dangerously? Now I know the police have a lot on their plate but somehow we’ve got to find ways of tackling this menace.

Catch as many as possible, take them to court, impound their bikes and prohibit them from riding again for a lengthy period of time. Make any violation of that order enforceable by a custodial sentence and in the meantime require them to undertake and pass a boosted version of the good old cycling proficiency test before they’re allowed to climb back on the saddle.

It’s time to get tough on this peril on the roads.

*Mark Acheson is Head of Digital at The News

And Another Thing....! is a new feature on portsmouth.co.uk enabling the writer to sound off about an issue close to his or her heart. We’ve got quite a few people in the office who are all-too-ready to contribute to this regular slot! But we’d also like readers to join in. If you have something to get off your chest, e-mail your thoughts and a brief description of who you are to mark.acheson@thenews.co.uk If together we can’t always make the world a slightly better place, at least we can go down fighting!