I was manoeuvering through a set of multiple lights with crossings and shrubberies this morning and contemplating the question I always contemplate at the same point each week. This question is “If I get a quick start, put my foot down and risk going through on amber, could I get through without having to stop at the second set of lights?”
The answer is, of course, “no”.
It’s the same answer every time.
However, I wasn’t the only one asking the same question this morning. A cyclist, his mind clearly on the same conundrum, though from a different direction, decided to test the question for himself.
He burst from behind some shrubbery and zoomed across the road in front of me while the lights were still in my favour.
Fortunately, resigned to the inevitable, I was already slowing in preparation to stop. If I’d been intent on bursting through on amber there could well have been an unfortunate meeting of machinery.
It would have been less unfortunate for me than for the cyclist.
At least he was wearing a helmet. He could be squashed flat, rendered comatose or confined to a wheelchair, but his head would be protected and his parting would still be neat as they performed the post mortem.
I’m thinking of writing to the Prime Minister with some suggestions for better road safety for cyclists, though I’m not expecting she will do anything about it.
Number one on the list is sumo suits. Alternatively, and needing slightly more development, is the lycra cycling suit with air bags. Under sudden impact the air bags would inflate and prevent serious injury. The main problem would be carrying a cylinder of compressed air. I have some thoughts on where to put it, but the cyclists would probably not be keen on my suggestion. Anyway, not all bicycles have crossbars.
Scratch that – they’ve already been developed for motorcyclists and pedestrian airbags also exist (attached to cars to prevent injury, not actually fitted to pedestrians). I was looking up a history of airbags when I found them.
Truth truly is stranger than fiction.