Monday, November 05, 2007

Seeing red

Some pushbike riders are undoubtedly a law unto themselves. They use the law when it suits them and ignore it when it doesn't. Being myself of a minority road-using group -- I am a motorcyclist -- I am sensitive to generalisations and prejudices and clearly do not want to be one of those tar-everyone-with-the-same-brush -type persons. But struth! SOME pushbiker riders are absolute idiots!

This morning while waiting in the car at a set of lights, we watched in fascinated horror as a cyclist ran a red light at high speed and very narrowly missed a schoolboy crossing legally at the pedestrian crossing. Both the boy and the cyclist had to swerve violently to avoid what would've been a very nasty collision. We had the green light, and waited patiently, though in some shock, for the boy to cross in front of us, turned and followed the cyclist down the road.

As we caught him up and were approaching the next intersection, Alison, sensing my mood bless her, asked if I would like the window wound down so I could hurl abuse at the cyclist. An amazing piece of mind-reading. Of course I assented. When we reached the intersection, we were turning off, and he was travelling ahead, and once again, instead of waiting at the red light, he started advancing through it. So I yelled out the window, "Another red light, you bloody idiot?!"

He heard.

While I am an avid anti-regulationist, after seeing this incident, I wondered whether some type of mechanism or control needs to be put on cyclists to make them obey the laws of the road when they are using it. Perhaps a road-rules examination?

I guess the answer to this is that regardless of what controls are in place, a bloody idiot will still behave like a bloody idiot.

[I should perhaps point out that the first draft of this post had the words "bloody idiot" throughout, which I've since replaced with "cyclist". Does my self-censorship have any bounds, I wonder?]

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