The backlash that followed Transport Secretary Chris Grayling’s ‘cyclists are not road users’ comment was hardly surprising.
His words were clumsy, incorrect and, most importantly, disregarded millions of people in one fell swoop.
I found his comment indicative of the ‘me-me-me’ attitude that is all too common on the roads these days.
Of course cyclists are road users – in exactly the same way car drivers are, motorcyclists are, equestrians are, pedestrians are.
For safe roads we must have respectful roads.
Mutual respect and understanding are key here: we must consider everyone’s needs, everyone’s safety as we go about our daily journeys.
Here in the West Midlands, cyclists’ rights are up there with car drivers’ – that is how it should be.
I’m immensely proud of West Midlands Police’s pioneering ‘close pass’ scheme, which targets drivers who endanger cyclists by not giving them enough room while overtaking. Drivers who flout the rules are given roadside educational information and those who have driven dangerously close can be prosecuted and taken to court.
The close pass scheme is also supported by third-party video reporting and hopefully that side of things will only go from strength to strength in the coming months.
Last week, I attended a cycling safety workshop, hosted by West Midlands Police and Central Motorway Policing Group, to hear all about the great work that is taking place – work that will hopefully result in more people getting on their bikes and leaving the car at home, which is what we ultimately want to see. I’m sure this work will also turn into best practice that can be used in different schemes to ensure the safety of drivers, pedestrians and other users on our roads.
As a former Transport Minister, this is an issue I understand inside out and I made road safety one of the top priorities in my Police and Crime Plan. I will continue to work hard to ensure our roads are safe, efficient and pleasant places to be.
The PCC blogs in his regular newsletter, which you can read in full here.Back to News Archive