‘Please - LOOK!’ A cyclist’s plea to drivers

Last updated 13:30 22/02/2017

"A couple of seconds could save a life."

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I was cycling home from work recently when some genius in a car decided it was a clever idea to pull out of a driveway without looking. And when I say without looking, I mean, not at all. You would have thought that when I was, say 50 centimetres from his car, he might have seen me in his peripheral - but no.

I get in front of the car - and still it doesn’t register in his mind that there’s an object directly in his line of sight. In fact, he doesn’t even see me until he HEARS his car hitting my bicycle.

Now this guy needs to thank his lucky stars that, 1) I wasn’t injured – otherwise he’d be facing a Careless Driving Causing Injury charge, and 2) My bike wasn’t damaged – he’d be up for a pretty hefty repair bill if it was.

To add insult to thankfully only near-injury, he didn’t even have the guts or respect to get out of his car to check if I’m OK. The best he could offer through the window was a pitiful “Sorry, I didn’t see you”. Of course not ... you WEREN’T LOOKING.

* I commute by bike, it's a risky choice
* Cyclists need rear-view mirrors
* Think of cyclists before you open your car door
* Cycling in Christchurch is risky business

What I’m trying to get across here is a simple plea to all drivers. This situation would have been completely avoided if the driver had only taken a little bit of time to LOOK.

Please, PLEASE, before pulling out onto the road, take just a couple of seconds to check left and right for cyclists. And please, before changing lanes, take just a couple of seconds to check your left and right mirrors for cyclists coming up behind you.

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It’s not a big ask. A couple of seconds might save a life.

I realise that there are a lot of misconceptions about cyclists. Some people think that we’re an arrogant bunch, who delight in writing our own road code. The reality of the matter is, however, we’re just trying to survive. We don’t take pleasure in annoying drivers, but there are cases where we have to ride fairly aggressively – simply to save our hides!

Please, I ask you, don’t judge us, don’t yell or honk us down for not being exactly where you’d like us to be on the road (some of those cycle lanes are plain and simple death traps).

We just want to get home alive - we have families too. Please have some respect for an unfairly hated group of road users, and let’s share our roads the way they’re supposed to be shared.

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