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JohnM

The price of a cyclist's life: 240 hours unpaid work

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I go running on the local canal towpath and a lot of cyclists are indeed very ignorant when it comes to pedestrians. I think some of them expect you to dive in the water rather than them give an inch.

But this is not because they are cyclists, it is because they are ignorant people. If you have a 'get out of my way' mentality, this will manifest itself whether you are on a bike, a car or even a skateboard. Whilst modern car safety is definitely a good thing, it does tend to mean people forget they are handling a very dangerous lump of metal and drive like total idiots.

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Returning to the OP, would a custodial sentence really be appropriate for what was a momentary lapse in concentration? I’m sure we’re all guilty of that at some time or other whilst driving, I know I am. But fortunately when it has happened to me the consequences have been nowhere near as serious. I know it lead to a tragic loss of life, but from what I’ve read in the report there was absolutely no malice or wilful negligence involved and the drive has demonstrated great remorse. 
 
Compare this case with the one I posted about the coach crash that claimed three lives. In this case there was wilful negligence clearly demonstrated on behalf of the coach operator (one of the tyres was 19 years old!) and yet the sentence was still ridiculously light. Strangely there has been very little outrage or condemnation of this on here. Why? This incident was far worse IMO.

 

 

It wasn't a momentary lapse of concentration.  He was fiddling with his SatNav and not looking at the road in front of him.  It's dangerous driving - he could and should have stopped to work out where he was and where he was going.  And someone died because he didn't.

 

The coach case is horrific.  Again, I don't understand how the sentence can be so light.  But that appears to come more from how nobody ever gets punished in a 'corporate' setting.

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a lot of cyclists are indeed very ignorant when it comes to pedestrians

 

This does annoy me.  I work just off Regent's Park and spend a lot of time crossing the Outer Circle to and from the lovely grassed area with pretty maidens reading beneath trees.  As well as having to dodge the Addison Lee cabs (comfortably the most dangerous vehicles in London IMO) and insane rich young men in high powered sports cars I also have to look out for MAMILs trying to do the circuit in record time - the first two are dangerous because they are liable to pull over, turn, change direction without caring or indicating - the latter are bad because they WILL NOT STOP for anything or anyone.  There are frequent accidents amongst all these groups - never too serious but always avoidable.

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I go running on the local canal towpath and a lot of cyclists are indeed very ignorant when it comes to pedestrians. I think some of them expect you to dive in the water rather than them give an inch.

But this is not because they are cyclists, it is because they are ignorant people. If you have a 'get out of my way' mentality, this will manifest itself whether you are on a bike, a car or even a skateboard. Whilst modern car safety is definitely a good thing, it does tend to mean people forget they are handling a very dangerous lump of metal and drive like total idiots.

I've seen some right idiots on bike on shared use paths. On shared use paths I tend to ride slowly for the reasons you and Ray mentioned. But on my regular commute I've seen bikes treat them as they would a cycle lane.

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I've seen some right idiots on bike on shared use paths. On shared use paths I tend to ride slowly for the reasons you and Ray mentioned. But on my regular commute I've seen bikes treat them as they would a cycle lane.

 

Shared paths are the work of the devil.  Pedestrians shouldn't have to walk in a state of heightened anxiety and cyclists shouldn't have to yield to every driveway, junction, random DISMOUNT sign etc etc whilst navigating people who have headphones on etc.  They always make everything worse.

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The location is fine, it's the bad drivers that make it dangerous. The solution to this problem is to educate drivers, not stop cyclists from using the roads.

 

Or we could educate cyclists.  Make them pass a test or summat.

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Or we could educate cyclists.  Make them pass a test or summat.

 

We've established in this situation that the cyclists are the ones following the rules of the road correctly.

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Or we could educate cyclists.  Make them pass a test or summat.

Ideally I would like to see that, but it would be very difficult to enforce and expensive to manage. CTC and British Cycling along with the Sky Rides already do quite a bit of work educating cyclists in how to ride legally and safely on the roads, but I guess the type of cyclist they want to target aren't the sort to seek those things out.

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Ideally I would like to see that, but it would be very difficult to enforce and expensive to manage. CTC and British Cycling along with the Sky Rides already do quite a bit of work educating cyclists in how to ride legally and safely on the roads, but I guess the type of cyclist they want to target aren't the sort to seek those things out.

 

It would be a bit ridiculous.  Most people have experience of cycling on the roads long before they even drive a car.  At what point should they take a test?

 

We did cycling proficiency in school but, from memory, it was a single morning and taught us things that are now well out of date.

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Put it this way, in theory, I should be able to go on the motorway now, get into the fast lane and drive to London at 70mph (conditions permitting)

 

I would be following the law on this and technically would be in the right. But what would happen in reality is that many cars would form behind me banging their horns and a large queue would ensue - which is dangerous, rightly or wrongly. What use is being on the right side of the law if someone ploughs into your rear at high speed? Not much. So I move over and let people pass (hypocrite alert there on motorway driving!)

 

Ditto for cyclists that might be following the law but it is in their own interest to ensure they are not riding side by side on a dual carriageway or some such scenario. It really is life or death and not worth arguing with a speeding car over.

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Put it this way, in theory, I should be able to go on the motorway now, get into the fast lane and drive to London at 70mph (conditions permitting)

 

I would be following the law on this and technically would be in the right. But what would happen in reality is that many cars would form behind me banging their horns and a large queue would ensue - which is dangerous, rightly or wrongly. What use is being on the right side of the law if someone ploughs into your rear at high speed? Not much. So I move over and let people pass (hypocrite alert there on motorway driving!)

 

Ditto for cyclists that might be following the law but it is in their own interest to ensure they are not riding side by side on a dual carriageway or some such scenario. It really is life or death and not worth arguing with a speeding car over.

 

Sev made the point about riding two abreast before and he is right.  It is a lot, lot safer for everyone than slinking over to the side and giving the impression of a lane of space when it doesn't exist.

 

You really shouldn't go to to the outside lane and stay there you know.  That's against the highway code and the latest government directive.  Of course, if you were overtaking a car going at 69mph you'd be well within your rights and driving appropriately.

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As I say GJ, what is the law and what actually happens are two different things. Otherwise we wouldn't have so many speedbumps everywhere would we?

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Put it this way, in theory, I should be able to go on the motorway now, get into the fast lane and drive to London at 70mph (conditions permitting)

 

I would be following the law on this and technically would be in the right. But what would happen in reality is that many cars would form behind me banging their horns and a large queue would ensue - which is dangerous, rightly or wrongly. What use is being on the right side of the law if someone ploughs into your rear at high speed? Not much. So I move over and let people pass (hypocrite alert there on motorway driving!)

 

Ditto for cyclists that might be following the law but it is in their own interest to ensure they are not riding side by side on a dual carriageway or some such scenario. It really is life or death and not worth arguing with a speeding car over.

There are no fast lanes on a motorway, I think you mean overtaking lanes :P.

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As I say GJ, what is the law and what actually happens are two different things. Otherwise we wouldn't have so many speedbumps everywhere would we?

 

If we had effective traffic enforcement we wouldn't need speedbumps.

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As I say GJ, what is the law and what actually happens are two different things. Otherwise we wouldn't have so many speedbumps everywhere would we?

Don't get me started on speed bumps and rumble strips, a nightmare if you are on a bike. Is it really that difficult to drive within the speed limit. I'm not saying I'm a saint but you have a fairly good idea what is and what isn't a safe speed on the roads (incidentally I would be for an increase on the motorway speed limit under certain conditions). Some drivers see driving as either a race or a challenge to see how fast they can get to their destination.

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Cyclists are often nutters.  This is not because cyclists are nutters, but because cycling is dangerous.  The reason it is dangerous is because of sharing the road with cars. 

 

Cyclists often do not signal, but very few motorists seem to understand what it means.  Being seen is the main priority and being in bright clothes and in front of the car often has little effect on this.

 

Combining the two effects is what causes this argument.

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There are no fast lanes on a motorway, I think you mean overtaking lanes :P.

Pedant ;)

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If we had effective traffic enforcement we wouldn't need speedbumps.

And how is this achieved?

Look at schools. Outside any school this afternoon* you will see people parked on the zig zags/double yellows/blocking residents etc etc

When they try to enforce this, they are greeted with a shower of abuse. And this is just a school, trying to enforce traffic rules in some areas of Bradford would be mayhem.

*OK so schools are still on holiday :P

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And how is this achieved?

Look at schools. Outside any school this afternoon you will see people parked on the zig zags/double yellows/blocking residents etc etc

When they try to enforce this, they are greeted with a shower of abuse. And this is just a school, trying to enforce traffic rules in some areas of Bradford would be mayhem.

 

Then you increase the resources for enforcement.

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We've established in this situation that the cyclists are the ones following the rules of the road correctly.

 

As detailed in the original post or generally ?

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Then you increase the resources for enforcement.

I agree. But it won't happen

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Ideally I would like to see that, but it would be very difficult to enforce and expensive to manage.

 

Well, we could introduce a cycling licence.  And cycling tests.

 

Bit like a driving licence.  And driving tests.

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Well, we could introduce a cycling licence.  And cycling tests.

 

Bit like a driving licence.  And driving tests.

We weren't allowed to ride a bike to school until we'd attended and passed an hour long course given by one of the local police officers.  The school's view was that if you can't pass that relatively simple test then you shouldn't be riding your bike on a public road.

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As detailed in the original post or generally ?

 

Derwent's two cyclists on the dual carriageway & in the original post.

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Well, we could introduce a cycling licence.  And cycling tests.

 

Bit like a driving licence.  And driving tests.

 

I did cycle training after deciding to get on my bike in my 30s after 20 years of not cycling.  It was very useful.  I'd urge all cyclists to do the same.

 

The tragedy of it though is that what it teaches you - the very things that make you safe, confident etc - are often things that motorists who don't cycle regard as bad cycling.

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