A sad but mostly accurate view of the current situation, and while I certainly don’t condone leaving the scene of a collision where someone has been injured, I can see why legally, it is the right thing to do. There have been many collisions where cyclists have been left for dead by callous drivers, and I would hate the same to happen to a pedestrian, but that is confusing the legal and the moral.
One of the most offensive things is the media coverage, and while you might expect the motor obsessed press to be blatantly biased, the BBC has also been clearly guilty of that, with not a single news item that I have seen/heard reporting that the pedestrian walked out in front of him whilst looking at her mobile phone. The BBC has a guarantee of impartial, unbiased reporting, but apparently this does not apply to cycling. The BBC has had an incredibly successful 30 year campaign about cycle helmets which broke every rule they have. The BBC doesn’t have a regular programme about cycling, but it seems to have at least one about every other means of transport. The BBC hasn’t mentioned the recent report about cycling and health, but it is actively pushing walking. Last week R4 You and Yours had an entire programme about women in sport, without once mentioning cycling. Two weeks ago R4 PM had an entire week of items about transport, and it wasn’t until the last one it was mentioned, but only by a guest expert.
While we have the most trusted broadcaster in the land so obviously biased, and impervious to complaints (trust me, I’ve tried) it is hardly surprising that the rest of the media is worse and feels empowered to publish nonsense. My most recent attempt was on a R4 programme about the law, and I suggested that they might like to do an article about how cyclists received a pretty bad deal in the legal system. The response was rapid, and consisted of a couple of legal petrolheads talking about how lawless cyclists were and how they got away with so much.
I wish I had an answer, but it appears to be almost impossible to get the media to treat cycling in a fair, balanced and impartial manner. My personal view is that now it is an offence to attack people on the grounds of their skin colour, ethnicity or gender, cyclists make a useful target for all that pent up hate.