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Stewart WhiteAs somebody who has recently tweeted on the ramifications of social media postings and cycling I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to comment on the media storm which has become known as #bloodycyclists. The storm erupted following a collision between cyclist Toby Hockley who was partaking in the Boudicca Sportive 100 mile and motorist Emma Way.

It is alleged that Miss Way struck Mr Hockley on his bike while travelling on the wrong side of a narrow country road, she also failed to stop at the scene and when she got home she had the temerity to tweet the following: “Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier.   I have the right of way – he doesn’t even pay road tax #Bloodycyclists”. Unfortunately Miss Way failed to realise the power of Twitter and within a few hours she herself was headline news. 

Within these few hours, Miss Way had journalists door-stepping her.  She was suspended from her job as a trainee accountant.  She was being pilloried by people on social media, very few of which had sympathy for her.  Also, Norwich Police tweeted Miss Way asking her to contact them to report the incident.  She is now under investigation and could potentially be charged with causing an accident, leaving the scene of an accident and failing to report it.   The ramifications of her choosing to impart less than 140 characters online have been enormous.

Obviously, this incident has served to stoke up the apparent tension between cyclists and drivers. I remain of the view that there are idiots on both sides who hold extreme views about each other’s presence and conduct on the road.

What would I like to see done to Emma Way?    I think she should keep her job but she will suffer the ripple effects from the aftershocks of this incident for a long time to come.   She has been vilified in certain sections of the media published and social and her infamy may take some time to dissipate.  I probably would recommend that she either is deprived of her licence for a year or two and/or is made to re-sit her driving test.  This brings me on to another point, driving lessons and/or tests should incorporate driver’s awareness to cyclists.  

For the record, I am one of those #bloodycyclists and I also pay Vehicle Excise Duty and always pay attention to other road users. 

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