No need for drivers to get angry when people choose to cycle | Letters
Only 3% of Dutch cyclists wear helmets and the number killed and seriously injured is much smaller than in the UK, says Prof LJS Lesley. Jeremy Iles says he has chosen to use bikes because they are environmentally good, healthy, fast and fun. Plus a letter on cycling stats from David Carter
There are more bikes than cars in Britain, yet over 65% of trips are by car and under 2% by bike (Editorial, 5 March). Why? Most journeys are short, half are under three miles and 70% under five miles long, and can be faster than driving and parking. While the weather can be blamed, similar weather does not deter Dutch cyclists, where nearly 30% of trips are by bike. The key factor is a lack of safe and direct cycle routes. Compared with the number of UK cyclists killed and seriously injured (KSI) by motor vehicles, the number of pedestrians KSI by bikes is tiny, despite cyclists who illegally use pavements.
Yes, hard cases do make bad laws, like the pressure to make cyclists wear helmets. Only three countries did this: Australia, New Zealand and Israel. In each case the KSI level of cyclists increased, as drivers “did not see bikes”. Israel rescinded its law, and at the same time provided cycle routes to encourage cycling, both for health benefits and also to reduce car trips and the import of oil. Only 3% of Dutch cyclists wear helmets and the KSI is much smaller than the UK.
Source: Guardian Transport