Fleet News

Cyclists should be banned from wearing headphones, says poll

Almost 70% of respondents to an online poll want cyclists banned from wearing headphones.

The ten-day poll, carried out this month by vehicle tracking comparison site TrackCompare.co.uk, was organised after the death of a sixth cyclist in London within just two weeks. The man, in his sixties, died after colliding with a lorry on Camberwell Road.

The poll has attracted wide support and a number of requests for information on hooters and horns pitched to penetrate headphone music.

Kjell Anderton, a director of TrackCompare, said: “Many fleet operators have been deeply disturbed by the deaths and are taking the situation extremely seriously.

“The safety of all who use our crowded roads is now a major consideration and no longer simply a talking point.”

The TrackCompare Cyclists Wearing Headphones poll, carried out this month, asked respondents whether they believed a ban on headphones should be put in place: 69% said yes, the remainder said no.

Launched in 2009, TrackCompare.co.uk represents more than 50 tracking and telematics companies across a wide range of technologies.

The company’s online service is backed by a team of experienced fleet consultants, who help more than 2,000 new fleets every month.

It assists organisations large and small to identify the most effective tracking and telematics solutions for their operations.

 


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Comments

  • Andrew - 18/12/2013 10:12

    I think cyclists should be banned from the road altogether, they just can't coexist with traffic safely, when encountering a cyclist or group of cyclists on a bendy road such as a country lane for example, they may not think they are causing an obstruction but as they sway from side to side and your nervously trying to get round them whilst looking for oncoming traffic, it's very dangerous, i personally think that in towns and urban areas, there would be less accidents if cyclists were made to use the footpaths, you rarely hear of accidents between cyclists and pedestrians on footpaths, ok so they can't reach the same speeds but if someone wished to travel by bicycle then at-least they could still do so, avoiding a bicycle if it were going at a sensible speed would be no more dangerous than a mobility scooter, motorists have to pass a theory test which includes a hazard perception test and a practical driving test to be allowed on the road, we have to pay road tax and insurance to use the road, cyclists can just buy a bike and plonk themselves amongst all the chaos of a busy road! and as for wearing headphones, how many motorists are going to get the blame when accidents happen as a result? as modern traffic gets more chaotic, year after year and more cars appear on our roads, there just isn't a place for cyclists, not safely anyway.

    • John - 19/12/2013 17:14

      @Andrew - Bikes came first, so maybe its cars that should be banned. Vehicles kill thousands of people & maim many more children & old people http://www.roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com/ There has been no 'Road Tax'since the 1930's, Winston Churchill got rid of it. Roads are paid for by general taxation, VAT , Income tax which is also paid by Cyclists http://ipayroadtax.com/ It always helps to read an informed piece on roads & cycling ..

    • Dan - 23/12/2013 11:02

      @Mal - not getting your point?, I drive and cycle so I guess I am a Driviclist. I've be open that some cyclists are idiots and so are some drivers and I am asking for more understanding on both sides. I don't think I said you have to be one or the other, but it is worrying that the managers of UK's fleets harbour such anti bike feelings, how does this filter down to their fleet drivers out on the road?. I read Fleet news as I operate a Car and Van fleet, and I certainly go to great lengths to foster a more considerate attitude from our drivers via guidance and e modules and I also run a cycling initiative and likewise work hard to push safe and considerate cycling to our cycling commuters, though my impact is small I do hope that in doing what I do my Drivers can avoid hitting any cyclists (Irresponsible ones who apparently deserve to die or sensible law abiding ones like myself) and the Cyclists ride defensively safely and visibly to do all they can do to stay safe and show drivers that we can all co exist. You don't seem to actually propose any solution though, you just seem angry and entrenced. I do my bit though maybe you could reflect on what you could do?.

  • Andrew Brown - 18/12/2013 10:43

    Should Drivers also be banned from wearing headphones ? I also see a large number of drivers wearing headphones whilst driving, and as a cyclist myself, (who does not wear headphones) then perhaps this issue, is a far more reaching one and requires further investigation from the point of view of all road users, including joggers who also wear headphones probably as much as cyclists ?

  • Duncan - 18/12/2013 10:46

    How many of the dead cyclists were wearing headphones?

  • Steve Happe - 18/12/2013 10:58

    Ibelieve all cyclists should have to under go formal training and be insured with some form of licence which can be revoked when high way code or laws are broken,at the moment it is to easy for cyclist to get away with all sorts of law breaking ie crossing red lights clinging on to large vehicles etc... it is about time something was done by the law enforcement authorities.

  • Mal - 18/12/2013 11:08

    My experience with many cyclists today is that they are on a mission to take on other road users. They think that the law is on their side and come what may their observation of safety and road laws dont apply to them. I also cycle as well as drive a car but I think I am intelligent enough to understand that someone on a bike cannot take on a vehicle and come off best. We need to stop pandering to the career cyclist who feels that stopping at junctions and red lights for example doe not apply to them as they will come off worse and the poor driver is left with the blame for some of these lunatics when they get injured or worse

  • Democritus - 18/12/2013 11:17

    Andrew. I ride a bike with a mirror and I wear sports headphones designed to let in outside sounds. So I can see AND hear vehicles coming up behind me, which is more than a someone driving a car can do. In any case, I listen to audiobooks while cycling, not music. Also, how many adult cyclists do you know who are not also car drivers? I pay road tax and insurance on two vehicles. So am I a cyclist or a motorist? A hardworking taxpayer (copyright Daily Mail) when behind the wheel but a lycra lout when on my bike? As it happens, this story seems to be a bit of opportunistic and frankly somewhat unpleasant PR 'research' by TrackCompare which is generating precisely the kind of unreasoning and ill-informed reaction one would expect. If TrackCompare had any kind of marketing nous, they'd have at least done the survey on whether there should be a British standard for safe sports headphones rather than inviting a majority to vote on a minority. Was the last rider killed in London wearing headphones? How much difference would it have made given the noise level of city traffic? City cycling is too important a safety issue to be reduced to one dimension simply to flog telematics systems.

    • Daniel - 18/12/2013 11:32

      @Democritus - fleet news readers are seriously anti bike mate, its bordering hysteria and it feeds the view of Twitter girl earlier this year that is totally fine to run cyclist over as we don't pay tax and a few of us are irresponsible. I see a girl daily in a focus, (she hit me whilst on her phone last week in traffic) her tax is out, so I should get a lorry and run her car over as she is a bad driver and is not taxed :). I think not, but that's what all these cyclist haters seem to be alluding too with their anti bike rhetoric. Its scary to think that most are professional fleet operators too so representing the bulk of UK drivers!!.

    • Mal - 18/12/2013 14:19

      @Daniel - This is exactly the point I am trying to make. If you don't agree with cyclists you are anti-bike. To be honest why would a cyclist be reading Fleet News anyway but thats besides the point. I agree that many drivers are as bad as Cyclists however you have stated if you hit a car or it hits you, you will come off worse. Its the bullish cyclists that need to take responsibility of their actions and appreciate that the roads are for sharing. This anti bike and anti car stuff is not helping anyone for at the end of the day its size over matter and no matter how much cyclists puff their chests out like some Gladiator who is willing to take on the four wheel monsters, you aint going to win and likely to come off worse no matter whose fault it is

    • DAN - 23/12/2013 11:05

      @Mal - not getting your point?, I drive and cycle so I guess I am a Driviclist. I've be open that some cyclists are idiots and so are some drivers and I am asking for more understanding on both sides. I don't think I said you have to be one or the other, but it is worrying that the managers of UK's fleets harbour such anti bike feelings, how does this filter down to their fleet drivers out on the road?. I read Fleet news as I operate a Car and Van fleet, and I certainly go to great lengths to foster a more considerate attitude from our drivers via guidance and e modules and I also run a cycling initiative and likewise work hard to push safe and considerate cycling to our cycling commuters, though my impact is small I do hope that in doing what I do my Drivers can avoid hitting any cyclists (Irresponsible ones who apparently deserve to die or sensible law abiding ones like myself) and the Cyclists ride defensively safely and visibly to do all they can do to stay safe and show drivers that we can all co exist. You don't seem to actually propose any solution though, you just seem angry and entrenched. I do my bit though maybe you could reflect on what you could do?.

  • Daniel - 18/12/2013 11:27

    I agree, as a cyclist I don't want to do anything to reduce my safety so blocking my ears is a no no, but can we quit with the cyclist bashing, not all cyclists are 'on a mission to take on drivers' I'm not for example and both sides of this on-going argument need to step back and reflect on the reasons for the current hostility on both sides or else things will only get worse. There bad cyclists and bad drivers, bad cyclist only kill them selves though, bad drivers kill everyone and the number of face booking, texting drivers I see out weighs the amount of idiotic light jumping cyclists 10:1. I have a guy in an M3 who goes out of his way to clip my elbow on my commute every night to prove some stupid point. Seeing as Its on a down hill stretch where I'm doping 28-35 in a 30 it can't be I'm drastically holding him up and I look like Tron with all my lights so if he cant see me he shouldn't be driving. Sadly whilst I am a law abiding, tongue biting (my own), safe and considerate cyclists, he clearly shares the view of most drivers that I am devil spawn and should be made into sport. One day he'll kill me or some other cyclist, I have three kids, you think he'd be as happy to tout the anti cyclist clap trap and defend him self at my funeral to them. There and Bad cyclists and Bad drivers, every one needs to step up!!!. And Andrew, your talking rubbish, road tax is only charged on vehicle's that cause pollution, so bikes would be exempt and whilst I am cycling my two cars totalling £500 a year tax are on my drive unused. Agree on insurance and some form of training though and I am insured, did a driving test, a motor bike test, and CBT and also at School a Cycling proficiency session, most cyclists are car drivers too!!. Maybe car drivers should cycle a few times a week to get the other side of the story?. Cyclings fun, eco friendly, good for your health and your sould, driving is convenient and comfy, but increasingly stressful, aggressive and isolated from the world outside the car which with the wrong attitude becomes a 2 ton weapon. Lets all just get along, there is a great Australian campaign on this we should adopt in the UK. I cant understand how much hatred seems to exist toward cyclists, is bordering hysteria.

    • Andrew - 18/12/2013 19:16

      @Daniel - You may be insured on your cars but when you are on a bike you are not, so you being insured on a car is irrelevant. Even when cyclists aren't being irresponsible, they are still a danger, most of the time they are to far out from the kerb and you have to try and get round them whilst avoiding on-coming traffic.

    • Dan - 23/12/2013 10:49

      @Andrew - Hi, I am insured on my bike Andrew, I hope your comprehension whilst driving is better than when reading, I have my cars insured and have bike insurance. And yes sometimne cyclist have to ride out a bit as the sides are oftern potholed and covered in broken glass, but its a matter of seconds to wait and pass. Danger of pulling round into oncoming traffic?, sounds to me your once of the impatient twonks who regulalry clips my elbows as you desperately blast passed because your journey is more important than my life. You have a shocking attitude, cyclists are still people, not some sub group of humanity.

  • Paul - 18/12/2013 11:28

    A cyclist ran in to the back of one of our staionary vehicles near Snodland in Kent on a sunny day last Year and died instantly. He was wearing headphones.

    • Dan - 18/12/2013 11:33

      @Paul - over his eyes?. A sad sorry but not sure the headphones caused his myopia

    • John - 19/12/2013 17:09

      @Paul - Irresponsible & unsafe parking is on the increase. - Its like sticking a tonne of concrete in the middle of the road. Often to answer some inane phone call. - Get yourself off the road & into a safe place

  • Guy - 18/12/2013 11:29

    Cyclists wearing headphones, car/van drivers texting on mobile phones, pedestrians not looking for cyclists when crossing the road, lack of high visibility clothing, helmets & decent lights by too many cyclists and failure to observe red lights by a certain number of them - all disappointing and contribute to death & serious injuries. I have cycled to work in central London every day since 1998 - it isn't that dangerous if you take proper precautions. The headphone issue is just one small element.

    • Dan - 18/12/2013 11:39

      @Guy - Well said Guy, and Evans did a great article on this recently on their blog, regarding defensive riding.

  • James Nayler - 18/12/2013 11:29

    How can anyone expect a ban on using headphones to be applied. The police are too busy to monitor cyclists on paths, not using lights or obeying traffics lights and the rules of the road. I find this kind of survey to be very naïve in its view about improving cyclists safety. Until cyclists feel that they are in danger if they don't make themselves visible and follow the same rules and behaviour of other road users they are always going to be at risk. Cycling is great for the environment and reducing traffic if used correctly but the government is happy to ignore it until the number of deaths is embarrassing for them. The police are given other priorities and the schools make very limited attempts at encouraging children to learn good habits.

  • Paul - 18/12/2013 11:33

    Oh and by the way, I am a motorcyclist, road cycle and mountain bike every week and audio books or music,its still a distraction when you need your wits about you. Sorry but headphones should be banned and helmets should be compulsory.

    • Dan - 18/12/2013 11:37

      @Paul - Totally agree mate, and I'd imaging audio books are more disturbing than music as your more engaged.

    • Democritus - 18/12/2013 12:30

      @Paul - I'm a motorcyclist, cyclist and driver. Out in the country where I live drivers and cyclists co-exist happily, distractions are few and there's no reason not to listen to something on the move whatever kind of road user one is. I agree it is very different in city traffic and when I'm in town I drop the headphones. If one follows the logic of banning headphones because of a series of fatal incidents one of the world's largest and busiest cities, you'd have to ban all driving everywhere on the basis of a few serious black spots.

  • Slug - 18/12/2013 11:34

    Fundamentally, everybody has a responsibility to behave in a reasonable manner and not seek to endanger themselves or others, and we should not need specific legislation in these circumstances. One would rather that cyclists (or motorists for that matter, and the same applies to playing music through a stereo at an inappropriately loud volume) had sense enough not to wear headphones and thereby deliberately limit their sources of perception and potentially cause hazard to other road-users; indeed, existing laws could be used to prosecute those who do not take reasonable care. I agree, however, that there needs to be a causal link established, more than anecdotally, between the wearing of headphones and the recent spate of publicised accidents - while one suspects that there may be a link, it is fatuous to argue such things with no empirical evidence.

  • Judith - 18/12/2013 11:40

    I am a cyclist and a driver. I agree that cyclists should be banned from wearing headphones, and the government should make it the law for All cyclists to wear cycle helmets. Cyclists should observe junctions, traffic lights, pedestrian crossing and one way streets etc, this would reduce the risk of death or injury to them and to pedestrians and other road users. The Highway Code should apply to All road users and needs the Police and the government to Enforce it.

    • Guy - 18/12/2013 11:46

      @Judith - completely agree. The recent police enforcement at red lights in central London was very welcome and effective - I saw a much better standard of cycling that week. I am a regular commuting cyclist - the law breakers put themselves in danger and give decent cyclists a bad name.

    • Dan - 23/12/2013 11:11

      @Guy - I noted this too, saw a doozy of a stupid cyclist pulled over a few hundred meters after cutting me up (on my bike) out of a side road, with no lights or helmet, whilst eating an apple, then mounting the pavement, weaving through a crowded bus stop outside McDonald's and then LOL being stopped and told off by the Police, ideally she should have got some form of fine!!. There was also a van driver and three cars, I saw the van driver, he had one light out and was talking on his phone (no hands-free) all the way down the high street, one of the cars was an old Corsa with an illegal HID kit blinding everyone, not sure what the third was pulled over for. I thought it was refreshing to see the Police dealing with all poor road users in this way.

  • Ken Davis - 18/12/2013 11:43

    Personally I feel both drivers and cyclists have both responsibilities; drivers should give more room going past and be more aware, similarly cyclists need to wear more visible clothing and be aware that vehicles cannot always seem them, particularly HGVs, Buses etc have big blind spots.

  • Andrew - 18/12/2013 11:45

    So ban all cyclists the writer says. There is a lot of absolute rubbish spoken against cyclists by some motorists who think cos you have a bike you don't have a car. I do over 30k a year in my car. I pay for my own petrol, insurance and road tax. I also am a keen cyclist, I don't wear headphones, I obey the law with regard to traffic lights and junctions and do my best to ride considerately and in single file when riding with others. I could give you many examples of lunatic white van drivers, the utter stupidity and plain dangerous antics of certain motorists encountering cyclists, just this morning I see a bloke drinking coffee in one hand and with a mobile phone to his ear. The problem is like with many things in life, most people want to do things right. They want to ride safely, and drive safely within the law. The lunatic few and the self righteous "I do no wrong" so ban the lot of them nonsense, is what is so juvenile. Lets all give each other a break, respect the fact that we all use the roads and give some consideration to motorists and cyclists a like.

  • Paul - 18/12/2013 11:46

    I think people are reacting emotionally and being perochial and playing the green card. When I drive, if someone runs in to me, airbags inflate, crumple zones come in to play and I am controlled by a seat belt. A similar minor bump on two wheels and its a totally different story. The guy who crushed his skull on our stationary vehicle was in his 50's and had ridden for years but he had headphones in and his head down. That's tragic but also very irresponsible. Guess who the Police tried to balme ?

  • David - 18/12/2013 12:10

    It is not just cyclists this should be directed at. The ban should extend to all drivers as the use of headphones is probably more dangerous than mobile phones. It is not just young drivers either who indulge in this stupid and deadly habit. The total lack of awareness and concentration of what is occurring around them is staggering at times.

  • Rob Chisholm, Applewood Vehicle Finance Ltd - 18/12/2013 12:19

    Having read through a good number of the responses below I can only conclude that most should start by asking themselves "What can I do better to prevent an accident?" as opposed to beginning by blaming those in the opposite corner. ALL of us are to blame, no matter whether that is as a car driver, a motorcyclist or a cyclist (and I am all three of those at some point or another). I can only offer this advice - get a motorcycle licence, even if you aren't going to use it. It will make each of us a better road user, and you will learn what road reading and observation is all about. Now I'll go an wait for the anti-motorcycle brigade to weigh in with their biased, blinkered and ignorant comments.

  • Tony Leigh - 18/12/2013 12:20

    I've noticed a growing trend of car drivers wearing headphones or two earpieces. Is there already legislation to cover this?

  • Rich Farlane - 18/12/2013 12:40

    Anyone who rides a bike on London roads is taking their life in to their own hands period. If they choose to where non high viz clothing or headphones then they are significantly increasing their chances of an accident. If on top of all this they don't wear a helmet then their chances of a life threatening injury is exponentially increased. As a driver both in London and on the UK's motorways and A roads I am sick to death of signs telling me to 'think bike'. When are bike riders going to start thinking for themselves??? Headphones should be illegal, high viz clothing should be mandatory as should helmets. We don't need a bloody poll to tell us this, it's common sense!

  • gregoryiain - 18/12/2013 13:12

    Hang on a minute... What about deaf people - should they all lose driving-licences and surrender bicycles? Should deaf people be allowed to walk down the street? What about all the motorists with headphones on? What about all the closed windows and loud stereos in cars? What about the laptops showing DVDs and iPlayer programmes we see hidden down in the footwell of cars? What about tinted and blacked-out windows? What about vehicles allowed on the road with significant blind-spots. What about the fact that you can ride or drive or walk down a street stone-deaf? What about silent vehicles like Prius that we already see with our eyes and avoid? What about phone apps like 'Awareness' that actually amplify traffic noise? What about the motorists that have no eye-test at all during 45-years of driving? This whole spurious headphone thread is a spoiler to protect motorists from taking responsibility for their actions while using stereos, satnavs, eating, drinking, smoking and telephoning while in charge of a motor-vehicle.. This whole sideshow is also being used by the Mayor of London to divert the argument from media-attention from avoidable deaths of cyclists at junctions that had been criticised as dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians by the Metropolitan Police and motoring organisations and that TfL had persisted with. Don't forget that the cyclists killed were on 'cycle-lanes' and the even greater number of pedestrians that were killed in the week that started the call for this latest bit of victim-blaming were on pavements and crossings. I am a motorist and a cyclist and do not wear headphones on my bicycle but see absolutely nothing wrong with doing so.

    • Mike - 18/12/2013 14:29

      @gregoryiain - I am a motorist and cyclist and if asked would definitely be more supportive of cyclists than not. I wear headphones all the time when i am in the hills on my mountain bike and off road. The second i get near a road i take the headphones out and ride without them. My personal opinion is it feels much safer and i can see why anyone would want to ride with them in. Hey i am not in favor of anything like this being banned or people being forced to wear high vis and helmets either, its all just a bit Orwellian for me.

    • gregoryiain - 18/12/2013 15:09

      @Mike - I agree

    • John - 19/12/2013 13:30

      @gregoryiain - and you are correct like Hi Viz, Testing, Licences, Helmets its a Red Herring Which is used as a diversion from poor driving behaviour THe Behaviour that costs 3000 people their lives every year

  • mal - 18/12/2013 14:26

    If you dont see the problem with wearing headphones when you are on a bike, then we are losing the battle to educate cyclists. It is their safety at risk here not the driver who is cocooned in his safety shell, surely cyclists need to understand this. All the bravado and counter argument in the world is not going to alter the law of Psychics so until these cycling rights protesters realise that they are not Ironman on a bike, the sooner that they can practice good awareness to prevent accidents rather than pretending the world is against them

    • gregoryiain - 18/12/2013 15:08

      @mal - I don't believe I am in many of the camps you portray here (but I'll keep checking) but I only trust my eyes at the end of the day after 40 years of driving and 50 of cycling. You use the word 'accident' and tell the population to wise up and prevent them - well if they were 'accidents' they could not be prevented. I assume you mean 'collisions' and when you use 'accident' you mean 'unintentional' - very different. If a machine in a factory keeps dragging people off the shop-floor they put a guard around it because injury is avoidable when the cause is identified. On our roads we have decided we do not wish to spend the money or waste the time to prevent deaths of people not in the primary and most expensive transport mode. 40% of households have a car, only one of those householders may use the vehicle at any one time and yet you say that everyone else (including the drivers when they are out of their vehicles), the majority, had better get ready to defend themselves - or die. On a windy day on a bike in traffic do you honestly think I am going to rely on my hearing to tell me exactly what is behind and around me? I have trained long and hard to stop myself doing exactly that and with increasing numbers of electric cars it is more important. I am constantly moving my head to look around me. This is just as I do in the car where I have three mirrors and a rear-facing camera and I still turn my head and check. I certainly do not think of myself as Ironman but the cocooned motorists on our roads seem to think that we are all (other vehicle occupants included) pixel characters in a videogame. Younger cyclists and motorists who have not seen burst people spread out on the road often do not take responsibility for themselves. A minority of people, it appears, behave with basic courtesy simply because they can - people only talk about being within the furthest confines of the law and the highway code rather than driving and riding well. My point is that deafness is no bar to anything, eye-tests are never required, motorcyclists put huge ear-plugs in before donning a soundproof bucket, there is no device that disables telephones within a car, the law of averages mean it is cheaper and more cost-effective for many motorists (1.5million estimated) to go without insurance or licence leading to an exponential rise in hit & run incidents - but the perceived problem, this week, is the minority of cyclists who wear headphones. It might be time to say that we've tried traffic-calming, speed bumps, traffic-lights, speed-limits, cameras, police patrols, number-plate recognition, warning sensors, signage and everything else but motorised vehicles are crashing into everyone and everything or being abandoned everywhere so that other road-users have to complete hazardous moves to get round them all the time because we get away with it. Don't get run-over has to come after don't run-over surely? I am not defending or castigating any particular party because of their mode of transport nor will I defend any idiot whatever their transport mode but in this I do see the majority using a pack-instinct to round on the minority to maintain a status-quo. The times have already started changing and in five years time this conversation will have started to seem completely anachronistic.

    • alex w - 18/12/2013 17:43

      @mal - The issue is general common sense from all parties , I am cyclist and a car driver and do not understand why people wear headphones on the road cycling as it reduces one of your senses that you rely on, however as already said in this thread it is an education of all parties regardless. On my drive into the office in the morning I often see people drinking coffee or on the phone and quite often see women putting make up on . Common sense should take over however it will not . The argument about hi vis clothing is not valid as studies conducted by Bath university have concluded that it makes no difference if you are wearing hi vis clothing or not and it is my choice if I want to wear hi vis clothing and I choose not too as I trust other road users to spot me in the road which you expect as if cyclist have to wear hi viz clothing then shouldn't they stop making black cars ???? Education and training for cyclists , drivers is far more important than the constant figure pointing that always happens when this argument comes up.

    • Rob Chisholm, Applewood Finance Ltd - 18/12/2013 17:55

      @gregoryiain - You seem to be taking this all very personally. ALL of us have a responsibility for our own and each others safety. I am with cyclists requiring consideration, but I am also in favouring of them showing it too. That is NOT a dig at you personally, as I don't know you at all. It is a comment on those who cycle irresponsibly - I am sorry to tell you but that does happen, just the same as some car drivers, lorry drivers, motorcyclists and even pedestrians. By the way, a motorcyclist does not wear a soundproof lid (they are anything but), and neither do ear plugs make you temporarily deaf or pump ancillary sound into your eardrums while wearing them. In fact they help clear the sound of the wind and airbox, but certainly not the sound of engines close by to them.

  • Tony Leigh - 19/12/2013 09:28

    If you want to see how irresponsible cyclists can be, then come to Cambridge. We have a large population of cyclists in the City. At least 50% don't have lights. I see many a day going across red lights. Add to that the number who believe it is their right to cycle the wrong way up one way streets, especially those in the centre where there are many pedestrians. And when did you last see a cyclist with a bell or other audible means of warning? And if there were to be an accident between a cyclist with no lights and a motorist, who would get the blame? Of course, the motorist. Come on cyclists, take on your basic responsibilities for your own safety.

  • James Nayler - 19/12/2013 09:37

    There is a lot of feeling about this subject and a lot of it comes from both sides not appreciating the others needs or responsibilities. It is a shame that both cannot work together to make the transport network better but cyclist hate motorists, cars hate buses, lorries and cyclists, etc. Until a more considerate approach is taken (Like Holland) by everyone then traffic will always be an issue

  • John Smith - 19/12/2013 13:27

    So non cyclists, the drivers who kill nearly 3000 people a year, want to place a ban on cyclists. You could not make it up. Deal with your own poor driving behavior first, to save a few lives

    • Rob Chisholm, Applewood Vehicle Finance Ltd - 19/12/2013 13:42

      @John Smith - I don't think anyone (or at least very few) wants 'to place a ban on cyclists' as you claim. But not wearing headphones when in a vulnerable position on congested roads is surely what any sensible person would do, isn't it? Isn't it? Unfortunately some people do need protecting from themselves.

    • John - 19/12/2013 17:02

      @Rob Chisholm, Applewood Vehicle Finance Ltd - So you missed the title & intent of this piece? But it would not just apply to the areas you identify. It would apply on every road in the UK. There is absolutely nothing wrong , or even vaguely unsafe, with wearing a simple earphone to listen to music or radio whilst cycling. In the dales & Moors of Gods own County you see few vehicles .. One can easily hear the murderous driver trying to ride you down. The difficulty is avoiding the tonne(s) of metal This, of course, is a diversion. The big question is how do we stop vehicle drivers killing thousands of people & mutilating 10's of thousands of old people & children every year

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