Cyclist vs. Pedestrian Collisions (UK)

Background Reading

Summary

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Pedestrian and Cyclist Interactions

THIS BRIEFING COVERS

  • Headline messages; CTC’s view
  • Key facts and arguments: cycling and the risk to pedestrians; red light jumping and cycling on the pavement (footway); sharing space
  • Footnotes and references

HEADLINE MESSAGES

  • Cyclists are perfectly able to mix harmoniously with pedestrians and, contrary to popular belief, are not a major danger to them.
  • Pedestrians are more likely to be injured or killed in collision with a motor vehicle than in collision with a cycle, even if they are walking on the verge or footway (pavement). This is all the more surprising because, unlike driving, most cycling takes place where there are high levels of pedestrian activity.

CTC VIEW

  • Cyclists should behave responsibly and within the law.
  • Cyclists do very little harm to other road users, including pedestrians.
  • Unlike driving, most cycling takes place in areas of high pedestrian activity, but it poses far less risk to pedestrians than motor vehicles. This is the case even for pavement cycling and red light jumping, neither of which CTC condones.
  • Cyclists and pedestrians are able to interact far more harmoniously, even in crowded conditions, than is often thought.
  • People who are frail or who suffer sensory or mobility impairments are often understandably reluctant to share space with cyclists. Trials, however, usually prove that cyclists very rarely put any pedestrian in a hazardous situation. Codes of practice – backed up as required by policing – are preferable solutions, rather than undermining the promotion of safe cycling for fear of the actions of a minority.