Johnson, cyclist-mayor, annoys cyclists

May 25, 2012 at 1:54 AM

LONDON, May 25 (UPI) -- London Mayor Boris Johnson, a self-described militant cyclist, said many cyclists share blame for crashes because they don't follow the rules.

During his first Mayor's Question Time, Johnson said this week that in 62 percent of crashes in which cyclists are killed or seriously injured, cyclists have failed to obey at least one of the rules of the road, The Independent reported.

Johnson called himself a "passionate, militant cyclist." But he said he wants to encourage an environment in which "everybody understands that everybody has got to obey the rules, otherwise they forfeit sympathy."

The mayor did not say where he got the 62 percent figure from. Most studies of serious collisions between cars and bikes have suggested motorists are at fault in a majority of cases, the newspaper said.

Johnson's comments infuriated some cycling group members and safety campaigners like Kate Cairns, whose sister was killed by a truck in 2009.

"He has done a lot of harm to cyclists because he has upped the ante between cyclists and drivers when we need to be upping the level of mutual respect," Cairns said.

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