Vision Techniques

Cyclist follows Sat Nav down M25

A bumbling cyclist found his way on to the M25 in Surrey last week after following instructions on his smartphone Sat Nav.

The hapless commuter caused chaos as he was spotted by drivers and motorway cameras peddling furiously along the hard shoulder during rush hour traffic. Shockingly, the cyclist seemed oblivious to the danger he was in, only a few feet away from Europe’s busiest motorway. CCTV footage shows him twice crossing busy slip roads on his bike, apparently unmoved by the heavy traffic travelling at high speed.

Police managed to apprehend the unfortunate cyclist and drive him and his bike to safety. Responding officer Sergeant Phil Dix, from Surrey Police Road’s Policing Unit, commented:

”The cyclist was apparently taking a short cut home and was following a satellite navigation system on his mobile phone. It is extremely fortunate that there was a safe outcome and that the cyclist was not injured, or worse – especially as he had crossed several slip roads coming off the motorway.

“This is a good example of why motorists should always remain alert and vigilant on the roads as you never know what you may come across on your travels.  I would urge all road users to use a common sense approach when using a satnav, whether that be on foot, two wheels or more.”

Drivers on the route that morning reported significant delays to their journeys, while the unfortunate cyclist himself was left red-faced and out of pocket thanks to a (dare we say well-deserved!) £50 fine.

Human Error: Always A Cause For Concern

While it’s not every day that a misguided cyclist takes to the M25, this incident does serve as a timely reminder that road users must be vigilant when it comes to human error.

Luckily in this case, the cyclist was far enough removed from the traffic to avoid a tragedy. However, a similar lapse in judgment in a busy city centre or on a tight turn could have had dire consequences.

Coroner Mary Hassell, who presided over the inquests into the deaths of cyclists Brian Dorling and Philippine de Gerin-Ricard late last year, noted that unfortunate errors in judgment – not necessarily reckless cycling – were a contributing factor in a number of cyclist fatalities, commenting:

“[One] matter about which I’m going to make a report is the education of cyclists. I think we could change our culture. I appreciate that change has already begun. But I want to support that change, so that cyclists know instinctively how dangerous some of these manoeuvres are.”

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Has your fleet been involved in a collision with a cyclist? Tell us about it in the comments below or tweet us @VisionTechnique on Twitter.