Charlie Alpha Romeo

This article was published in 1995, in Newsletter 3.

The standard advice offered to a knocked-down cyclist is to obtain details of the driver/vehicle and to secure witnesses. Since the victim, even if not badly hurt, is nearly always in a state of shock and incapable of coherent response, such advice seldom accords with reality.

This is why it is essential for anyone witnessing a cycle accident not only to assist the victim – the natural inclination – but to note the vehicle registration, without which there will be no redress. Note also the time of day and anything else that might later be forgotten. Do this even if the apparently -injured cyclist disdains help; people are apt to change their minds when they later discover rearranged bones, damage to bike, etc.


  • Without independent witnesses, the police will rarely prosecute, even when a cyclist is killed.
  • Without vehicle/driver identification, nothing at all can be done.

There was some confusion over my use of this sign in the last newsletter. This is how it goes: If a bicycle in a red circle indicates “no cycling” (that is, a ban on cycling), then if it’s crossed out, that must mean “no cycle ban”. Well, I thought it was clear. Maybe it works better in colour (it was black and white on paper).