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Cyclist warns reckless drivers are putting others at risk

Cyclist warns reckless drivers are putting others at risk

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Cyclist warns reckless drivers are putting others at risk

Tuesday 22 May 2018

A cyclist has described feeling "vulnerable and alarmed" after a motorist forced her into taking action to avoid an accident at the Elm Grove traffic lights.

Julie Hyde had cycled behind another lady, from Elm Grove towards the junction before waiting to turn left into Les Buttes.

The incident, which happened on Wednesday 2 May, came after it had been raining heavily meaning the road surface was wet and slippery.

Ms Hyde said she was waiting at the traffic lights, behind another lady who was also on a bicycle. They were both wearing high visibility jackets and helmets and she spotted a white van waiting on the Candie Road side of the junction, indicating that the driver was waiting to turn in to Les Buttes. Ms Hyde signalled that she too was planning to turn in to Les Buttes and she said it was her right of way meaning she could go through the junction first.


The female cyclist said that when the lights changed and the bicycle ahead started to ride through the green lights towards Candie Road, the white van swung in front of her and almost knocked her off her bike. The woman carried on cycling ahead while Ms Hyde, who was still behind said she was "in the middle of turning left into Les Buttes" when the van tried to edge past her.

Because of the line of traffic in Les Buttes waiting for their turn for the lights to change, Ms Hyde said there wasn’t enough room "for him to squeeze past."

Ms Hyde said he did try to pass however and forced her to veer into the wall on the left side of the road. As the roads were wet and slippery, the driver's "reckless attitude towards me as a cyclist and the other road users was thoughtless," she said, adding "I felt vulnerable and alarmed."  

She also said, "He revved his engine behind me until I was forced to move aside."

While Ms Hyde usually has a camera attached to her bike's handle bars, so she could have recorded the incident, it was charging that day so she was unable to capture the incident on film - but she did take note of the vehicle licence plate number and reported that to Guernsey Police.

She said it's not the first 'near accident' she has been involved in but it worried her enough to ask Guernsey Police to investigate.

"I have had near accidents before, but not like this. I cycle to and from work on a daily basis as do some of my students. I was concerned that if allowed to behave in this manner and allowed to ‘get away’ with it, it could happen again but with much more serious consequences.

"I reported it to the Police straight away and gave them the license plate."

Sam Field

Pictured: Sam Field of GBG

The Guernsey Bicyle Group Chairman told Express the organisation's new Stay Wider of the Rider campaign, which was launched last week, was designed to tackle scenarios such as this.

Sam Field said "sadly this is an all to familiar story on our roads, and it is stories such as this that prevent parents from allowing their children to ride (and walk) to school, and equally prevents many adults from riding as a means of transport."

He added that GBG encourages everyone to share the roads "courteously , legally and safely" and that "a small lapse in judgement by a vehicle driver can have catastrophic consequences for a bike rider, which is why GBG is encouraging drivers to Stay Wider of the Rider."

Mr Field acknowledged that many riders now use cameras to film what happens during their journey, as Ms Hyde said she often does.

"An increasing number of riders have cameras mounted on their bikes to capture incidents such as this, and the footage is invaluable in assisting the Guernsey Police to follow up incidents," he said.

Mr Field said again the GBG wishes for everyone to be safe on Guernsey's roads.

"GBG is please no one was harmed in the incident mentioned here, and we wish everyone safe cycling and driving and ask people to be patient and respect one another on the roads."

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