why is this even up for debate?

Sep 13, 2020
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The video in the article linked to below takes a little time to load (and is preceded by a short ad), but essentially it shows a cyclist appear suddenly from behind a parked van and zip straight across a supermarket slip road, where a motorist crashed into him. Hadn't a hope of avoiding the guy. Totally the cyclist's fault, and it's idiots like him that give cyclists a bad name.

He must have been leading a charmed life to just get up again and ride off.

link here
 
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Nealh

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It's not a cut 7 shut case, I'm afraid the van driver is part responsible as well it's one of those 60/40 or 70/30 incidents.
Turning in off the road his vision is totally obscured by the parked vehicle so is unable to see anything coming along the pathway. He should have been almost stopped or at snails pace, it could easily have been a kid.
The bloke on the bike is 30/40% at fault for crossing the road recklessly with no idea if a vehicle was entering the turning, if his thought of mind was impaired due to drink or drugs then he wasn't even fit to be riding.
But with the new vulnerable road users ruling the onus is on the van driver to ensure it is clear to proceed. He entered a turning , his line of site was poor because of the parked vehicle. He should have been more alert to someone suddenly emerging without warning no matter who or what.
 
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Sep 13, 2020
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OK, even if you discount the above example as contributory negligence from the motorist for going maybe too fast, it's still stupid and suicidal behaviour from the cyclist.

Let's look at this example of another motorist fined for overtaking a cyclist too close. In my view not too close - perfectly safe, and as I said the other day, the gaps between motorist and cyclist passing in opposite directions on a road narrowed by vehicles parked both sides is going to be a lot less than that. No legislation for that one though.

Here's the video:-


There is also an article in the Daily Telegraph about it, but as it's hidden behind a paywall, I'll copy and paste the entire article below, for ease of reference. The link is here anyway.

Also, how the hell was it filmed? Reverse cameras on the bike? What kind of saddo would review that and submit it with the express purpose of getting someone into trouble?

I mean, we're unpopular enough with car drivers as it is, and this type of action is going to annoy them still further.

A pensioner who drove "too close" to a cyclist has been handed his first motoring fine in 40 years after a video vigilante contacted police.
Wayne Humphreys, 77, was recorded on a country road driving his white Audi Q7 in Wales last year.
The footage, which showed his car passing close to a cyclist, was sent to GoSafe, Wales’s roads policing team meant to reduce road casualties and save lives.
Mr Humphreys, a warehouse boss, was contacted over the manoeuvre but did not attend a course or pay a fixed penalty notice.
He was prosecuted at Cardiff Magistrates Court for driving without due care and attention and given four penalty points, and ordered to pay £1,887 in a fine and costs.

'I think the fine is absolutely appalling'
Mr Humphreys said: "I think the fine is absolutely appalling. I am 77 years of age and the last fine I had was 35 to 40 years ago for doing 34 miles per hour in a 30 zone.

"Other than that I have never had a fine and I have had a licence for 60 years."
The video was uploaded to the GoSafe’s Operation Snap portal, a site where the public can submit footage of possible traffic offences.
Mr Humphreys said he and his son measured the road in Bridgend, South Wales, and estimated the gap he left for the cyclist was sufficient and safe.
He added: "Taking into account the cyclist and his bike, there would have still been at least four feet of space.
"I find it absolutely incredible this has happened. I don't know whether to appeal it or not. It will probably just cost me more money.
"This has already cost me about £4,500 with the money for the court and the solicitor.
"It doesn't make sense to me."
'Submissions are taken seriously'
A GoSafe spokesman said: "GoSafe regularly receives similar submissions through Op Snap and has worked closely with drivers and cycling groups to develop Operation Close Pass, which looks to educate both drivers and cyclists on how to stay safe on our roads.
"This includes promoting one of the fundamental things to remember when overtaking a cyclist, to reduce your speed and always leave 1.5 metres (4.92ft) between your vehicle and a cyclist, whenever safe to do so.
"Despite this, unfortunately, GoSafe continues to receive regular Op Snap submissions relating to close pass incidents. This outcome shows that these submissions are taken seriously and given the appropriate amount of attention, as we continue to work towards ensuring that our roads are safer for everyone."
The introduction the Operation Snap portal is expected to lead to an increase in the numbers of fines for motorists who drive dangerously near cyclists, particularly after the Highway Code updated rules to boost protection for those on bicycles.
 
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StuartsProjects

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Let's look at this example of another motorist fined for overtaking a cyclist too close. In my view not too close - perfectly safe

Also, how the hell was it filmed? Reverse cameras on the bike? What kind of saddo would review that and submit it with the express purpose of getting someone into trouble?
The courts would aparently dissagree with you.

Why would someone who goes to the trouble of getting good evidence of motorists breaking the law be a 'saddo' ?

We dont know for sure, but maybe the next time the driver involved attempts a 'perfectly safe' pass of a cyclist, the will give a bit more room.

I also noticed this rather odd comment from the driver;

"I am 77 years of age and the last fine I had was 35 to 40 years ago.
Other than that I have never had a fine and I have had a licence for 60 years."

So other than one fine, I have never had one ?
 
Sep 13, 2020
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The courts would aparently dissagree with you.

Why would someone who goes to the trouble of getting good evidence of motorists breaking the law be a 'saddo' ?

We dont know for sure, but maybe the next time the driver involved attempts a 'perfectly safe' pass of a cyclist, the will give a bit more room.

I also noticed this rather odd comment from the driver;

"I am 77 years of age and the last fine I had was 35 to 40 years ago.
Other than that I have never had a fine and I have had a licence for 60 years."

So other than one fine, I have never had one ?
I'm not disputing that technically the motorist broke the law. But the fact that the cyclist has cams filming to the rear of his bike, pretty much pre-supposes that he's filming with the deliberate intention of finding an infringement of the law, and then submitting it to the appropriate authorities, and uploading to you tube, to get the person into trouble - you may disagree, but for me that's a "saddo" writ large.

I genuinely worry that at some point a motorist is going to lose it and deliberately go into a cyclist - and no doubt it will be someone totally innocent - purely due to provocation.
 

flecc

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OK, even if you discount the above example as contributory negligence from the motorist for going maybe too fast, it's still stupid and suicidal behaviour from the cyclist.

Let's look at this example of another motorist fined for overtaking a cyclist too close. In my view not too close - perfectly safe, and as I said the other day, the gaps between motorist and cyclist passing in opposite directions on a road narrowed by vehicles parked both sides is going to be a lot less than that. No legislation for that one though.

Here's the video:-


There is also an article in the Daily Telegraph about it, but as it's hidden behind a paywall, I'll copy and paste the entire article below, for ease of reference. The link is here anyway.

Also, how the hell was it filmed? Reverse cameras on the bike? What kind of saddo would review that and submit it with the express purpose of getting someone into trouble?

I mean, we're unpopular enough with car drivers as it is, and this type of action is going to annoy them still further.
I agree with you, from a practical point of view there is no way that is too close or unsafe. The £2000 fine is grossly excessive. We don't have vast road widths in this country and have to make do with what we have.

I'm all for punishing dangerous driving, but heavily fining for technical offences when no danger is occasioned is wrong.
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matthewslack

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I'm not disputing that technically the motorist broke the law. But the fact that the cyclist has cams filming to the rear of his bike, pretty much pre-supposes that he's filming with the deliberate intention of finding an infringement of the law, and then submitting it to the appropriate authorities, and uploading to you tube, to get the person into trouble - you may disagree, but for me that's a "saddo" writ large.

I genuinely worry that at some point a motorist is going to lose it and deliberately go into a cyclist - and no doubt it will be someone totally innocent - purely due to provocation.
I only recently started filming, and have four mounts on my bike and trailer, two of which can be used both forward or rearward facing. I'm experimenting.

My very first segment of only 8 miles on a notoriously horrible section of unavoidable main trunk A road yielded six close passes, two of them closer than the one shown above, and after detailed analysis of the worst, the clearance appears to be around 5mm. That is not a typo.

On road sections such as this, after that experience, rear facing on the outside edge will be my default camera position. The rest of the time it is on the handlebars, where I get great footage of all the overtakes into the face of oncoming traffic across double white lines into blind bends.

The majority of car drivers I have encountered have been fine, but there are a few, less than 1%, who need to be reported before they carelessly - not intentionally, but just as dead - kill someone.

The officers I spoke to in Scotland a week ago told me about their Operation Close Pass, in which plain clothes riders, both cyclists and motorcyclists, go out to - I'm not quite sure how to put it - attract bad passes, to get attention and get the message about what a safe pass looks like out there.

I am not interested in punitive consequences for the careless, but I do want every careless driver to get the message, supported by pictures, ideally in a face to face official police interview, about what it is they did wrong, and what they need to do differently next time.

I am struggling to find time to extract the images, but when I do I will illustrate the very prevalent common mistakes that I have seen in my 900 mile trip so far. If I am seeing this much, in just this trip then there is a hell of a lot of it out there, and a more streamlined way of dealing with it is needed.
 

StuartsProjects

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The fine, and license points, could have been easily avoided I believe;

"Mr Humphreys had been offered a place on a driver awareness course as an alternative to prosecution after it received footage of the incident.

"Mr Humphreys, of Pontyclun, Rhondda Cynon Taf, also later failed to comply with a fixed penalty notice, resulting in the prosecution on 8 June, when he was fined £1,152 and ordered to pay £620 costs and a £115 victim surcharge."
 

flecc

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The fine, and license points, could have been easily avoided I believe;

"Mr Humphreys had been offered a place on a driver awareness course as an alternative to prosecution after it received footage of the incident.

"Mr Humphreys, of Pontyclun, Rhondda Cynon Taf, also later failed to comply with a fixed penalty notice, resulting in the prosecution on 8 June, when he was fined £1,152 and ordered to pay £620 costs and a £115 victim surcharge."
But the video showed there was no victim.

The pass was safe and perfectly normal and routine in cities all over this country.

This arbitrary 1.5 metre allowance in all circumstances is wrong. Cyclists often don't even give us six inches, even when they are travelling at speed.
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richtea99

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But the fact that the cyclist has cams filming to the rear of his bike, pretty much pre-supposes that he's filming with the deliberate intention of finding an infringement of the law, and then submitting it to the appropriate authorities, and uploading to you tube, to get the person into trouble - you may disagree, but for me that's a "saddo" writ large.
A lot of cars have cameras front & rear. Why not bicycles?
They're no more provocative in a car. Both cars & the cyclist are protecting themselves in the event of an incident.

As to the original Daily Mail video:
- the van driver is going at a reasonable speed ('20MPH' is on the road and he's doing 19mph)
- there's no marked cycle route
- the cyclist isn't looking
- the van driver also slows (19->16->4mph on the readout), whereas the cyclist appears not to be able to. Faulty brakes or just on another planet?

The other factor is that badly parked white van. That's a contributing factor to the poor visiblity for both the cyclist & driver.

The van driver did nothing that I wouldn't have done.
As a cyclist, I'd be a lot more wary in that situation. Assuming right of way without bothering to slow is risky.
 

matthewslack

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Some of the types of incident I have experienced.

Following through: one car overtakes into a blind bend, nothing comes the other way. The car behind follows, on autopilot seemingly, with an oncoming car clearly visible, which has to take avoiding action.

Cars, large and small, on a big open quiet A road with frequent long clear stretches making overtaking a doddle, not prepared to make the most of the road width and use the opposite lane, passing within 30cm when straightforward to give the 1.5m.

Commercial vehicle driving between cyclists descending a steep hill on one side of the road, and others climbing the hill on the opposite side, on a standard 6m two lane single carriageway A road.

Commercial vehicle towing heavy trailer overtaking up a steep hill into a blind summit, on a road commonly driven at pace by sports car enthusiasts.

Driver on single track road, making eye contact but assuming cyclist will get off the road, not lifting off until realising rather late that this cyclist is 1.2m wide.

Drivers not stopping at passing places, despite clearly seeing cyclist between them, continuing with no speed reduction and again assuming cyclist will get out of the way.

Motorcyclists in a long closely spaced convoy, playing follow the leader through increasingly small gaps to oncoming traffic until said traffic is forced to the verge to avoid hitting the nth motorcyclist in the chain.

There is lots of good behaviour too: once away from the busiest routes and people in a rush:

People slowing down and negotiating a safe pass at slow relative speed.

Cyclists getting off the road at every available opportunity to avoid building up a queue behind.

Cyclists stopping at passing places and signalling oncoming traffic through.

And there is also some questionable cyclist behaviour too. Important that we recognise our side of responsibility. The most frequent I have seen, and had drivers mention in conversation, is long spaced out groups who are effectively unpassable, on A roads because there is no way to overtake only part of the group, and on single track roads because they are strung out over several passing places and none will give way to a car.
 

matthewslack

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On that ocaision, yes.

Only prosecute if there are ...........
Each incident and type of incident on its merits of course, but I don't agree with 'no victim, no prosecution'.

When only timing i.e. chance is the difference between head on collision with the potential for multiple fatalities, and no crash so no victim, action is needed because that driver will keep on doing it until they do have a crash.

If there isn't already, there needs to be a recognised minimum time before oncoming traffic reaches an overtaking vehicle by which it needs to be fully established back in its own lane. Less than 5 seconds, but perhaps more than a second. I have witnessed recently a car beside me, overtaking, and 1.5 seconds later it being side by side, full length with an oncoming vehicle. No victim, but half a second would be a different story. That has to be acted on.

In marine, air or rail transport such incidents are reportable incidents as opposed to accidents, and which are forensically investigated whenever a new safety issue is identified.

My take on close passes is that whilst I agree with @flecc that a technicality of 1.5m is not always appropriate as the benchmark, when there is a complete clear lane, and the driver does not use it, that's a problem. And if there is not a complete clear lane, why overtake there?

There is also a pressing need to have the conversation about the responsibility of slower traffic not to impede faster traffic. Now that is very different in the busier parts of the UK, and I am not qualified to speak about those, but up here especially in the single track passing place roads it is very clear to the extent that there are road signs saying 'use passing places to permit overtaking'.

I don't think at present there is clarity in what drivers and riders can expect from each other.
 
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sjpt

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I don't think at present there is clarity in what drivers and riders can expect from each other.
Luckily, plain consideration for others covers 95% (or even 99%) of cases. However, the remaining 5% (or 1%) still leaves an awful lot of room for doubt and danger.
 

Nealh

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That guy in Wales was the making of his own downfall in that case, he had the chance of accepting attendance at a driver aware course for which he had to get there. He refused it, he could have taken 3 points and a penalty notice but didn't He decided he did no wrong and took it to court and engagaed a solicitor, I think in all it cost him 4.5k plus he got 4 points as well.
He also apparently very stupidly went back to the scene and took measurements and and aided the prosecution side by saying the distance from the roads side verge was 4'/1.2m so he had given the rider more then enough. Assuming the rider wasn't riding on the verge plus allow for the handle bar width then he was a lot nearer then the 1.2m, the prosecution had already invoked the 1.5 m passing guidance for which he could have done so as the road was wide enough for him to do so.
 
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Nealh

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The law is coming out on the side of the cyclist or vulnerable road user, now the Highway code has been updated. For too long the vulnerable have had little in the way to protect them in law but now it is clear. Larger vehicle users have to be very careful in their actions and the way they treat others on the road.
The issue as we all know it that roads aren't changing they are not getting wider yet these ugly van type cars are getting so wide that they pose a menacing threat to other road users just because of their sheer size, and some drivers are using that size in an intimidtaing way.

I'm all for these cases, some one has to be the fall guy for others to take notice and adjust their driving bad habits. Matts tour has made me sit up a bit more and I now also have employed front and aft mounts on three of my bikes and now the o/s on my trailer.
 
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Nealh

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The enforcement varies around the country and in Sussex despite ' operation crackdown' by Sx police, one is likely going by annecdotal evidence on another forum a visit and a stern talking too is the likely course for a close pass or a warning letter. It appears one is unlikely to get a fine or points unless serious.
 
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StuartsProjects

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Each incident and type of incident on its merits of course, but I don't agree with 'no victim, no prosecution'.
Indeed, how could anyone agree with that ?

The higheway code gives the guidelines, to even suggest that they can be ingored (as in you only get prosecuted if there is a victem) is complety nuts.
 
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