Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Stay at home!

The Guardian says: stay at home! Travel is evil!

Bloody hell, if it's not Moonbat railing at aeroplanes or cars, it's Matt Seaton warning us about the subversive evil of cyclists.
'You know what drives me mad? Cyclists who go through red lights ..." If you are a cyclist, it's not a matter of if, or even when, you will have this conversation. It's how many times a day. Even cyclists are obsessed with the red light debate, filling letters pages in cycling magazines and web chatrooms with ferocious arguments and counterarguments.

Counterarguments? What kind of counterarguments can there possibly be? Personally, I don't mind if cyclists zip through the red lights at traffic intersections (with any luck the law-breaking fuckers will get run-over) but I've seen cyclists refusing to stop for a pedestrian crossing. With kiddies crossing. Matt suggests a test.
That leaves only one plausible option: cyclists should be licensed. We should have to pass a test in which we demonstrate proficiency and knowledge of the rules of the road. Cycling organisations would say that the last thing the cause of cycling needs is another barrier in the path of potential riders. Cyclists themselves will ask why they should have to pass a test when, unlike cars, bicycles almost never cause serious injury to others.

True, although my father was knocked down some years ago and it did ruin a rather good suit. Oh, and opened up his knee. Bastard cyclists.
So what is to be done? More enforcement would be one solution. In the City of London, bicycle-mounted officers have been handing out penalties to miscreant cyclists.

Does anyone else get a kind of Heath Robinsonesque picture in their head at that?
But most forces have few officers equipped to do so and unofficially admit that they can't enforce the Highway Code where cyclists are concerned because, in practice, they can't catch those who flout the law.

I can see the sign:

"This police force is an equal opportunities employer. We will not discriminate on the basis of sex, religion, race, creed, culture, possession of legs or ability to ride a bicycle."

Seriously, though, Matt's idea is to introduce a license. To cycle. This is a typical Guardian response, i.e. we have a problem; let's get the bureaucracy to solve it. I think that the problem can be solved quite easily, by making fewer laws; we simply say that anyone who doles out a non-lethal kicking to a cyclist who runs a red light won't be prosecuted. You see? It's very liberal; it introduces the idea of the public policing themselves...

Via Peter, who comments in a better, shorter, funnier way.

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