'We need to do more to protect cyclists'

The Argus: 'We need to do more to protect cyclists' 'We need to do more to protect cyclists'

A father who has been left in a wheelchair after being knocked off his bike has said more must be done to keep cyclists safe on the roads.

Graham Andrews was flung eight feet through the air after a hit and run in March 2008.

Speaking publically for the first time since the life changing crash, the former engineer said more must be done to protect cyclists.

He said: “On the one hand we are being encouraged to cycle more and leave our cars at home.

“But on the other hand, when cyclists are being seriously injured or killed as often as they are at the moment, it puts people off and measures need to be put in place to reassure that their safety is being considered.”


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The 45-year-old from East Preston has spent the past five years battling for compensation after the life-changing crash.

His lawyers lodged an application with the Motor Insurers Bureau, who compensate victims of uninsured or untraced drivers.

However, the claim was refused on the basis there was no evidence he had been hit by an untraced vehicle.

He went on to contact Irwin Mitchell law firm in 2009 who successfully lodge an appeal on his behalf.

‘Life-changing’

A series of payments has allowed Mr Andrews to undergo intensive rehabilitation, including physiotherapy and spinal treatment.

Asha Vekaria, a serious injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The injuries which Graham suffered in the collision have been life changing for him and he is only now starting to rebuild his life.

“Sadly, we continue to see so many people whose lives have been devastated as a consequence of road traffic collisions, particularly cyclists.

“We have repeatedly called for all road users to take greater care and be more vigilant of others in order to improve road safety.

“We hope Graham’s case acts as a reminder about how important it is for motorists and cyclists to share the roads safely to prevent serious injury.”

Mr Andrews added: “The accident has totally changed my life; I have had to adapt and get my head round the fact that I am probably never going to walk again.

“I am also unable to work due to my injuries.

“I do still have some hope in the back of my mind, but I am now in the routine of living life in a wheelchair.” 

Comments (20)

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8:43am Thu 12 Dec 13

DistinctLackOfGravitas says...

Let's get all these arguments out of the way first shall we?
- He must have run a red light/I bet he ran a red light/All cyclists run red lights.
- If the police would prosecute more dangerous cyclists we could avoid accidents like this/A cyclist once bumped into my mum on the pavement, all cyclists are nutcases.
- I bet he was in the road when he should have been in a cycle lane so it's his own fault.
- I bet he wasn't wearing a cycle helmet so it's his own fault.
- Cyclists can complain about roads when they pay road tax.
- During the morning rush hour when hundreds of cars are travelling to work at the same time, the fact there are a few cyclists causes huge traffic jams/If only the council hadn't wasted money on cycle lanes we'd never have rush-hour traffic jams.
- Cyclists shouldn't be sharing the road with cars they're too dangerous and unpredictable/The council shouldn't waste money on dedicated cycle lanes.

There we go, all sorted.
Let's get all these arguments out of the way first shall we? - He must have run a red light/I bet he ran a red light/All cyclists run red lights. - If the police would prosecute more dangerous cyclists we could avoid accidents like this/A cyclist once bumped into my mum on the pavement, all cyclists are nutcases. - I bet he was in the road when he should have been in a cycle lane so it's his own fault. - I bet he wasn't wearing a cycle helmet so it's his own fault. - Cyclists can complain about roads when they pay road tax. - During the morning rush hour when hundreds of cars are travelling to work at the same time, the fact there are a few cyclists causes huge traffic jams/If only the council hadn't wasted money on cycle lanes we'd never have rush-hour traffic jams. - Cyclists shouldn't be sharing the road with cars they're too dangerous and unpredictable/The council shouldn't waste money on dedicated cycle lanes. There we go, all sorted. DistinctLackOfGravitas

8:45am Thu 12 Dec 13

michael505 says...

Very sorry for Mr Andrews but cyclists need to be more responsible. The vast majority disregards all traffic laws and wonder why they get hurt.
Very sorry for Mr Andrews but cyclists need to be more responsible. The vast majority disregards all traffic laws and wonder why they get hurt. michael505

9:00am Thu 12 Dec 13

nkwbtn says...

I very nearly hit a cyclist who had run a red light. Both car drivers and cyclists need to take care and responsibility for themselves and each other if we are to prevent further tragic events like this one. We share the roads in this city and the highway code is there for everyone's safety.
I very nearly hit a cyclist who had run a red light. Both car drivers and cyclists need to take care and responsibility for themselves and each other if we are to prevent further tragic events like this one. We share the roads in this city and the highway code is there for everyone's safety. nkwbtn

9:14am Thu 12 Dec 13

brightoncorsadriver says...

Cyclists need to do more to protect themselves. Very sorry to hear about Mr Andrews in this story but there are far too many "idiot" cyclists on the road.

- All cyclists MUST wear a crash helmet. Accidents do happen so it makes sense to take precautions to save your life. Same as wearing visible colours when travelling and LIGHTS!!!!!!!!!
- Cyclists should stay in the cycle lanes where provided (not skip in an out between cars to get ahead of the traffic you risk not being seen if you keep switching position in the road.) When no cycle lane is visible stay on the left hand side of the cars (closest to the kerb).
-Stop running red lights, you cannot see the traffic which has been given the signal to go and you may be hit or you may hit a pedestrian crossing the road.

I not saying all cyclists are bad, sure enough there are some bad motor vehicle drivers too but if everyone keeps to the rules of the road then there will be less accidents.
Cyclists need to do more to protect themselves. Very sorry to hear about Mr Andrews in this story but there are far too many "idiot" cyclists on the road. - All cyclists MUST wear a crash helmet. Accidents do happen so it makes sense to take precautions to save your life. Same as wearing visible colours when travelling and LIGHTS!!!!!!!!! - Cyclists should stay in the cycle lanes where provided (not skip in an out between cars to get ahead of the traffic you risk not being seen if you keep switching position in the road.) When no cycle lane is visible stay on the left hand side of the cars (closest to the kerb). -Stop running red lights, you cannot see the traffic which has been given the signal to go and you may be hit or you may hit a pedestrian crossing the road. I not saying all cyclists are bad, sure enough there are some bad motor vehicle drivers too but if everyone keeps to the rules of the road then there will be less accidents. brightoncorsadriver

9:27am Thu 12 Dec 13

Morpheus says...

Quite a few years ago I used to cycle for exercise when I lived close to the London green belt thinking that being out of traffic would be safer. Then cyclists started to be injured by motorist speeding down country lanes on the wrong side of the road. I gave up cycling and nothing would tempt me to put my life at risk again by this crazy activity.
Quite a few years ago I used to cycle for exercise when I lived close to the London green belt thinking that being out of traffic would be safer. Then cyclists started to be injured by motorist speeding down country lanes on the wrong side of the road. I gave up cycling and nothing would tempt me to put my life at risk again by this crazy activity. Morpheus

10:24am Thu 12 Dec 13

ripmaxman says...

I feel very sorry for Graham Andrews, but we also need to protect pedestrians from irresponsible cyclists ridding on pavements, jumping red lights, texting while cycling and listening to music.

Cyclists need to be aware of the traffic as much as drivers should look out for cyclists.

When I pointed out to a cyclist that the traffic lights were red they replied “We don’t have to stop to red lights”.

Anyone can buy a bike and ride on the road without any training whatsoever. Every cyclists should be tested to ensure they have at least a basic knowledge of the law.

How many cyclists know it is against the law to ride on the pavement and they are liable to a £30 fine and up to over £1000 if they are caught causing a major injury?
I feel very sorry for Graham Andrews, but we also need to protect pedestrians from irresponsible cyclists ridding on pavements, jumping red lights, texting while cycling and listening to music. Cyclists need to be aware of the traffic as much as drivers should look out for cyclists. When I pointed out to a cyclist that the traffic lights were red they replied “We don’t have to stop to red lights”. Anyone can buy a bike and ride on the road without any training whatsoever. Every cyclists should be tested to ensure they have at least a basic knowledge of the law. How many cyclists know it is against the law to ride on the pavement and they are liable to a £30 fine and up to over £1000 if they are caught causing a major injury? ripmaxman

10:59am Thu 12 Dec 13

gheese77 says...

I cycle, I never ride on the pavement and I never run red lights.
I have contempt for cyclists who disregard the law.
The fact is though cars are massively more dangerous to others than bicycles.
The majority of motorists are considerate and drive carefully but there is a minority of idiots on the road who do not appreciate how dangerous a half ton lump of metal can be. Pedestrians and cyclists need to be protected from these idiots.
I cycle, I never ride on the pavement and I never run red lights. I have contempt for cyclists who disregard the law. The fact is though cars are massively more dangerous to others than bicycles. The majority of motorists are considerate and drive carefully but there is a minority of idiots on the road who do not appreciate how dangerous a half ton lump of metal can be. Pedestrians and cyclists need to be protected from these idiots. gheese77

11:46am Thu 12 Dec 13

micklin says...

DistinctLackOfGravit
as
wrote:
Let's get all these arguments out of the way first shall we?
- He must have run a red light/I bet he ran a red light/All cyclists run red lights.
- If the police would prosecute more dangerous cyclists we could avoid accidents like this/A cyclist once bumped into my mum on the pavement, all cyclists are nutcases.
- I bet he was in the road when he should have been in a cycle lane so it's his own fault.
- I bet he wasn't wearing a cycle helmet so it's his own fault.
- Cyclists can complain about roads when they pay road tax.
- During the morning rush hour when hundreds of cars are travelling to work at the same time, the fact there are a few cyclists causes huge traffic jams/If only the council hadn't wasted money on cycle lanes we'd never have rush-hour traffic jams.
- Cyclists shouldn't be sharing the road with cars they're too dangerous and unpredictable/The council shouldn't waste money on dedicated cycle lanes.

There we go, all sorted.
what a complete to$$pot
[quote][p][bold]DistinctLackOfGravit as[/bold] wrote: Let's get all these arguments out of the way first shall we? - He must have run a red light/I bet he ran a red light/All cyclists run red lights. - If the police would prosecute more dangerous cyclists we could avoid accidents like this/A cyclist once bumped into my mum on the pavement, all cyclists are nutcases. - I bet he was in the road when he should have been in a cycle lane so it's his own fault. - I bet he wasn't wearing a cycle helmet so it's his own fault. - Cyclists can complain about roads when they pay road tax. - During the morning rush hour when hundreds of cars are travelling to work at the same time, the fact there are a few cyclists causes huge traffic jams/If only the council hadn't wasted money on cycle lanes we'd never have rush-hour traffic jams. - Cyclists shouldn't be sharing the road with cars they're too dangerous and unpredictable/The council shouldn't waste money on dedicated cycle lanes. There we go, all sorted.[/p][/quote]what a complete to$$pot micklin

12:42pm Thu 12 Dec 13

thevoiceoftruth says...

As someone who spent many years cycling, I have sympathy. Some car drivers are utter morons. However, so are many cyclists - particularly in Brighton. I regularly see them jumping red lights, riding on pavements (fast) and with no lights at night.

Perhaps as part of the driving test, all drivers should be forced to cycle along a busy road to get a feel for what cyclists put up with.

Likewise, perhaps all cyclists should be forced to do a proficiency test and get insurance.

A bit of consideration both ways is what is needed.
As someone who spent many years cycling, I have sympathy. Some car drivers are utter morons. However, so are many cyclists - particularly in Brighton. I regularly see them jumping red lights, riding on pavements (fast) and with no lights at night. Perhaps as part of the driving test, all drivers should be forced to cycle along a busy road to get a feel for what cyclists put up with. Likewise, perhaps all cyclists should be forced to do a proficiency test and get insurance. A bit of consideration both ways is what is needed. thevoiceoftruth

12:54pm Thu 12 Dec 13

wippasnapper says...

I was watching something on TV this morning and it was stated that even though Trucks only make up 8% of traffic usage on the roads more accidents accrued between cyclists and Lorry’s and the government are rolling out training courses for lorry drivers to became more aware of cyclists (Lath out Lowed) pardon me but shouldn’t that be cyclists need to take a course in awareness of other road users PLUS there legal requirements as a cyclist on the public highways! I.e. like lorry’s et so why is it yet another cyclist becomes a road accident statistic and it is put down to another road users are at fort regardless of the actions of the cyclist for example a lorry is driving down a bendy road “it is wise to give that lorry room & consideration” i.e. being aware the driver can-not always see you! So yes I agree “We need to do more to protect cyclists” so why not make it a legal binding requirement that all cyclists need to attend a road traffic awareness course! To witch to can also be informed of there road traffic laws i.e. stopping at RED lights & junctions & at night to wear light or reflective clothing plus have LIGHTS & reflectors on your bicycle & most important BE-AWARE of other road users! But nun of this will ever happen because as we all know cyclists have there heads so far up there anises they are unaware they are the main attributors to most road traffic accidents they are in.
I was watching something on TV this morning and it was stated that even though Trucks only make up 8% of traffic usage on the roads more accidents accrued between cyclists and Lorry’s and the government are rolling out training courses for lorry drivers to became more aware of cyclists (Lath out Lowed) pardon me but shouldn’t that be cyclists need to take a course in awareness of other road users PLUS there legal requirements as a cyclist on the public highways! I.e. like lorry’s et so why is it yet another cyclist becomes a road accident statistic and it is put down to another road users are at fort regardless of the actions of the cyclist for example a lorry is driving down a bendy road “it is wise to give that lorry room & consideration” i.e. being aware the driver can-not always see you! So yes I agree “We need to do more to protect cyclists” so why not make it a legal binding requirement that all cyclists need to attend a road traffic awareness course! To witch to can also be informed of there road traffic laws i.e. stopping at RED lights & junctions & at night to wear light or reflective clothing plus have LIGHTS & reflectors on your bicycle & most important BE-AWARE of other road users! But nun of this will ever happen because as we all know cyclists have there heads so far up there anises they are unaware they are the main attributors to most road traffic accidents they are in. wippasnapper

1:21pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Brightonscouse2 says...

Ah the old 'but cyclists need to do this, this & this' retort. There's been not one word of condemnation towards the motorist that fled the scene & left a man in a wheelchair. Just preaching about the behaviour if cyclists. This is why there will always be a them & us divide between motorists & cyclists. Sensible discussion is stifled when it's one sided.
Ah the old 'but cyclists need to do this, this & this' retort. There's been not one word of condemnation towards the motorist that fled the scene & left a man in a wheelchair. Just preaching about the behaviour if cyclists. This is why there will always be a them & us divide between motorists & cyclists. Sensible discussion is stifled when it's one sided. Brightonscouse2

1:23pm Thu 12 Dec 13

comanche762 says...

this is horrible and not a nice thing to hear but ill be frank , both cyclists and motorist need to be educated properly on the hazards associated with both modes of transport
this is horrible and not a nice thing to hear but ill be frank , both cyclists and motorist need to be educated properly on the hazards associated with both modes of transport comanche762

1:52pm Thu 12 Dec 13

peebee9 says...

A lot of money is spent on special cycle lanes, but in my experience they are often ignored and the cyclists continue mixing in with cars and lorries.
A lot of money is spent on special cycle lanes, but in my experience they are often ignored and the cyclists continue mixing in with cars and lorries. peebee9

1:56pm Thu 12 Dec 13

graham_Seagull says...

Brightonscouse2 wrote:
Ah the old 'but cyclists need to do this, this & this' retort. There's been not one word of condemnation towards the motorist that fled the scene & left a man in a wheelchair. Just preaching about the behaviour if cyclists. This is why there will always be a them & us divide between motorists & cyclists. Sensible discussion is stifled when it's one sided.
yes spot on.

this guy was hit by a person who then drove off.

there a multiple postings on here about how cyclists are soooo bad and need to take care of themeslves better.

But weirdly, or perhaps not, there is absolutely no condemnation (aside from yours Scouse) of the person who left this guy severely injured.

Thats is disgusting behaviour of the lowest order and just shows how myopic people can be when they get behind the wheel.

Only this morning whilst walking my kids to school I saw a fellow parent drive at well over 30mph (on a road outside the school that has been 20mph for years now) then park on the yellow zig zags. When I asked him why he acted with little consideration his response was that kids should look when they cross the road.

Now for me, that behaviour has a far higher likelihood of killing or injuring a child than a cyclist and should be highlighted as such, but I would suspect that most of the posters on this thread think that guys behaviour is far more acceptable than a cyclist going through a red light.

How warped can people be.
[quote][p][bold]Brightonscouse2[/bold] wrote: Ah the old 'but cyclists need to do this, this & this' retort. There's been not one word of condemnation towards the motorist that fled the scene & left a man in a wheelchair. Just preaching about the behaviour if cyclists. This is why there will always be a them & us divide between motorists & cyclists. Sensible discussion is stifled when it's one sided.[/p][/quote]yes spot on. this guy was hit by a person who then drove off. there a multiple postings on here about how cyclists are soooo bad and need to take care of themeslves better. But weirdly, or perhaps not, there is absolutely no condemnation (aside from yours Scouse) of the person who left this guy severely injured. Thats is disgusting behaviour of the lowest order and just shows how myopic people can be when they get behind the wheel. Only this morning whilst walking my kids to school I saw a fellow parent drive at well over 30mph (on a road outside the school that has been 20mph for years now) then park on the yellow zig zags. When I asked him why he acted with little consideration his response was that kids should look when they cross the road. Now for me, that behaviour has a far higher likelihood of killing or injuring a child than a cyclist and should be highlighted as such, but I would suspect that most of the posters on this thread think that guys behaviour is far more acceptable than a cyclist going through a red light. How warped can people be. graham_Seagull

3:06pm Thu 12 Dec 13

DistinctLackOfGravitas says...

michael505 wrote:
Very sorry for Mr Andrews but cyclists need to be more responsible. The vast majority disregards all traffic laws and wonder why they get hurt.
"this is horrible and not a nice thing to hear but..."
"I feel very sorry for Graham Andrews, but ..."
"Very sorry for Mr Andrews but..."
"Very sorry to hear about Mr Andrews in this story but..."

Guys this kind of makes you sound like those "I'm not racist, but.... [racist thing".
"I'm very sorry to hear this cyclist was paralysed in a hit-and-run, but actually I'm not sorry at all he probably deserved it".
[quote][p][bold]michael505[/bold] wrote: Very sorry for Mr Andrews but cyclists need to be more responsible. The vast majority disregards all traffic laws and wonder why they get hurt.[/p][/quote]"this is horrible and not a nice thing to hear but..." "I feel very sorry for Graham Andrews, but ..." "Very sorry for Mr Andrews but..." "Very sorry to hear about Mr Andrews in this story but..." Guys this kind of makes you sound like those "I'm not racist, but.... [racist thing". "I'm very sorry to hear this cyclist was paralysed in a hit-and-run, but actually I'm not sorry at all he probably deserved it". DistinctLackOfGravitas

3:50pm Thu 12 Dec 13

melee says...

Well the story doesn't reveal if the unfortunate Mr Andrews was wearing protective headgear or making himself visible to other road users so we can't make assumptions about the circumstances of his accident, but yes of course it was terribly wrong that someone drove off and left him lying injured.
But most people here are only relaying the evidence that they see with their own eyes on a regular basis. I know that every morning I will see at least two cyclists dicing with death in their fetching black ensembles. The closest shave I've seen was a cyclist coming up the inside of a lorry as it went up a hill and then cutting across its bonnet to make a right turn. My heart was in my mouth but the cyclist carried on oblivious. I can only guess what it did to the poor lorry driver's nerves.
Well the story doesn't reveal if the unfortunate Mr Andrews was wearing protective headgear or making himself visible to other road users so we can't make assumptions about the circumstances of his accident, but yes of course it was terribly wrong that someone drove off and left him lying injured. But most people here are only relaying the evidence that they see with their own eyes on a regular basis. I know that every morning I will see at least two cyclists dicing with death in their fetching black ensembles. The closest shave I've seen was a cyclist coming up the inside of a lorry as it went up a hill and then cutting across its bonnet to make a right turn. My heart was in my mouth but the cyclist carried on oblivious. I can only guess what it did to the poor lorry driver's nerves. melee

7:14pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Sir Prised says...

Yes, let's grind commenrce and the majority of workers to a crawl, so that a relatively few cyclists can use their bikes. That's makes sense. Apart from the reasonably flat Lewes Road, with it colleges, you hardly ever see a cyclist.
Yes, let's grind commenrce and the majority of workers to a crawl, so that a relatively few cyclists can use their bikes. That's makes sense. Apart from the reasonably flat Lewes Road, with it colleges, you hardly ever see a cyclist. Sir Prised

8:23pm Thu 12 Dec 13

BiggerH says...

DistinctLackOfGravit
as
wrote:
michael505 wrote:
Very sorry for Mr Andrews but cyclists need to be more responsible. The vast majority disregards all traffic laws and wonder why they get hurt.
"this is horrible and not a nice thing to hear but..."
"I feel very sorry for Graham Andrews, but ..."
"Very sorry for Mr Andrews but..."
"Very sorry to hear about Mr Andrews in this story but..."

Guys this kind of makes you sound like those "I'm not racist, but....
agree 100% - whilst people continue to have this not uncommon attitude, nothing much is going to change (irrespective of the number of red lights that cyclists go through/etc)

just more dead/permanently injured people

depressing
[quote][p][bold]DistinctLackOfGravit as[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]michael505[/bold] wrote: Very sorry for Mr Andrews but cyclists need to be more responsible. The vast majority disregards all traffic laws and wonder why they get hurt.[/p][/quote]"this is horrible and not a nice thing to hear but..." "I feel very sorry for Graham Andrews, but ..." "Very sorry for Mr Andrews but..." "Very sorry to hear about Mr Andrews in this story but..." Guys this kind of makes you sound like those "I'm not racist, but.... [racist thing". "I'm very sorry to hear this cyclist was paralysed in a hit-and-run, but actually I'm not sorry at all he probably deserved it".[/p][/quote]agree 100% - whilst people continue to have this not uncommon attitude, nothing much is going to change (irrespective of the number of red lights that cyclists go through/etc) just more dead/permanently injured people depressing BiggerH

10:25pm Thu 12 Dec 13

getThisCoalitionOut says...

This man has been put in a wheel chair - possibly for life after a hit and run and then if that isn't enough, it has to go to court to get compensation and he's refused?! As if he hasn't suffered enough but to then have that happen is completely disgraceful.

Thank goodness he's managed to find a decent firm of solicitors to appeal the decision but how many years has he had to fight this for and on top of everything.

How depressing for him and enough to make him give up on life completely, this just should not be allowed to happen.

How can our government allow our society to have become so uncaring for people who need help? It's shocking and things must be changed to help the sick and disabled.
This man has been put in a wheel chair - possibly for life after a hit and run and then if that isn't enough, it has to go to court to get compensation and he's refused?! As if he hasn't suffered enough but to then have that happen is completely disgraceful. Thank goodness he's managed to find a decent firm of solicitors to appeal the decision but how many years has he had to fight this for and on top of everything. How depressing for him and enough to make him give up on life completely, this just should not be allowed to happen. How can our government allow our society to have become so uncaring for people who need help? It's shocking and things must be changed to help the sick and disabled. getThisCoalitionOut

11:23pm Thu 12 Dec 13

the red head says...

I've had so many near misses with cyclists lately. Since Sunday, two with no lights... One was texting and had earphones in while cycling in darkness, madness!
I honestly believe the way forward is for cyclists to be respected - stop all the he says she says - by devising the same rigorous regulations that are in force for car drivers and their vehicles. Surely if this level playing field is achieved, drivers will not have the bad cyclists argument because the regulations will ensure those who don't comply are fined and charged. A driver cannot move without a safety belt, an mot, road tax, insurance and a driving licence. Yet there is only the lights regulation on cyclists? If we are to increase safety it has to be from people proving they are safe and bring those who aren't to call, surely?
I've had so many near misses with cyclists lately. Since Sunday, two with no lights... One was texting and had earphones in while cycling in darkness, madness! I honestly believe the way forward is for cyclists to be respected - stop all the he says she says - by devising the same rigorous regulations that are in force for car drivers and their vehicles. Surely if this level playing field is achieved, drivers will not have the bad cyclists argument because the regulations will ensure those who don't comply are fined and charged. A driver cannot move without a safety belt, an mot, road tax, insurance and a driving licence. Yet there is only the lights regulation on cyclists? If we are to increase safety it has to be from people proving they are safe and bring those who aren't to call, surely? the red head

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