AS the cycling capital of the country after the successful staging of the Grand Départ two summers ago, and emergence of world-beating cyclists like Otley’s Lizzie Armitstead, it should be a source of pride that there is now a record number of bike riders on the region’s roads.
Yet, while the majority of motorists and cyclists are respectful of other road users, there’s a minority of irresponsible drivers and bike riders whose selfish recklessness pays no regard whatsoever to edicts set out in the Highway Code.
This goes to the crux of the issue highlighted by celebrity lawyer and motorists’ champion Nick Freeman who discovered, via a Freedom of Information request, that just 17 bike riders were issued with fines by West Yorkshire Police last year for safety breaches as he accused officers of ignoring lawbreaking cyclists.
Again context is key. There are far more vehicles, than bicycles, on the roads. The police have only so many officers who can enforce the law. Yet, to avoid any misapprehension that motorists are unfairly penalised, one way forward is for the cycling clubs to lead by example and actually stop riders that they spot flouting the law. If this happened, and a greater onus was placed on cycle-proofing new roads from the outset, Mr Freeman’s view would be less persuasive. No road user should be above the law.