Film should help repair rift between bike and car

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Watching film of road accidents does not make easy viewing, as those of you who have seen cyclist Ian Bates’s footage will surely agree.

The film shot on his helmet camera shows the sickening moment he was hit by a car on a Waterlooville roundabout.

No-one can help but have sympathy for the 41-year-old who was returning home after a 12-mile ride on a summer’s evening.

His footage clearly shows he had right of way on that roundabout and motorist Natasha Howes should have given way to him.

It was right that she was prosecuted and as we report today, is now paying the price for her bad driving.

No doubt the case and the video evidence will rekindle the bitter debate between the cycling community and drivers. But it should not.

What it should do is teach both sides a lesson and help make them understand the needs of the other.

Yes, there are some idiots on bikes who are as equally irresponsible as the careless drivers who think they own the road.

We have all seen cyclists clad in dark clothing pedalling along with headphones covering their ears oblivious to the traffic around them. But they so not represent cyclists.

Then there are the bullying motorists who give cyclists too little room, cut them up and fail to use their mirrors or look over their shoulders when opening car doors. But again, their careless actions do not reflect all motorists.

Cycling has exploded in popularity. The largely flat Portsmouth area is ideal for the casual, commuting or committed rider.

Equally, there are more cars on our roads than ever and the two groups now need to stop mud-slinging.

Mr Bates’s video will serve a useful purpose in the continuing battle of cyclist versus motorist, if it makes both sides stop, think and... give way at the correct time.