On Friday evening on the way between work and the comfort of the pub, I had the misfortune to bear witness to a road traffic accident. The roundabout on the south side of Trafalgar Sq. has never been my favourite piece of London to navigate but it’s slightly less stressful than Parliament Sq en route to the fast road east, the Victoria Embankment.
At the lights on the roundabout heading towards the Northumberland Avenue exit were myself (BorisBike as my steed) and a motorcycle courier – both of us forward of the double deck bus which had angled over both lanes and within clear sight lines for the bus driver. I am on the left on the nearside, the motorcyclist over towards the far side, quite probably in preparation to avoid the parked cars on Northumberland Ave.
The lights change and we move off, but as is fairly normal some pedestrians make a last dash in front of the traffic on the Northumberland Avenue crossing. The biker slows to avoid hitting them. The bus by now has moved behind me into the left lane.
Then rather suddenly: crash! A small Merc taxi with blacked out windows and diplomatic plates has hit the motorcyclist from behind. The impact gives the bike some unwanted momentum, it raises up throwing the biker off onto his back then lands down onto it’s right hand side. The bike screamed as the throttle twisted uncontrollably.
Thankfully the biker got up and was able to walk and after swapping details we all went our separate ways.
But it is an unfortunate reminder: it is a hostile environment out there on the roads. With the encroaching darkness all it takes is for someone to be in a rush or not paying proper attention to cause disastrous consequences for someone else. Regardless of the mode you choose to use the road – please take time to think about the other users and how your own actions might impact upon them.