Sunday, August 4, 2013

It seems that it is not 'Big Brother' watching us.

Call ‘them’ what you wish: Big brother, GCSB, Government departments---it all amounts to the same thing. We are being watched. The Herald reported this morning that small cameras mounted a cycle or cyclist’s helmets are ramping up altercations that seem to occur every day between cyclists and motorists. Footage of ‘events’ (Remember, there are always two sides to these incidents of road/car/cyclists rage!) are placed on YouTube, further enhancing an already fractious interaction. It would be very easy to present a one-sided report, given the range of circumstances surrounding the daily ride to ‘wherever.’
Once on YouTube, the possibilities for heightened responses are even more possible. It will only take car drivers doing the same; mounting cameras on the cars dashboards and hey---it will be war on an unprecedented scale.
We all share the road in one way or another so maybe it’s time to take a big breath and clam down. One obvious answer is for the provision of safe cycling lanes. Another is for drivers to be far more vigilant (not vigilante!) about their own driving and to realize that cyclists are extremely vulnerable.
It has to be said though, that there are good drivers and good cyclists. Both show respect. There are also cyclists with a ‘death wish,’ who seem to go about their day as if they have the right to the whole road. It is no wonder that they get into difficulties. To balance that statement, it is not hard to find ‘mad drivers, who almost target cyclists they deem to be something akin to the enemy.
Surely we want more cyclists on our roads. Do we not want a healthier well exercised populace?  Let’s have a bit of balance on this issue and seek answers that come somewhere in the middle. Otherwise, we will have more casualties and the only people who gain will be the lawyers, representing the entangled participants!

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