Craig Dortkamp, an ‘experienced’ cyclist, had never encountered any problems with other road users or suffered any accidents. Or so he says! But that all changed when Craig cycled through a red light in the City of London – suffering serious injuries as a result.
Reflecting on his experience, Craig said: “It’s so easy not to consider the consequences, but I don’t think I will ever go through a red light again.” On 17th May, Craig was cycling to work during rush hour traffic at about 8am. As Craig approached the junction of Holborn Circus the traffic lights were showing red indicating for him to stop. He failed to stop at the red light and as a result found himself in the middle of a busy junction with cars travelling in all different directions. As he struggled to get out of the way of oncoming traffic he cycled into a taxi.
Craig, who was not wearing a helmet, crashed into the side of a taxi and his head went through the side window smashing the glass completely. He sustained a serious cut to his head which went down to the bone. He required surgery and over 200 stitches. He also suffered smaller cuts to his face, two black eyes and bruising to his neck.
He hopes that by publicising his experience it will encourage other cyclists to stop, think and not to go through red traffic lights. Craig offered advice to other cyclists: “Be sensible, don’t take unnecessary risks, don’t run through a red light – you don’t know what is around the corner. I hope I don’t see any other cyclists running through a red light. If you don’t take that risk your chances of being hit by a vehicle are much slimmer and you probably won’t end up with scars on your face for the rest of your life like me.”
Between April 2012 and March 2013 145 cyclists were injured in the City, 21 seriously. Cyclists caught going through a red light will be issued a Fixed Penalty Notice which carries a £30 fine. Last year over 3,000 fines were given to cyclists for traffic offences in the Square Mile. Of these, nine out of 10 were issued to cyclists who went through a red light.