What happened in the courts today shows that Britain thinks cyclists are expendable; a slight inconvenience for drivers. Door one when you illegally tinted your windows? You won't even get enough of a conviction to see your premiums go up.
As for the lorry driver: on the phone, not looking, yet "careless?". You don't kill someone through carelessness. Careless is forgetting where you left your keys.
Even he must have known he did something wrong -because he lied about being on the phone. He knew he should have been looking -after the fact.
Meanwhile, over in Cambridge, the police are cracking down on cyclists who cycle on the pavement.
Everyone should buy a copy of the Times tomorrow -not just to see what they print, but to show your support for their campaign.
And then what? If justice is broken -how do we fix it?
Everyone who cycles needs to go to their local "police meets community" meetings. They may seem a waste of time -but that's what directs police resources -and nowadays that means against cyclists.
You all need to go, and get your needs addressed, but subtly, in a way that even the cyclist-haters can come round to
- "I think school parents park really dangerously round school XYZ". If you do the school run by bike, you'll fear actually arriving near the school, and of course it's just as bad walking. Make clear that pedestrian safety is one of your concerns, so you can't be boxed as "a cyclist"
- "Speeding cars mean I can't cross roads safely". Again, pedestrian safety. How can the anti pavement cyclists complain there.
- Drivers on phones, especially texting, nearly hit me at (cite some recent example, especially at a zebra crossing".
- Cars don't stop for me at zebra crossings; run predestrian lights at junction XYZ. Again, cite places where this happens.
Can you see the commonality. Instead of complaining about the actions that endanger you on a bike, the actions that endanger everyone on foot. That stops it being lawbreaking cyclists unfit to complain "until they get their own house in order", but instead people who walk round the city -proper citizens, yet ones who still get treated like shit in a society that places driving above all else.
Press coverage. This could maybe, just maybe, be something to bring the Daily Mail and its readers around. Yes they hate cyclists, yes they want to ban them from the streets, but they also believe criminals should get what they deserve. A lorry driver (from abroad!) who leaves a woman in hospital for life pays a few thousand pounds and will be driving -on the phone again- within a year. Even they could resent that.
But how to get the Daily Mail to even mention it. That's the next challenge. And a hard one.