Pedestrians shouting “red light!” are the heroes of one colour blind cyclist’s commute to uni, helping him overcome his inability to see traditional red-amber-green traffic signals.
Ed Millar, a Geography student, makes the perilous 3 mile journey from Withington to uni almost daily, oblivious to every single traffic light on the way.
The bike enthusiast suffers from red-green colour deficiency vision, which he says is frustrating. “It’s responsible for several cycling near-misses, two wardrobe nightmares and a difficult viewing experience of Manchester United playing football,” The third year told a Whip reporter.
“Where the lights are meant to be red, amber and green, I see dark yellow sludge, yellow sludge, and light yellow sludge. They’re indistinguishable. The council don’t give an alternative so without the help of these charitable pedestrians telling me the lights are red I’d really be stuck.
“They usually shout it after I’ve gone through the lights so it’s not as helpful as it could be – I still end up running the red. Some people are quite enthusiastic too; they shout really loud. It can come across as quite aggressive, although perhaps they’re just making sure I can hear them through my headphones.
“I was once chased down the street by a Good Samaritan who was very, very eager to tell me the light was red. I was incredibly appreciative, but he was so excited about it that he gripped me by my t-shirt and threw my bike on the floor. It really hurt actually.”
Before our reporters could probe the authenticity of his condition further, Ed put his headphones in and rode spuriously into the distance, amid cries of “Watch out you dickhead!” from those good-natured pedestrians.