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Goodwill to all mankind, drivers and cyclists!

See and be seen � check your lights work and are clean. Picture: GEM Motoring Assist/GrayKite/123RF

See and be seen � check your lights work and are clean. Picture: GEM Motoring Assist/GrayKite/123RF


Motoring editor Andy Russell’s seasonal goodwill is already running out for safety-shunning stupid drivers and cyclists.

I know we’re coming up to the season of goodwill but, for fear of sounding like a miserable old humbug (something my wife will no doubt agree with), mine is already starting to wear a bit thin thanks to road users who seem to think safety is not their responsibility.

This week’s early snow showers caught a few road-users by surprise – quite staggering given the weather forecasts and warnings – but still we have motorists driving along in blizzard conditions with no lights on and peering out of ‘letterboxes’ in misted-up, snow-covered windscreens.

I don’t know if it’s sheer stupidity, or just idleness, not to spend a couple of minutes using the electric fan and air-conditioning to demist the inside of the windows while whizzing round the outside with a car scraper and chamois to dry the windows and mirrors.

And check all your lights are working – there seems to be a lot of cars with a headlight out – ‘one-eyed monsters’ – and tail lamps missing. Why not carry some spare bulbs too – you can buy boxes of the various ones needed for different cars in motoring accessories shops. It might even make a good Christmas present.

On the subject of lights, there are several cyclists I have come across who think it is fine to ride without cycle lamps on roads that have street lights.

I can across not one, but four, youngsters while going home from work this week and all were dressed in dark clothing and their only lighting was the rider in front was wearing a head torch – not a lot of consolation for the cyclist at the back who was in danger of being hit from behind, nor for the poor driver who failed to see them.

Perhaps Santa will bring them so cycle lights... assuming they live that long.

And before anyone says I’ve got it in for cyclists, I haven’t. In fact I felt very sorry for one getting harrassed by a driver who was putting the rush into rush-hour one morning this week.

I was in the outside lane of a stretch of road which narrowed to one up ahead but, as I could see a cyclist on the nearside further up the road (not difficult with their flashing and solid rear lights and hi-viz jacket and cycle helmet), stayed out to the right to give the cyclist plenty of room when I passed. Unfortunately the driver in the inside lane tried to undertake not once, but twice, while gaining quickly on the cyclist. For fear he was going to hit the bike, I backed off and let the idiot through.

It’s that sort of behaviour that makes me think that self-driving cars may not be so bad after all.

What do you think? Email motoring@archant.co.uk

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