The Automobile Association has called upon the Department of Transport to launch a campaign warning cyclists about the dangers of riding while listening to an iPod.
According to the Daily Mail, a number of complaints have arisen regarding cyclists – dubbed iPod Zombies – who wear earphones while cycling.
The newspaper cites the example of Abigail Haythorne, who died after pulling out into an oncoming car and is thought to have had earphones in, and a six year old girl from Merseyside, who was mown down an seriously injured by “an iPod wearing cyclist.”
Government statistics that show that 820 cyclists were killed or seriously injured in the last quarter, a 19 per cent rise on the same period last year.
“It’s a serious problem which is only going to get worse as the number of cyclists increases – lots of people are completely oblivious to what’s going on around them,” commented the campaign director for Youth for Road Safety, Manpreet Darroch.
“People don’t realise how dangerous listening to music is on the roads – whether pedestrian or cyclist. It takes one of your key senses away. People shouldn’t do it.
“You can legislate until you are blue in the face. On the issue of iPods we just need to raise awareness.”
It’s a serious problem which is only going to get worse as the number of cyclists increases – lots of people are completely oblivious to what’s going on around them.”