Another cyclist dies

HarryB

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 22, 2007
1,317
3
London
The instant liability problem is a toughie, I can see both arguments and not an easy answer.
The subject of cyclists wearing helmet cameras seems to be upsetting a few motorists, I'm a bit surprised by that unless they know their driving is bad and that's scary as it means they just don't care. Maybe mounting a camera is a good preventative measure rather than just for proof after an accident, I'm not really keen on that but if it improves driving in my vicinity then I'll have to accept the possibility of awkward questions from inquisitive coppers. :)
In many ways the helmet camera has sort of answered the question about cyclist safety - what other group feels compelled to resort to that? I have bought a camera and so far not bothered to fix it on. Interesting what you say about drivers being cross about being filmed. I think that if we all had to abide by the rules of the road drivers would have more to lose than they think.

PS I think there has been a bit of a back-lash by cyclists about the others that go through red lights. Many more are waiting and even today another cyclist yelled at one for going through the light - not seen that for years as it would be so futile!
 
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carpetbagger

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 20, 2007
744
18
blackburn
Personally i think one addition to a cycle can make it a lot safer. That one item costs £10. In a car we are taught to use our mirrors and it can be just as important to know whats going on behind as well as in front. So my proposal is to make a bike mirror COMPULSORY.On todays roads it can be very dangerous to look over your shoulder to see whats there given the amount of bad surfaces,potholes and dodgy grates.I alway know whats behind and especially so when i approach traffic islands ,roundabouts and other obstructions. I also wave traffic past when i have a clear view of the road,like exiting a corner. We all use the road so we all have to work together when we use them to make them safer. When you overtake a bike you need to leave more room again due to bad surfaces and also due to the wind which both can cause a wobble. It needs to be drilled into learner drivers and should be a compulsory test question.
Ps
condolances to the families involved
 

lemmy

Esteemed Pedelecer
So my proposal is to make a bike mirror COMPULSORY
There are mirrors compulsorily fitted in cars but as most cyclists will know they are far from invariably used so do not solve the problem.

If those of us who drive a car as well as use a bike are honest, do we always, without fail, use our mirrors? If not, we only need to not use them once to cause a death or injury.

Life is full of risk taking. In many ways, it is life itself. Given the mass movement of individuals in the modern world on all our different forms of transport, what is remarkable is how few people are hurt and injured.

It seems to me that no one group is solely responsible for accidents. Most of us are careless, inattentive or distracted at times. In my experience, also, most accidents have more than one contributory factor.

Better training for ALL road users may be an answer but I don't think any more legislation will help. What use is legislation when it is not enforced or, indeed enforceable?
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,167
22,882
Life is full of risk taking. In many ways, it is life itself. Given the mass movement of individuals in the modern world on all our different forms of transport, what is remarkable is how few people are hurt and injured.
Hear, Hear!

Britain is an amazingly safe place to be on the roads, no matter what class of user one is.

We have around 3000 road deaths each year, half what it was for many years. The USA has about four and two thirds times our population, so one might expect them to have about 14,000 deaths. But until very recently they averaged 44,000 and they are now pleased it's down to about 34,000 at the moment. That's still 2.4 times as dangerous!

Our road deaths in the UK represent just under 50 per million of population. In Portugal, for long one of Europe's most dangerous places to be on the road, it was over 270 per million until not long ago and at 91 more recently is still nearly double ours.

Of course we shouldn't be complacent, but we should recognise that to get further improvement becomes more and more difficult with every reduction.
.
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
Personally i think one addition to a cycle can make it a lot safer. That one item costs £10. In a car we are taught to use our mirrors and it can be just as important to know whats going on behind as well as in front. So my proposal is to make a bike mirror COMPULSORY.On todays roads it can be very dangerous to look over your shoulder to see whats there given the amount of bad surfaces,potholes and dodgy grates.I alway know whats behind and especially so when i approach traffic islands ,roundabouts and other obstructions. I also wave traffic past when i have a clear view of the road,like exiting a corner. We all use the road so we all have to work together when we use them to make them safer. When you overtake a bike you need to leave more room again due to bad surfaces and also due to the wind which both can cause a wobble. It needs to be drilled into learner drivers and should be a compulsory test question.
Ps
condolances to the families involved
Making any 'safety' equipment compulsory for cyclists is absurd, where do we stop? I think HiViz provides higher safety than a mirror, so we should legislate for all cyclists to wear HiViz first. We have done it for lights, why not HiViz?

What about helmets? Body armour? Non-Slip shoes?

What about the blind spot? Will everybody just rely on their mirrors and forget about what they can't see and therefore never use a backward glance? Mirrors help in rearward visibility but should not be considered a safety feature. As a long term motorcyclist, you have to be aware of everything around you nearly all of the time, mirrors are just an aid to that awareness. BTW mirrors are not compulsory for motorcycles.

As for waving traffic past you, this should not be considered a safe maneouvre. If I'm on my cycle, bike or car I don't trust any other road user with my own safety and certainly wouldn't trust another road user to make a judgement on my behalf and make a gesture that I could overtake them safely. Gestures such as a quick flash of lights, waving, nods of the head etc should all be treated with suspicion as the intention might not be clear, or the road ahead might not be clear and at the end of the day your road use is your responsibility.

Of course, use mirrors if you feel it helps you, but there really is no need to legislate.
 

Mussels

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 17, 2008
3,208
8
Crowborough
As for waving traffic past you, this should not be considered a safe maneouvre.
Yes and it's probably one of the biggest problems I have on a bike (and motorbikes), a car in front of me will stop and wave someone across just as I'm overtaking*. If this results in an accident then the person signalling someone across can share part of the blame.

It's also a reason a don't like being the first person to stop at a zebra crossing, the pedestrian takes it as an indication to cross and walks straight in front of the car that hasn't stopped.

* Last time this happened I pulled off a really cool rolling stoppie, unfortunately it ended up with me laying on someone's bonnet.
 

HarryB

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 22, 2007
1,317
3
London
Yes and it's probably one of the biggest problems I have on a bike (and motorbikes), a car in front of me will stop and wave someone across just as I'm overtaking*. If this results in an accident then the person signalling someone across can share part of the blame.

It's also a reason a don't like being the first person to stop at a zebra crossing, the pedestrian takes it as an indication to cross and walks straight in front of the car that hasn't stopped.

* Last time this happened I pulled off a really cool rolling stoppie, unfortunately it ended up with me laying on someone's bonnet.

* I would say this is a school boy error. I am sure it is one of the first things you pick up from experience rather than being taught. It is something I see and think "how long have you been riding then?"

I would say it is worse when it involves pedestrians being waved across - a friends nephew - a young lad was beckoned across the road only to be run over and killed by a car coming the other way. I make a point of teaching my young 7 year olds to look for themselves, don't trust anybody (not even me).
 
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indalo

Banned
Sep 13, 2009
1,380
1
Herts & Spain
It seems difficult to achieve any sort of consensus on this subject. I'm at a loss to understand why we in the UK don't afford our cyclists the protection that exists in Denmark or Holland for example.

I have family in Denmark and the difference in attitude there with regard to cycling is marked compared to the UK. The first thing I was told about driving in Denmark was that I should always keep an eye out for cyclists and that I should ALWAYS give way to them. The mindset there is that cyclists have priority on the roads and as a much larger percentage of the population there ride bikes regularly, it is most noticeable.

My understanding is that in the event of a collision involving a bicycle and a car, truck, bus or the like, the courts take the view that the driver is always at fault unless there are extenuating circumstances and witnesses to show otherwise. Given that and rather stringent sentencing, most Danish drivers tend to give cyclists a very wide berth.

Perhaps education is the best way forward but I firmly believe that much heavier penalties for offenders would go a long way towards changing the mindset extant in this country. There is never a day goes by that I don't see at least one driver using a phone while driving so, clearly, the current penalty for that offence isn't sufficient deterrent. Probably the death penalty would be but I'm sure there's a level of punishment short of that which would do the trick.

Perhaps CBT should be extended to include pedal cycles in the future and the driving test as we know it should be replaced with an extended examination which would include a cycling proficiency test. Anything that would provide greater understanding and awareness among all road users has to be desirable as even one incident causing the death or maiming of a cyclist on British roads is one too many. It has to stop!

Indalo
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
Perhaps education is the best way forward but I firmly believe that much heavier penalties for offenders would go a long way towards changing the mindset extant in this country. There is never a day goes by that I don't see at least one driver using a phone while driving so, clearly, the current penalty for that offence isn't sufficient deterrent. Probably the death penalty would be but I'm sure there's a level of punishment short of that which would do the trick.
I agree with this statement. There is a problem with sentencing in general in the UK. Not just for motoring offences (which are mostly civil offences, unless the charge is for the more serious offences which are criminal) but across the complete gamut of illegality.

However, according to the gov't and those that like to see prisoners with more rights, we already have a fair system and our prisons are overcrowded anyway. There is no real deterrent for illegal activity of all sorts and even less for motorists, but ironically the state seems to see it as their mission to nanny our roads with all sorts of daft measures to modify our behaviour (speed camera revenue collection being one example).

Society changes and UK society has followed the American example since the invention of the media, TV especially, we are a consuming, less toloerant, less community minded bunch and as a result we suffer in lots of different ways. We may be in the rich West but we are poorer in spirit.
 

eTim

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 19, 2009
607
2
Andover, Hants.
* Last time this happened I pulled off a really cool rolling stoppie, unfortunately it ended up with me laying on someone's bonnet.
Nice one Mussels, I bet that was spectacular and a steep learning curve, I think most of us have learnt riding motorbikes and cycles in the real world by making a few mistakes (and crashing)! :D

I would say it is worse when it involves pedestrians being waved across - a friends nephew - a young lad was beckoned across the road only to be run over and killed by a car coming the other way. I make a point of teaching my young 7 year olds to look for themselves, don't trust anybody (not even me).
Now that is a sad story and just emphasises how much adults should drill into their kids road safety from a very early age, assuming the parents have also been taught not to trust any other road user.
 

Mussels

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 17, 2008
3,208
8
Crowborough
Nice one Mussels, I bet that was spectacular and a steep learning curve, I think most of us have learnt riding motorbikes and cycles in the real world by making a few mistakes (and crashing)! :D
I just wished someone had got a video of it, I'd edit the end bit out of course. :)

I knew about the problem and had been taught it on my motorbike course but I got complacent. This is a good example of it being technically not my fault but something I could have avoided.
There's a junction I pass on my commute where this happens to cyclists frequently (there's a website somewhere which gives accident statistics for cyclists by junction) despite there being a clearly marked cycle lane, I'm always cautious at that one.
 

HarryB

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 22, 2007
1,317
3
London
I just wished someone had got a video of it, I'd edit the end bit out of course. :)

I knew about the problem and had been taught it on my motorbike course but I got complacent. This is a good example of it being technically not my fault but something I could have avoided.
There's a junction I pass on my commute where this happens to cyclists frequently (there's a website somewhere which gives accident statistics for cyclists by junction) despite there being a clearly marked cycle lane, I'm always cautious at that one.
Yes this happens on the inside lane and I learned the hard way as a 13 year old undertaking a stationary bus on the inside. I must have been going at quite a lick as I bent the forks as well as the wheels. No damage to me fortunately or unfortunately depending on your opinion - all paid for under the other cars insurance (I would think that it should have been my blame) Leant an important lesson which I carried through when I rode a motorbike. Not sure I am going to let my children ride from Crouch End to Tottenham Ct Road at 13 or 14.
 

lemmy

Esteemed Pedelecer
but I firmly believe that much heavier penalties for offenders would go a long way towards changing the mindset extant in this country. Indalo
I see why you would say this but I think it doesn't take into account human psychology.

If a law is not or cannot be enforced, it does not matter what the penalty is because the law breaker does not expect to be caught.

Now imagine that if every time you used a mobile phone while driving you were caught and had to pay a £30 fine. You wouldn't do it.

The fine is small but that does not matter. The deterrent is the expectation of getting caught.

What would be nice would be that people didn't use mobiles while driving because they were concerned they might cause an accident. But that's not the world we live in.
 

JohnInStockie

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 10, 2006
1,048
1
Stockport, SK7
I watch drivers making error after error every day in rush hour traffic, some deliberatly while trying to gain a car length, some accidental (or negligent). It comes back to me that you cannot stop this through legislation these things from happening. The only way is prevention.

I am not sure what can be classified as prevention. Planning definately, as this safeguards all regardless of the lack of education or concern with the law. Education and attitude definately helps the 'home grown' population but not with foreign drivers/cyclists

Prevention!
 

thunderblue

Pedelecer
Aug 4, 2009
116
1
Manchester
Cycle training

I can really recommend the cycle-training National Cycle Training Standards The national cycle training standards / BikeRight cycle training
Also take a look at the Cyclecraft book, which is the cycle version of the Police Roadcraft book, recommended by IAM.

I've done the IAM training as a driver and I've done the National cycle training as well. Both teach you to take in information around you, to plan your journey and constantly revise your plan as the situation around you changes, by adjusting your speed, position etc and anticipating what other drivers will do.

The cycle training taught me about positioning and when to use it. For example, if I was on a road with traffic calming measures such as islands and road narrowing, I wouldn't ride at the side of the road at those points, inviting a vehicle to pass when there isn't enough room. Instead I'd signal and then take primary position in the centre of the lane (having already checked behind and planned the safe way to filter into the traffic, slowing down or speeding up as required), moving back into secondary position when it was safe for me to be there. Similarly, they advise you to take primary position when waiting, for example at lights and junctions, even if you are turning left. Don't invite drivers to pull up next to you and then cut you off as they turn in front. It isn't aggressive cycling, but it does mean that there is no doubt or confusion and if there is no space, then a driver usually gives way and waits until they can safely pass.

I don't think that we are ever too old to learn. I also think that we should do everything we possibly can to minimise our risk, and then if anything happens we won't be thinking "if only..."
 

steveindenmark

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 10, 2011
406
2
In my opinion the following are a must when riding a bike:

Vizvest or something bright.

Mirrors

Helmet

Airzound horn because a you can hear it from inside a car but you cannot hear a bell.

What you do not need is the attitute "It is my right of way and I will take it, regardless.





Steve