Hi,

My little girl (9) was knocked off her bicycle today in Bushy Park while riding behind me.  The accident was caused by a teenager riding his bicycle in the opposite direction, while talking on his mobile!

He was overtaking a family on bicycles, with children ranging down to 4 years old and all of us arrived at the same point at the same time.  we were as far left as you could go and he was riding straight at me and a collision seemed inevitable!  I shouted at him to get off his phone, he swerved and either clipped or rode so close to my daughter that she came off.  Nothing broken, but very upset and tearful and we had to return home.

Even though he apologised profusely, the situation should not have arisen, it was as if he simply hadn't seen us, yet the path is straight and several hundreds of yards long with clear views in all directions.  He was so deep in conversation, he was only looking a few yards in front.

Please urge any of your youngsters not to drive or ride while talking on the phone.  RoSPA have carried out studies that show that the act of talking on a phone, hands free or not, while riding or driving, reduces performance by over 40%.  Our family policy is that the phone goes off when the ignition goes on.

Increasingly I see riders on phones, often with no hands on the handlebars and the spare hand in a pocket.  If they meander out in front of my car or motorbike and I hit them, no doubt they will try to blame me, yet the responsibility is theirs.

Regards,

John

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