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Why do some cyclists think that they are exempt from the rules of the highway code? Should they be treated differently because the bike doesn't have an engine?
I am talking specifically about those cyclists that feel the need to ride on the pavement instead of the cycle paths and roads. Don't get me wrong, I can fully appreciate that the roads can be very dangerous and some car drivers can be extremely selfish when it comes to bikes, but that is no excuse for putting pedestrians in a dangerous situation.
Riding without lights at night, side by side
The rules of the highway code apply to "all road users" and are there for our safety as well as the safety of other road users. Cyclists are unique in that they are unlicensed and there is no legal requirement to have insurance, they therefore should be expected to behave in a responsible manner for this privilege.
Riding on the pavements, riding without lights at night and side by side in the road is not exactly what I would call responsible. These are the kind of actions that lead to accidents and possible injury to pedestrians and cyclists need to be made aware of the fact that they are sitting on a machine that can travel at speed and can cause harm. I'd say riding a bike on the pavement is totally irresponsible and shows how much the cyclist in question cares about the safety of others.
No one wants to restrict the freedom of those who ride bikes, they are after all a great benefit to people and the environment. We do however want to see a more safety conscious attitude from cyclists and less accidents involving pedestrians.