Off-Topic The Police, motorists, and driving too close to cyclists...

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by FirstHonda, Friday 16th Sep, 2016.

  1. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    Motorists face prosecution for driving too close to cyclists

    Saw this on the news.

    Whilst I have sympathy with the intention, I also hope that the police on their bikes will be giving advice to cyclists about riding within the law. Some hopes!

    Anyway, for those of you in the West Midlands, be aware.
  2. Duc de Pommfrit Moderator Staff Team

    United Kingdom Chester Northumberland
    I get angry when two cyclists ride side by side on country roads and make no effort to move and they know you cannot get past
    MickyB likes this.
  3. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    The actual news story on Sky shows them pulling over a van that I thought gave plenty of room!

    They say drivers should give at least a metre - but often that would mean sitting behind a cyclist for miles until the road became clear enough.

    The solution is more separated cycle lanes in cities and large towns, with a legal requirement for cyclists to use them where they are available.

    Cyclists should be forced to have insurance too.

    The irony is that in Bristol - where there are good separated cycle lanes to be shared with pedestrians - the way cyclists whizz around with no thought for those on foot is very similar to the thoughtless way they feel drivers treat them on the roads...
  4. legend-ary Moderator Staff Team

    They have done it near Vaxhaull and reduced the two lanes to just one either side. As a result you are almost guaranteed to get stuck in traffic if you use that area (it once took me 3 hours to get from east to west) so now rather than travelling 20miles through city to get to west London we drive CW on M25 which is 70miles but takes less time so I am actually causing more pollution but thats what these ill planned segregated cycle lanes do. Rather than squeezing the already congested roads they should have taken chunks of the footpath or something.
    Argh! I hate it when they do that and also many a times to pass traffic they go in between you and oncoming cars on an undivided road and don't even slow down.. They very often put themselves into a very stupid situation and leave it up to the motorist to save them.
  5. jd1959 Valued Contributor ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

    Ireland Zack Kilkenny
    I have issue with both car drivers and cyclists. Coming through a village a lone cyclist decided that cycling on the middle line was a great idea leaving cars to try and pass fully in the opposite lane leaving less than the meter required all while shaking the fist and shouting at the drivers as they went past. Yes he was within the law but a bit of thought to the other road users would be appreciated. The other complaint is the packs of cyclists that won't go to single/double file when there is a safe place to pass to allow traffic to proceed. I understand the logic of it while in twisty parts of the country roads to block cars passing in dangerous areas but come on some of these roads barely accommodate a car and a bike side by side.

    On the other side I've been cycling with the kids where I do try and stay out from the edge of the road as it gives a bit more protection and viability but you have drivers passing way to close and in dangerous areas again with blowing of horns and shouting.

    Both sides have a lot to answer for and ultimately as cycling becomes more popular the laws need to be adjusted and enforced for all.
    exec likes this.
  6. exec Premium Member Club Supporter

    United Kingdom London
    Damn you motorists. :whip:

    As someone who took up cycling and commuting to work everyday on a cycle couple of months ago, I now have a better understanding of being a cyclist. Here is some of my experiences and thoughts.

    To start off with I think it massively helps that I have an actual driving license and number of years experience driving, because this gives you knowledge of the highway and how to use the road properly, so for example having the simple dicipline of stopping at a read light, and looking back, checking blind spot when joining lanes, turning onto a road. A fairly large amount of cyclists do not have this knowledge or awareness and its pretty damn annoying not only as a driver in a car but also as a fellow cyclist. I had my first accident a few weeks back, on a cycle lane, because a c**t decided to stop in the cycle lane to take a selfie or whatever the crap he was doing and this was just behind where the cycle lane narrows, so I came to join, then some speeding c**t from behind cuts me up and in trying to avoid him I clip his rear wheel which puts me off balance and I end up crashing onto the pavement, fortunately I didn't fall or hit any pedestrians and luckily there wasn't any cyclist coming the opposite direction!

    Going back to the thread topic of giving a meter to cyclist, the actual practice makes 100% sense, but the action of fining drivers seems harsh, a bit of nuance always help. The reason why drivers should give a meter is you need give the cyclists enough room to avoid obstacles and there are many. I try and stay near the pavement, but its a really bad place for a cyclist to be in, its referred to as the gutter, this is where the road tends to be at its worse, uneven surfaces, drain holes, lots of covers and in the rain puddles, its a dangerous place to cycle in, you also get pedestrians who walk onto the road without looking.

    Then in other situations when your cycling along a road full of parked cars some people open the door and I've had cars pulling onto the road without looking. So as a cyclist we like to cycle slightly outwards, ideally 1 metres for safety reasons, and as a motorist you do want to give them a meter of space when going past because chances are the cyclist might need to swerve to avoid an obstacle and you don't want to end up hitting them, injuring or killing them as a result. For most parts on my route I find most cars will wait behind and overtake when there is enough room.

    I agree that there should be more segregated cycle lanes, but this requires space and money to do, which isn't easy to find. Making it a legal requirement to cycle on cycle lanes is also unworkable, many times I have to cycle on the road even though there is a cycle lane next to it because my route and exit road means using the road is the only option. Also the cycle lanes are really badly maintained often, the ones I use have broken surfaces, loose manhole covers and the get flooded when it rains. Today it rained and I had to cycle through a swimming pool. Insurance for cyclists would also be extremely difficult to enforce due or even come up with risk.

    A lot of my annoyance when cycling to be honest is pedestrians and other cyclists, pedestrians always step in front of a bike and show little respect, I use the East-West superhighway and the amount of times pedestrians just step into the cycle lane without looking. Then you have various amounts of idiotic cyclists, the ones who never stop at reds and zoom past pedestrians narrowly avoiding hitting them or getting whacked by cars. You have the idiots who cycle at 1mph yet filter out to the top of the queue when at red lights and cause huge congestion at peak times, then you have the idiots who think there competing in tour de france, wearing spandex lycra and other pointless gear and speed past not observing anything and often cycling on the opposite direction overtaking others.

    Lets not forget cars too, so many drivers are at it too and just as worse if not more, often as a motorist you don't notice this as you become used to it and do it yourself too, I noticed it when I started cycling. I've had plenty of drivers who skip red, block up junctions and box junctions, don't leave enough room etc, no respect for the highway code and other road users who have the right to use the roads. When I drive now I try and implement what I as a cyclist would want from a driver, so I give plenty of room to them and will give them space to filter through and generally be a bit observant and accommodating.

    I actually hope they make more cycle lanes in the city of London, it might force people to take up cycling which is good, far too many cars & trucks on the road, and the whole uber thing has filled up the roads with triple amount of cars, many of whom can't drive properly or follow highway code.
    AndyB1976, Zebster and legend-ary like this.
  7. legend-ary Moderator Staff Team

    Very fair assesment actually. I think a lot of the grievances can be alleviated by asking cyclists specially ones that don't hold a licence to attend a basic road safety course to bring them up to speed with actual laws.
    exec likes this.
  8. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter


    I understand a lot of your post. What I would say, is spend a day as a pedestrian on the shared cycle / walkways in Bristol and then see whether your opinion is the same.

    Many cyclists - the majority from what I've seen - go far too fast, with no appreciation of which side they are supposed to stick to. None have bells. They behave in just the same inconsiderate and selfish manner that they accuse car drivers of doing to them on the roads.

    On the roads they often don't stock to basic rules. I now see that we are actually supposed to leave a metre AND A HALF when passing. That just seems unrealistic in many situations. As with motorways and dual carriageways, I think it's time to ban cyclists from faster A and B roads. In city and town centres (in contrast) maybe key roads at key times should be for cyclists and pedestrians only as long as there is good public transport.

    Cyclists need to be held to account and prosecuted in the same way as car drivers are. Only then will behaviour change on both sides.
    Harvey, exec and legend-ary like this.
  9. exec Premium Member Club Supporter

    United Kingdom London

    I've experienced what cyclists are as pedestrian too, when I used to commute by tube, by path to the station was through a one way street and there was always cyclists who would travel on the pavement to circumvent the one way passage and as a result I've had close misses and been forced onto the roads many a times, so know first hand how bad they can be. Same when crossing zebra crossings, half of them never stop, even when someone is walking already on it. I know how bad cyclists are, but just as bad are drivers and pedestrians, you have to step in the shoes of each to realise that each one is as bad as each other.

    I agree with @legend-ary that anyone thinking of taking up cycling who doesnt have any road training should be forced to take one,but even then its not guaranteed to make someone a better road user, as people will try and flout rules to their advantage regardless.
    FirstHonda likes this.
  10. FirstHonda Premium Member Club Supporter

    Not an ideal thing to post on a car forum (lol) but I really wonder whether full segregation of the two is the answer - not on separate lanes, but whole larger town and city centres to be only for public transport, bikes and pedestrians, at least at peak times.
    exec likes this.
  11. jimjams Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom Jim mytown
    I lived and worked in Holland from 2000 to 2003, and I rode a bike to work every day, distance was 3km each way.

    If you remove motorways and dual carriageways from the calculation, there are more miles of cycle tracks and lanes than car lanes. Every road in towns and villages has a cycle lane and the tarmac for the cycle lane is red. So where cars and cycles share the road, the part of the road for the cyclists is clearly designated by the colour of the tarmac. In towns and villages, where there are trams they are top of the pecking order, cyclists and pedestrians are next in the pecking order, with cars at the bottom of the pecking order. If you knock down a cyclist in Holland, you will go to court, and you will have to have a very good reason for not being able to anticipate that the cyclist was going to be in front of you.

    Also bear in mind that there are too many cyclists in this country who try to compete with cars, and with other cyclists, by racing or swerving or just being complete fools. Never saw such fools in Holland, totally different and calmer cycling culture over there.
    exec, legend-ary and FirstHonda like this.
  12. exec Premium Member Club Supporter

    United Kingdom London
    Some of the continental countrys have much better cycling culture, which helps a lot, just look at the types of bike they use in holland, they suited for their usage, whereas in the UK, everyones wearing bloody lycra and commuting on road race bikes with tyres thinner than a string, everyone thinks they are wiggum.
    jimjams likes this.
  13. Zebster Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    United Kingdom .
    Ralph Wiggum? My favourite Simpsons character!
    Modplod, FirstHonda and exec like this.
  14. exec Premium Member Club Supporter

    United Kingdom London
    Lol, i meant Wiggins. :facepalm:
    Zebster likes this.
  15. Harvey Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    Oh joys don't get me started on them lycra clad clowns heading out in their spandex wolfpacks. When I see a proper cyclist, the ones that wear jeans and a t shirt, riding a mountain bike then I know they are either going someone to just get there, rather than racing each other, cars pedestrians with something to prove like the spandex brigade.

    cycling is a great way of keeping fit and I don't see why I shouldn't do more of it ( apart from the fact my bike was actually stolen) unfortunately its the few that make things worse for the many like those that do not or will not obey road rules and regulations that where designed to protect everyone.
  16. Nels Moderator Staff Team

    Harvey likes this.
  17. qc2 Senior Member ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom quince Bromley
    what frustrates me more in London now is the 'roadman' behind the wheel. no courtesy, always in a rush, cutting, won't yield or reverse on a narrow road to give way, no clue how to merge lanes correctly and driving around with seats so reclined they're practically laying down. I'm so glad that my commute now takes me out of South London rather than through it
    Harvey likes this.