emmelinemay: (Protect and Destroy)
[personal profile] emmelinemay
According to the BBC, MPs are discussing introducing a new offence of causing death by dangerous cycling.

Personally, as someone who cycles pretty much everywhere I can, I think this is a great idea. I've seen so many near misses in my time, and if I'm honest not all of them have been the car driver's fault!

If I'd been hit yesterday by the stupid bastard yesterday - he wanted to turn left at a crossroads while I was going straight ahead, but too slowly for his liking (it's on a hill) and so he decided to speed up and turn left around right in front of me, not only nearly killing me but the guy in the car behind me who was just trying left - then he'd have been done for dangerous driving, and that's as it should be. Cyclists that cause accidents and at worse deaths pretty much get away with minimum sentences.

I just hope that should it be introduced it is introduced fairly and not as a way to demonise all cyclists. Some of us stop at red lights!

This article about deaths of female cyclists being much higher than male cyclists by lorries is interesting. It suggests that it could be because men are more likely to jump red lights, while women wait at the junction. How about this for a revolutionary thought. If there is a lorry, or a bus, or ANY big vehicle that could crush you if it turns left, at a junction, DON'T CYCLE DOWN PAST THE LEFT OF IT. Wait for the big bugger to turn left, THEN go.

I also don't think that cycling up the right hand side of it is necessarily a good idea either. Just a few weeks ago I saw a cyclist knocked off her bike as the back of an HGV side swiped her as it turned left and she just passing up on the right hand side to go straight ahead. She was unhurt, but pretty freaked out.

It makes some intersting points about road rage from drivers who don't always seem to know about correct cyclist behaviour. Part of my journey to and from work involves two roads which are one way for cars, but two way for cyclists. There are clear signs at either end, and at the "wrong end" for cars there's a little feeder lane for cyclists too. Roughly once a week I get drivers honking and shouting at me that the road is "one way".

Date: 2011-04-13 12:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluekieran.livejournal.com
Cycling safely through red lights should be permitted (although it might be sane to ban it at some specific junctions where there is an obscured view).

Date: 2011-04-13 12:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emmelinemay.livejournal.com
I admit that I occasionally do go through a light, but only ever on a left turn when there's no cross traffic.

Date: 2011-04-13 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quercus.livejournal.com
I don't think cyclists should ever go through red lights. This is for much the same reason as the two-way street problem - it confuses the poor muppets driving the cars, who then think it's OK to plough over a cyclist, "because they were in the wrong".

If it would be possible to do so safely at a junction (and at some junctions it is), then we should spend the money and add specific green filter lights for bikes. Not for the benefit of the biikes so much, as the car drivers.

Date: 2011-04-13 12:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liz-lowlife.livejournal.com
I think one of the most irritating thing is when a car stops at a pedestrian crossing but a cyclist doesn't!
I nearly got mowed down by a dozy bint under such circumstances yesterday.
I ALWAYS stop for peds at crossings if one is waiting to cross.

Date: 2011-04-13 12:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emmelinemay.livejournal.com
I nearly hit someone on a zebra crossing once when I wasn't paying attention, because it was a super quiet road and I never saw anyone there normally. I felt TERRIBLE! I went back and tried to apologise but she wanted to hit me, so I legged it! I take extra super care now, and always stop too.

Date: 2011-04-13 12:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liz-lowlife.livejournal.com
It's just being road-aware as you would be in a car I guess.
I wish that pedestrians would take the same care when it comes to cycle paths though. I am always having to ding my bell at them!

Date: 2011-04-13 12:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emmelinemay.livejournal.com
OMG I HATE HATE HATE HATE it when pedestrians are in the cycle lane!! There's a big one thorough London Fields near my work, a two way cycle lane, and there are always people walking in it then glaring at you for daring to ask them to move. It's got a speed limit of 12mph, which some cyclists seem to think is a target rather than a limit, I'm amazed there aren't more accidents.

There's also a crossing at the end - because it's part of the cycle network - one for cyclists and one for pedestrians. It's pretty easy to see which is which, because one has lights in the shape of people, one in the shape of cyclists. And yet pedestrians insist on crossing at the cycle one, tutting loudly at the cyclists trying to cross there.

Mind you, the other day there was a cyclist who was completely ignoring the cycle lane and cycling along the other side. WTF???

Date: 2011-04-13 12:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liz-lowlife.livejournal.com
Oh, it can be a 'mare!
About three years ago I was cycling along merrily, on the cycle lane at a brisk but not hectic pace when suddenly this woman with a push chair stepped right in front of me with out looking.
I TRIED to brake in time to stop but simply didn't stand a chance.
I flew over the handlebars and landed...on the baby.
In front of 3 police officers.
I was severely told off by them and the lady was asked if she wanted to take matters further when it was HER fault and not mine!
Luckily, the cops could plainly see that she was stoned off her head and let the matter drop.

I limped home with a busted bike and bruises that you could not imagine in places that you wouldn't want to imagine.

So accidents can and do indeed happen sadly.

Date: 2011-04-13 02:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emmelinemay.livejournal.com
Dude, that sounds horrible! I don't understand why so many people appear to use pushchairs as some kind of road-crossing canary; pushing it out into the road and THEN looking for traffic.

Date: 2011-04-13 04:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liz-lowlife.livejournal.com
Pushchair peeps are the worst I find.
It's as if they *own* the pavement, cycle lanes and crossings because they have children.

Date: 2011-04-13 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quercus.livejournal.com
You wouldn't understand, dear.

That's because you don't have children.

Date: 2011-04-13 05:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liz-lowlife.livejournal.com
Thank God...

Date: 2011-04-13 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jaketherat.livejournal.com
Yep, this is a nightmare in a car as well.

Date: 2011-04-13 06:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unclesatan.livejournal.com
I had a very similar incident to this on a motorbike, I had to brake so suddenly that not only did my front wheel skid, the rear wheel lifted, god only knows how I didn't lose control and kill the baby

Date: 2011-04-13 01:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hirez.livejournal.com
The wagon/bus turning left business scares the hell out of me. Perhaps because of growing up around tractors/combines/grain wagons that are piloted by people trying to get the harvest in, which always felt like it was bit more important than minding out for idiot children who shouldn't be wandering around the back of the grain-pits anyway. I mean, I'm still here, but I wouldn't actually want to test the 'If duffers best drowned' philosophy.

Anyway, it's basic bloody geometry that a long thing with an axle at each end is going to cut across a corner, and that the rear end of same is going to swing out in the opposite direction. I see car-pilots surprised by this on a daily basis, but the worst thing that'll happen to them is some paint off the corner of their lardmobile.

The thing I don't quite understand is why people cycle up main roads in the first place. I rather enjoy pottering about the back-streets of a weekend, looking for quicker and low-car routes from A to B. Maybe it's some odd manner of applied rules-lawyering?

Date: 2011-04-13 01:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quercus.livejournal.com
It's no surprise that Arthur Ransome lost that gig writing for the Model Engineer...

Date: 2011-04-13 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quercus.livejournal.com
Kid I wsa at school with was the oldest in our year, thus one of the first to take a driving test. The family also had a VW camper named Ermintrude, which he learned to drive in (in much the same way I learned to drive a shagbat Transit - drive one of those, you can park anything).

This all went very well until he passed his test one morning and came back to school at lunchtime. Round the tight corner next to the Aigburth Arms (of Red Dwarf fame), with an artic coming towards him.

So old Ermintrude never had a straight windscreen pillar ever again...

Date: 2011-04-13 06:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unclesatan.livejournal.com
Actually as a firm Cycle hater, I'd definitely like to see bikes treated more like other road users.

Despite my prejudice I can see that cycles are part of the transport solution in London, however what I have seen in London over the last few years is an icrease in Lawlessness and recklessness by the cycling community. I actually take a mental note at traffic lights and I have never seen less that 50% of cyclists wait at a red light and a massive increase in the number of collisions and near misses caused by them.

I honestly believe part of the problem is accountability and training, a cyclist can do whatever they like and as long as they arent injured they get away with. On a motorcycle my machine is probably able to run a red light with far more success and safety due to the power I have, but I dont, because my vehicle can easily be idetified, plus I'm also very aware that it only takes a single failure of observation to be lethal.

It seems absurd that a sector of the road using vehicles are not required to be registered or licensed/ trained and I think that cyclists themselves would benefit greatly for equivilants to insurance, MOT and training. As this is a form of transport that is being nutured by govt policy I also dont think that any costs associated with this should be punative and I'd be happy for it to be subsidised

Date: 2011-04-14 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] quercus.livejournal.com
If any government got to put licence plates on bikes, how far behind would be "road tax" for them, or compulsory payments to their friends in the insurance industry?

Date: 2011-04-14 05:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unclesatan.livejournal.com
There would be no basis to charge either anything or at most a minimal road tax, a car is £140 an 1100cc Motorcycle is £70 and a 125cc bike costs just £15ish on that scale there is no room to charge a cycle anything above a nominal fee although I'd be happy even as a taxpaying road user for this to be waived.

As for insurance I think all road users should carry some for your own protection as well as that of others. As it currently stands if a cycle hits and injures somebody they are personally liable, as Liz Lowlife's example above illustrates you dont even have to be at fault, you just need to be blamed and the average medical compensation claim would financially ruin most people. What I can't understand is why any cyclist would expose themselves to that kind of risk.

Having said that I dont think it should be much and shouldn't be compulsory to have anything above 3rd party personal. It costs me £108 a year for full comprehensive insurance on an 1100cc motorbike so as a figure I'm pulling out of the air £10 -£20 a year wouldn't be an unreasonable amount.

Date: 2011-04-14 11:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] unclesatan.livejournal.com
just had a look on the DVLA website http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/OwningAVehicle/HowToTaxYourVehicle/DG_10012524 to check car rates and cars below a certain CO2 threshold are exempt so on that basis I cant see there being a fee.

Date: 2011-04-19 02:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_mauler_/
Aaaaargh, no! There is no excuse for a cyclist ignoring a red light simply because their bike has no motor. The amount of times I've almost been taken out (or almost taken out myself if I've seen them coming) by some div on a bike not stopping at a crossing is just daft.

The rules apply to all road users. If you've got wheels on the road, you follow those rules. It's that simple.

No offence Emmy, this isn't aimed at you directly, it's a bit of a pet hate of mine when people think that they have a imaginary set of circumstances applying to themselves that makes them special. Grrrr!

PS - Everything in your main post makes perfect sense. Most road safety is down to common sense first and experience second. More people need more of both!

Date: 2011-04-19 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emmelinemay.livejournal.com
Dude no offense taken at all, I agree with you. I HATE cyclists going through red lights. On my way to work yesterday one going at full pelt almost hit a woman and a pram, who were crossing at the green man. I don't know if he even saw her. She had to leap backwards and pull the pram back to avoid him. We made eye contact and I shook my head in sympathy, hoping she was getting my psychic message that not all of us cyclists are like that fucking idiot!!!

Date: 2011-07-10 06:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] damerell.livejournal.com
I can't agree (having arrived via links from the Romsey Town Rollerbillies, although I guess we've been to lots of the same B-Movies).

The (very rare) cyclists who are involved in fatalities can already be charged with manslaughter, and they do often receive stiff sentences in that general ballpark.

This is in sharp contrast to the lax treatment that drivers involved in fatalities often receive - instead of "death by dangerous driving" being "manslaughter plus a driving ban" (and that's why an equivalent offence for cyclists is pointless).

It doesn't fix anything and it ignores the vastly, colossally greater problem of lax sentencing for drivers who kill.


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