Steve Cardownie: Cyclist runs red light then flips me off

Green for go, red for stop. (Picture: Ian Rutherford)
Green for go, red for stop. (Picture: Ian Rutherford)
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When driving my car last week, I stopped at the temporary traffic lights outside The Playhouse Theatre (as they were at red I felt that it was the most prudent thing to do).

Waiting for pedestrians to cross, I heard the sound of a bicycle approaching and, on checking my mirror, my instincts were confirmed and it was indeed speeding in my direction. Now I had stopped in the outside right lane and a van was on my left, leaving a small gap in between that Olive Oil would have difficulty squeezing through. Or so I thought.

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The aforementioned cycle, ridden by someone who looked like Baldrick from Blackadder, unbelievably squeezed through the gap and sped through the lights which were still at red, narrowly missing a woman pushing a buggy. When the lights turned green, I caught up with him and rolled down my window and asked why he felt he had the right to go through a red light.

He kept his own counsel and offered no statement of mitigation or remorse although he would have been hard-pressed to even attempt to justify his actions as the lights were clearly visible from his elevated viewpoint and had been at red for sometime.

When I moved into the lane to go down Broughton Street, however, he spotted his opportunity as he was turning into York Place by “flipping me off”, for the unenlightened reader this comprised of raising his middle digit along with his hand.

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Powerless to react, I was left wondering what it takes for some bampots to understand just how dangerous this manoeuvre was, especially given that a young woman met her death at the hands of a cyclist who careered into her when she was on a pedestrian crossing (with the right of way) in London. I shudder to think what might have happened to the woman with the buggy if she started crossing just a few seconds earlier.

Sadly it would appear this was not an isolated incident as I have heard similar tales all too often but responsible cyclists are paying the price.