about cyclists and road tax?

(88 Posts)

I often hear people moaning (both online and in real life)'\ about cyclists and complaining that because drivers pay road tax the cyclists shouldn't be allowed on the road blah blah blah. hmm

WIBU to point out loudly to the next idiot that comes out with this that there is no such thing as road tax? And that cyclists pay taxes that go towards maintaining the road network just like everyone else? Oh and that although there are dangerous cyclists there are also dangerous drivers?

I'm not a cyclist but this really pisses me off.

Rant over.

prettybird Fri 06-Sep-13 18:40:49

Maybe you just don't notice all the considerate cyclists who follow the Highway Code I certainly seem to be invisible to many of the motorists around here judging by the way that they pull out in front of me or turn across me or pass me too close hmm

Riding 3 abreast and giving the finger to waiting traffic is wrong - but don't tar all cyclists with the same brush. In the same way, I don't think all dog walkers who insist on walking their dogs through the middle of a youth cycle race in a park (officially arranged and paid for with the council) and nearly cause serious accidents because "they always walk their dogs there" are prats although that particular lady is

When I was working full time, I preferred to commute by bike: between 25 and 40 minutes (or more) by car to travel 4 miles (a nightmare when you are trying to get back to the childminder or After School Care in time), 17 minutes by bike to travel 3.1 miles. Which mode of transport has the higher average speedhmm? And this is not even in London - this is Glasgow, but getting over the Kingston Bridge is a bottleneck. I am not even that fit or fast - so I think you'd be hard pushed to find any non-children cyclists going at only 5mph. Dh and ds can both comfortably go faster than me.

Round our way it's the "all the gear and no idea" cyclists who drive DH nuts - freewheeling more than they pedal, in inefficient patterns (like freewheeling downhill but not starting pedalling again when the road starts going uphill, and slowing to a snail's pace).

I spent years in proper cycling cities where everyone cycles and the road layout, pedestrian zones, etc facilitate it. All motorists expect cyclists so use their wing mirrors shock ; cyclists are properly catered for, and cycle miles per day, so they behave like human beings and don't have to take their lives into their hands at junctions.

RafflesWay Fri 06-Sep-13 17:52:30

Nothing against cyclists perse. However, I really hate the arrogant so and so's who seemto go out of their way to make life difficult for drivers. Riding 3 abreast is a prime example in our cyclist laden rural area. Then when you press your horn to remind them you are there and need to pass SAFELY you then get the 2 fingered salute. NOT ACCEPTABLE! Personally I don't feel either cyclists or horses should be on normal roads without a cyclist lane which I feel should be compulsory but will never happen in this country. I worry about the horses but at least I've found horse riders are far more considerate. I don't know what it is with cyclists but once they put on their shiny, skin tight outfits and racing helmet they seem to think they can ignore the HIghway Code. At least twatty drivers can keep up with traffic and not 5 miles per hour!!

Piffpaffpoff Fri 06-Sep-13 17:28:12

I'm a cyclist and I was hit by a car, the driver admitted liability at the scene but I'm now in a huge battle with their insurance company to get my bike fixed and my helmet and other bits and bobs replaced. I'm getting myself insured once I'm back on my bike because, god forbid it happens again, I want to have someone who will deal with all this crap for me. Plus its made me very aware that if the fault had been mine, how would I have paid for any damages?

I don't think you can ever make cycling insurance compulsory but I think anyone who cycles regularly on roads should have it, if only for their own security and peace of mind.

LackingEnergy Fri 06-Sep-13 15:58:01

Old NDN's DS kicked a ball into our greenhouse and broke the glass. They paid for new glass as their child caused the damage....

LackingEnergy Fri 06-Sep-13 15:56:39

Who would a cyclist claim from if they hit a car and damaged their bike? (in a situation where the cyclist was at fault)

They should be insured

Cars and horse/horse riders (in most cases) are insured why should cyclists not be?

AFishWithoutABicycle Fri 06-Sep-13 15:47:47

Why should cyclist have insurance? If a child kicked a football into your car and broke a window who would you claim from? Or should children who play foot ball have insurance too. What about dogs who cross roads? Birds? Pedestrians?

prettybird Fri 06-Sep-13 15:47:36

Also, a cyclist taking a test still doesn't stop the problem of car drivers pulling out immediately in front of you (when you are the one on the main road) because they "didn't see you" despite the hi-viz jacket and flashing light even though it is daylight - but their 1.5 tonnes of metal trumps your right of way even though I have sometimes considered not doing an emergency stop/swerve and allowing myself to crash into and damage the side of their car . Such drivers have passed their test and are still knobs ignorant of cyclists.

Such events happen in about 3/4 of my local (short) cycle journeys. I keep cycling because I hope that by seeing more cyclists around, those drivers who are in their own impervious cocoon will become more aware of other road users such as cyclists. I just hope I don't become a casualty before that happens sad

amievil Fri 06-Sep-13 15:42:31

Just to poke the hornets nest.

As a human we convert oxygen to carbon dioxide when we respire; how much additional CO2 (over walking) does a cyclist produce?

Answers in g/km will be fine as it will make the VED banding a doddle.

prettybird Fri 06-Sep-13 15:39:47

Many children go through bikeability training.

I've lost count of the number of times I've seen or come across (or had to brake to avoid - both as a driver and as a cyclist),a pedestrian has crossed the road without looking, passed a runner on a dark country lane not wearing reflective material, indeed, any pedestrian crossing the road without wearing reflective material so that they are invisible at night, pedestrians crossing road not at a crossing, pedestrians crossing at lights without waiting for the green man, pedestrians walking in cycle paths, oblivious to world around them and ignoring bells warning them of an approaching cyclist and then jumping when they get yelled at , pedestrians crossing the road engrossed in a phone conversation, groups of drunk people wandering along the middle of the road at closing time, pedestrians letting their dogs run wild and knocking over cyclists or biting runners.... get my drift?

I'm not actually suggesting that there should be a test for pedestrians - just illustrating the point that the same arguments about needing a licence for cyclists/horse riders can also be used about pedestrians and their lack of safety awareness.

Funny how in other countries like Holland there isn't the same animosity towards cyclists - maybe because there is strength in numbers. Plus most drivers in such countries will also be cyclists and wouldn't dream of doing the dangerous things that people here do (either when cycling or driving).

LackingEnergy Fri 06-Sep-13 15:26:50

I did a road safety type test through my riding school when I was little but not all horse riders start young or see the point sadly

Most horse riders, particularly young riders coming up through Pony Club and the like, will take the British Horse Society Riding and Road Safety Test which is both a practical demonstration of your skills on the road and a written test.

Obviously not every rider does take the test, but I'd guess the majority of youngsters these days do.

LackingEnergy Fri 06-Sep-13 15:17:14

Pedestrians cross roads, they do not I assume, walk on the road faff about swerving, then turn right. A simple hand signal would have alerted other road users to the cyclists intentions and eliminated the 'need' to swerve around like an idiot

Pedestrians also have designated crossing places and lights to make crossing the road easier and safer. If they choose to try and cross 50-100 yards away from one then that's their problem

prettybird Fri 06-Sep-13 15:03:44

Pedestrians also cross roads. Should they also undergo a test before they are allowed in the vicinity of cars? hmm

LackingEnergy Fri 06-Sep-13 14:53:28

I'd like cyclists and horse riders to have to pass some sort of highway code/road awareness course with a license given at the end.

That way every road user will allegedly be proficient enough to not act like a knob on the road

'oh I didn't think red lights applied to cyclists' Would no longer be an excuse. It isn't anyway and just makes the cyclist using it look a twat

'Oh I didn't see that light change' If you didn't see the lights what else didn't you see?

'Oh I though a tiny little flicker of a light was enough to use on unlit roads' Only a twat with a death wish would think that. Hi Viz (not a tiny little strip of it either) and decent lights front and back are the only way to go even on lit roads

'Oh I didn't think I had to use arm signals to signal my intentions' You didn't? Really? How the hell do you expect anyone to know where you're planning to go? Let me guess you were just going to swerve infront of the cars behind you who may be about to over take you so you can get into the right lane...

'I'm sooo cool cycling with no hands' Where exactly are your brakes located and how do you steer, that thing in front of you you're too cool to hold? Oh look something has run out in front of you and because you're sooo cool you couldn't avoid a collision... Twat

'I'm too drunk to drive but I'm not too drunk to cycle' yeah if you're too drunk to do one you're too drunk to do the other too

'let me jump from road to pavement without looking all along a busy main road'

I don't hate cyclists.... much but the ones round here are quite hard to think of as anything other than lacking in road sense and common sense

There is a specific offence of "cycling furiously" although I'm not sure it's often cited grin

TheFuzz Fri 06-Sep-13 14:39:12

There isn't a 'speed limit' for a cycle, believe it or not, despite the fact that most cyclists have computers or GPS sat nav devices on their bikes !

DameDeepRedBetty Fri 06-Sep-13 14:27:17

Slightly off topic, but could cyclists please do the same as for horses if they're on a car-free path shared with dogs? If you give me a ting on your bell, I can get the dog under full control before you whizz past me from behind.

And could cyclists also be aware that you can break speed limits? I was following one down a steep local hill, leading into town, the other day. I slowed down to 30 at the sign halfway down, I'm super virtuous about it as (a) there's a school (b) a concealed junction and (c) bored policemen like to loiter there with a radar gun, and a jolly good thing too. Not Bradley Wiggins wannabee though, he'd been matching my speed at 50 earlier on and if anything continued to accelerate!

Sorry, I realise someone has already posted that link.

<self flagellates for committing cardinal MN Sin of not reading the thread>

There is no such thing as road tax. People pay car tax, or more accurately an emissions tax, but it has nothing to do with the road.

More here

HighJinx Fri 06-Sep-13 13:58:43

Thanks frostyfingers

I will try your method next time and try not to be such a wimp around horses

Highjinx - from a fair distance away,(far enough so that if the horse and rider leap into the air with fright that you yourself are not in danger), could you just say "cyclist behind you" or "excuse me"? It then gives us time to get out of your way. The problem with bikes is that they can appear very quickly and quietly and we sometimes only hear/see you at the last minute. For some reason my horse is absolutely terrified of them and I'm worried when that we might bump a bike if it tries to get past while he's leaping about. I have tried desensitizing by getting my children to cycle round him but with no success at all!

There is something also about the whizzing noise that upsets them so it may be best if you can to go past quite slowly although I do always try to get out of the way so that cyclists aren't forced to a crawl. Thank you for asking - and if you do all that and the rider doesn't say thankyou, then you (and I have done) stop and ask them to!

HighJinx Fri 06-Sep-13 12:26:27

Can one of the horse riders on this thread tell me what you should do when you need to overtake a horse on a bike?

Earlier someone said their horse was spooked because the rider didn't make it known they were there but I am always wary of making any noise. It doesn't help that I am extremely scared of horses.

prettybird Fri 06-Sep-13 12:02:38

The other thing that many quite a few cars do is drive above the speed limit and don't see a small amount as particularly dangerous.

How many people who complain about some cyclists jumping red lights or stopping ahead of the solid line can honestly say that they have never ever gone over the speed limit by even a few mph hmm? That is also breaking the Highway Code - just because you don't get caught doesn't make it right.

Nothing excuses dangerous driving or cycling though.

TheFuzz Fri 06-Sep-13 11:38:40

In answer to Norfolkpenguin

In a 40 minute cycle home, I saw numerous cars jump traffic lights, two even turned right across my path - fortunately they stopped just before I became a bonnet ornament, had two or three close passes (touching distance). All part of the course. Didn't see any silly cycling from anyone. Lots of mobile phone using whilst driving. Need I go on. At least a bike is 'unlikely' to kill someone !

There are good and bad drivers, cyclists and horse riders. The bad road users affect everyone.

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