#bikepledge Live and let live (for cyclists and drivers)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

This morning I was saddened and outraged to hear about yet another cyclist's death in London. The incident brings the tally up to 5 people in 9 days to have perished on London's roads.  What is frustrating is the lack of details in news reports of the conditions that lead to the accidents. Was the cyclist wearing a helmet? Bike lights. Reflective gears? Headphones? Was the driver on their mobile phone? Turning? Was the accident at a junction? Roundabout? How can we possibly learn from these tragic mistakes without knowing the probable cause?

Applies to any vehicle, but especially lorries
As a cyclist who has been in an accident or two (all my fault, none involving cars) it petrified me that my husband rides his bike to work now.  He is very conscious and had been. Riding the streets of London for nearly 10 years. But over the last 2 weeks I hate to sen him wheel the bike out of our flat.  The world needs bikes though. Bikes free u p traffic and ease public transport demand.  They release no CO2 and are relatively inexpensive to purchase and maintain. But how can we put a price on the lives of people? Drivers behind the wheels of these cycling accidents have to live each day knowing that they were involved in the death of another human being. 

Should we blame society and big city living for needing to rush everywhere? Run reds lights and text on our phone while driving? Ride between cars and run red lights to get to work 39 seconds faster? How many more people need to DIE before we realize in the grand scheme of things, being a little late is ok as opposed to an ambulance ride or trip to jail?

Today, I am asking you to make a pledge.  Pledge with me that as a cyclist you will:
  • Wear a helmet (important in low speed accidents but can't hurt you in case of something  more severe)
  • Invest in good lights and reflective gear. And then use it.
  • Not wear headphones, text, or make calls while riding your bike no matter how quiet the road is
  • Assume the driver never knows you are there. Be cautious at junctions and in blind spots
  • Say in the cycle lane and not ride between cars
  • Not jump lights
  • Dismount bike and walk on pavement when you feel nervous or confident.
  • Get first aid certified to help out others in need
  • Not to ride at Bow roundabout, Holborn, or Kings Cross until these areas are made safe for cyclists

In order for is to work, we need a partnership with drivers too. No matter what size vehicle you drive please join us in pledging to:
  • Not texting or making calls when driving
  • To accept you are running late rather than jumping amber/red lights
  • Always look for cyclists in your blind spot before turning left or changing lanes, even if there isn't a cycling lane
  • Not driving or parking on bike lanes/cycle super highways
  • Giving oncoming cyclists the right of way when turning right even if you have to wait a few extra seconds
  • Realizing that your vehicle gives you much more protection in an accident than what cyclists have if the same situation were to occur
  • Get first aid certified to help others in need
  • Turn off your radio and pay extra attention at Bow Roundabout, Holborn, and Kings Cross for cyclists to avoid even more deaths
Together we can make the roads safe.  Pledge by leaving your name and city in the comment below.  Share and re-tweet this post to raise awareness. #bikepledge

If these deaths also shake you to the core, you can become more active by following these campaigns for tips on sharing the road, riding/driving safely, and getting the government to take action to keep its citizens safe. 

Sky Ride (guided rides)
Breeze Network (guided rides for women)


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