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Cyclists criticise police's "lack of road user equality" after rider stopped on foggy climb due to motorists' visibility complaints

The reader was stopped three times by Isle of Man Constabulary who told him to put his bike in their van following a "load of complaints"...

Cyclists have expressed concerns with the treatment of a rider by police on a foggy Isle of Man climb after we reported last week that officers had stopped a man three times due to complaints from drivers who said they could not see him.

Chris Glencorse explained how the police told him to "put my bike in the van as it was too dangerous", something later commented on by Isle of Man Constabulary who said they had been dispatched to check on his "welfare" after several drivers reported that they had nearly struck the cyclist due to the apparent poor visibility and adverse conditions on the road.

The cyclist, who was climbing the A18 Snaefell Mountain Road between Ramsey and Douglas on Thursday, had "two lights on the back, a 1200 lumen front light, a bright orange jacket and hi-vis overshoes and gloves" and estimated visibility to be around 200 yards, leading some to question the complaints.

Commenting on our story, one cyclist said there is a "whiff of discrimination and lack of road user equality by the police".

"The reason cyclists' backs are up here is because anyone who cycles knows that generally cyclists are not treated with equal respect and are seen as second-class citizens on the road," Spencer Pyle suggested.

"There is a whiff of discrimination and lack of road user equality by the police attending to the cyclist multiple times. If the police were genuinely concerned for the cyclist's safety, they could have temporarily closed the road to motor vehicles or offered some form of rolling escort.

"They took the easiest option of attempting to remove the problem as if the cyclist was somehow in the wrong for using the road and the car drivers were in the right and had priority. I'm sure that wasn't the officers' intent, but there is a reason this has been shared on social media in a negative light."

Another cyclist, Ali Bean, added: "The operator of any vehicle should be able to stop in the distance they can see is clear ahead, any issue in seeing the rider is simply a whinge from someone who wants to drive too fast for the conditions."

Under our article eburtthebike commented: "The issue was that the drivers were driving dangerously, too fast for the conditions." A point raised by many, including BalladOfStruth who said: "If a driver hits a cyclist in reduced visibility conditions, it's not the cyclist's fault for not being dressed up like a hi-vis Christmas tree, it's the driver's fault for driving too fast for the conditions." They also suggested the point is "irrelevant" as "the cyclist in this story was visible".

However, some had more sympathy for the police, arguing the officers were just "acting on the information" they had.

Mungecrundle asked if they had potentially tried to be "well-meaning" and saw "some poor soul struggling up a hill in the rain and mist thinking they must be utterly miserable, at risk of hypothermia and in need of rescue from danger when in fact they are quite content and having a lovely time."

Adam Sutton commented: "Police are acting on the information they have, and at the end of the day cycling up a mountain that had only just been reopened in fog is questionable. Imagine for a moment something had happened and the police had done nothing. He wasn't stopped from cycling, the police spoke to him three times and got him to sign a waiver to cover [themselves]."

However, the little onion pointed out "the guy had front and back lights" as well as a bright orange jacket. "The police, if they had any sense, would have just have had a word once, maybe not even that. But three times?" they continued.

mctrials23 wrote: "I would assume they were genuinely concerned for the cyclist.
I would love to know what the response would be if the cyclist was hit and we then found out the police were called three times and did nothing... I know we are pro-cyclist on here but sometimes we have to perhaps indulge the thought that not everyone is out to get us. Just most of them."

What do you think? Let us know in the comments...

Dan is the news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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Adam Sutton | 1 year ago

Is this the journalistic equivalent of gogglebox?

Hasn't this person had their 5 minutes of fame now?

lesterama | 1 year ago

I was interested in the original story, but find it all a bit meta to be reading a story about comments on a previous story, comments about which I had already read. Maybe I'm just getting old.

Backladder replied to lesterama | 1 year ago

Slow news day?

quiff replied to lesterama | 1 year ago
lesterama wrote:

I was interested in the original story, but find it all a bit meta to be reading a story about comments on a previous story, comments about which I had already read. 

and then to be asked to comment on it! and yet, here I am

ubercurmudgeon | 1 year ago

I was once marshalling a club 10 TT when a driver stopped to angrily complain that "you cyclists" were irresponsible for riding around without lights at night. The thing was, there was a strict no-lights-no-ride rule, and it was a summer evening, long before sunset. As he calmed down, and seemed genuinely concerned rather than just a cyclist-hater, I realised he was half-blind. But, of course, our economy relies on elderly people driving to the shops and spending money, so there is no compulsory eye testing.

HoarseMann replied to ubercurmudgeon | 1 year ago
ubercurmudgeon wrote:

so there is no compulsory eye testing.

... it won't catch everyone, but the police are apparently now going to start checking drivers' eyesight. Something that I really thought they were doing already:

Sriracha replied to HoarseMann | 1 year ago

Sure, but will it be a fair test? If they just ask them to spot a cyclist dressed in black not wearing a helmet, at 30 yards, naturally they will all pass.

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