30 August 2011
Tristan Hallam challenges cyclists to not follow the herd!
I was driving down to Brighton recently to see clients in Sussex. I drove as I always do from central London past The Oval cricket ground and through Brixton heading towards Brixton Hill and the A23. Unfortunately there was a diversion and after much going down side roads, I ended up going down Brixton Hill heading the way that I had just come.All the traffic was filtering into the right. I took the left lane. There were no diversion signs and any signs that I could see, indicated that the left turn that I was taking was for local traffic.I had driven no more than a few hundred yards when I saw a diversion sign which took me round the back towards the top of Brixton Hill and back onto my route. I raise this point as whilst you may consider that it holds no interest whatsoever, it is however an indication that we should not in life feel, inclined to follow the majority or indeed follow the herd. One of the tenants of the very wealthy Mr Warren Buffets business thinking it is to do exactly that, not to follow the herd just because the majority of people will be going in one direction. In his case, if everyone started selling shares in a particular company, one should not necessarily jump on the band wagon and begin to sell as well. Instead, follow your own thinking and your own instincts. You may again be wondering what the purpose of my comments are and now that I have set the background, I can comment on what is the true purpose of my blog which is that whilst cycling in London recently, I see yet again more cyclists jumping red lights. I blogged on this previously and set out how unhealthy such an activity could be. I have heard on the radio recently a short piece advising drivers to look out for bicycles, however the bicycle riders do of course have a duty themselves to ensure that they are cycling in a safe and proper manner.We seemed to run through a period where cyclists did not jump red lights. We are now back where I for one, am noticing more cyclists are doing exactly that. As I cycled home the other day I saw what was almost a collision between two cyclists, one having jumped a red light and one travelling at some speed and justifiably since he had the green traffic lights in his favour. Being hit by a bicycle is no fun. A small number of pedestrians are killed each year in such circumstances. It may be that some of those pedestrians put themselves at fault in stepping in front of cyclists or alternatively, they are entirely blameless and the blame lies instead on the cyclist.My point therefore is for us all too please; please obey the Highway Code and traffic signals. This applies equally to car drivers, pedestrians as well as cyclists. We cannot rely on the other person. We are not children and will not be seen as such by the Courts. We instead, have a duty to act reasonably and responsibly.Tristan Hallam is a partner in Personal Injury in the London office of Russell Jones & Walker.If you or a member of your family has suffered an accident or injury call our expert personal injury solicitors on 0800 916 9046, fill in our short online claim form or email email@example.com and one of our specialist personal injury team will review your compensation claim for free.