My friend was travelling very slowly and, as is quite often the case, she missed the cyclist who was also approaching the roundabout from her right. He hit the side of her car and fell down. Other than a couple of scrapes to his arms, he was fine. It all happened at slow speed.
My friend did the right thing. She stopped immediately and made sure he was ok. So did the driver of the car behind her. That person then commented that she was glad my friend had been in front because she did not see the cyclist either.
A conversation then ensued. The other driver commented that the cyclist might want to wear brighter clothing next time. She also asked what the cyclist was doing out on the roads at that time and whether he was going anywhere in particular. He said he was just out for a ride. The driver suggested that this was probably not the time to be out just riding with all of the traffic on the roads.
Given the proximity to the nearby school, there is a certain irony there but I think it was probably lost on the driver.
Just in case, my friend also reported what had happened to the police. The officer was very understanding. She said this happens a lot where drivers simply do not see cyclists and there are collisions like this - thankfully at low speeds.
The officer had a little more insight than the other driver and said that the roads were unforgiving. "The bike lanes should be wider", she said.
And she is right.
It should be a concern to traffic engineers, the police, our politicians and indeed all of us that this is happening to such an extent that the police officer was not in the slightest bit surprised and was so understanding. The cyclist probably would have been seen with a fluoro top or something in bright pink or if he had some paint-stripper lights flashing away on the front of his bike. But then again, he may not have.
One of the reasons these things happen is because of our unforgiving roads. Roundabouts like that say loudly and clearly "cars are coming". But they do not even whisper "bikes and people might be coming too". They should.
We all know about the principles of sustainable safety because Professor Wegman told us about them. It is time they were implemented.
Look at those children riding around at school at closing time. Don't they realise how dangerous it is?