Mayor answers to London
Question by Valerie Shawcross
Valerie Shawcross (AM): Thank you very much. Can we just talk about cycling for a minute since you have raised it already. I hope you know what this is, Mr Mayor [holds up a cycling helmet]. Can we just talk about your cycling for a moment. Could we have a commitment from you personally to obey the law? Do you believe in a zero tolerance approach to minor offences like riding bikes through red lights, which I gather you may have done a few times on one trip alone, using a mobile phone on the bike, failing to stop at zebra crossings, and riding on the pavement? Will you, as one of Londons leading citizens...
show a better example of respect for the law and for public safety?...
I think you have neatly rounded it off there, Chair, because the question is about are you going to lead by example and obey the law and protect public safety?
Answer by Boris Johnson (1st Term)
Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Yes, of course. I have already commented on the video that was produced by the Daily Mirror and anybody who takes the trouble to pursue me on my bicycle will discover that I am a punctilious obeyer of traffic lights, which I might say are set at very long on red! They certainly are.
Valerie Shawcross (AM): OK. So we just learned the Mayoral definition of punctilious which is six times -
Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I do not know whether you cycle yourself, Val -
Valerie Shawcross (AM): I do, badly.
Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): -but if you did follow me home you would discover that I now have equipped myself with a helmet; not as an act of capitulation. I want to be absolutely clear about this; this is in no sense a capitulation to the forces of political correctness and health and safety because there is no law that says you have to have a helmet.
Valerie Shawcross (AM): There is now a law about obeying traffic lights.
Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): My wearing of a helmet is really motivated by a desire to be as anonymous as possible on a bike!
Valerie Shawcross (AM): OK. So I think we have had a commitment that you are not going to be breaking the law in future?
Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Yes.