By Theresa Goodwin
The horrific May 8 road accident that landed four cyclists in hospital – one with severe injuries – has apparently served as an eye-opener for some motorists who appear to now be showing greater consideration to riders.
Veteran cyclist and commentator Alistair Savoury told Observer yesterday that he had noticed a visible change in the actions of some drivers.
“I would say the majority of drivers are a lot more considerate to cyclists on the road – not all of them. Although it is still scary, there has been some improvement,” said the former president of the Road Runners Cycling Club.
“It is a pity that it has taken a tragedy of this magnitude to get the vulnerability of pedestrians and cyclists into the public eye. Every day we go riding it can be frightening,” he added.
He also acknowledged the fact that some riders have become apprehensive about venturing out on the road following the incident.
Savoury said just prior to the accident he had taken a personal decision to stay off the road for a while after experiencing what he called a number of “close shaves” while cycling from Old Road.
Savoury was himself involved in a serious accident a few years ago.
“I felt scared and I am not somebody who gets frightened easily. Vehicle drivers don’t even care about each other and when you are a cyclist or pedestrian you become more vulnerable.
“I took off two weeks and then this accident happens. Some cyclists have started to come back out and some are scared understandably,” he explained.
National cyclist Andre Simon was the most severely injured out of the four cyclists hit by a car last month.
A national effort is underway to raise more than US$500,000 for him to be flown overseas for treatment for head trauma.
The 36-year-old, who was said to be at peak fitness at the time of the accident, remains under close observation at the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre.
His family say they are hopeful that there will be further signs of his recovery as fundraising efforts continue.
On Sunday a relative told Observer that Simon was “holding on” and remains in a state of unresponsive wakefulness. He also confirmed that the family was in talks with the government which has pledged to lend financial support to the fundraising efforts.
A GoFundMe account – found at https://gofund.me/49f11497 – has so far raised more than US$57,000.
People can also make donations via the Caribbean Union Bank at account #20004089, the Community First Credit Union at account #098425, or the Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank at account #131003564.
A 39-year-old man from Hatton has been charged with dangerous driving in connection with the May 8 incident.
By Theresa Goodwin