Play by the rules

Yesterday commuting in to work I was at the Waterloo roundabout junction stopped at the lights. A cyclist alongside me was also waiting to go when a motorist behind him surged forward and bumped his leg! Not surprisingly he reacted and shouted at the driver and eyeballed him. Then the lights changed to green and the motorist surged forward again and bumped his leg AGAIN! The cyclist again shouted and eyeballed him for some time, quite right too. While this was going on the lights changed and the cyclist moved off but the lights were then red and a pedestrian then jumped in front of the car and banged on the bonnet and shouted red light pedestrians now. The motorist then surged through the red and shot off, much to everyone's exasperation!

Today commuting again this time in Hackney I stopped at a junction only to find the bike box had a motorist occupying it, as usual. Behind the motorist was a police car. I sidled up in the gutter and got to the front and stopped ahead of the bike box, where else? Then a crossing pedestrian started shouting at me and claimed I was blocking his path, he easily could have walked around my front wheel. I pointed out that the motorist behind me was in my bike box so what else could I do? Meanwhile the police looked on in a goldfish in bowl kind of a way. It seems Londoners are becoming germanised in that everyone is now a stickler for the rules!

Replies

  • By phufbl at 07:57am 27 Feb 2014

I agree that many people become irrationally irritated and confrontational when they see rules being broken or when they think a rule has been broken, even if the apparent misdemenour has not caused them or anybody else any harm or inconvenience.

I think this is part of the argument in favour of using shared space where possible. If you remove or relax rules then people behave more rationally and treat each other more like humans. 

LCC should use it's considerable influence to pressure the Mayor, London Assembly, and the Met Police into using retrospective CCTV to prosecute instance of dangerous and aggresive driving (and cycling). This is the ONLY way to control the minority of people who for some reason or another become psychopaths when they are behind the wheel (or handlebars). 

IMO this is a much bigger issue that the "killer trucks" campaign which is the current focus. In my experience, professional HGV drivers are generally well trained and careful on the roads.

I agree in my opinion the biggest issue is the culture of motorists in London, it is not the same in other cities I cycle in eg Edinburgh.  It really is a battleground out there and every week I witness or am on the receiving end of some kind of dangerous driving or abuse of some nature and little is being done to tackle this problem. What used to be called Public Information Films paid for by the Department of Transport would be a start.

Hi,

First time on the forum.

I was knocked off (in broad daylight and wearing hi-vis) by a hit and run driver 2 weeks ago on the junction of Elspeth Road with Clapham Common North Side. I got the number plate and reported it to the police at the local station (Lavender Hill, Battersea).

Today I got an obviously standard letter through the post from the "Trafic Criminal Justice Operational Command Unit", which said:

"I am writing with reference to the accident which occured as above involving your motor vehicle (NO - my BICYCLE) ... After consideration ... it would not be in the public interest to pursue a prosecution ... and no further action will be taken".

Should I understand that it's now open season on cyclists? EDIT: Or that it has been for some time, only I haven't noticed?

 

This post was edited by productofquebec at 11:15pm 28 Mar 2014.

  • By luic at 01:28am 30 Mar 2014

This content was deleted by luic at 01:30am 30 Mar 2014.

Clamping down on dangerous driving would be a good idea. But the most important thing is for engineers and politicians need to play by the rules / guidelines (e.g. public health guidance, London Cycle Design Standards etc.) 

NICE guidance PH8: "Those responsible for all strategies, policies and plans involving changes to the physical environment, including local transport authorities, transport planners and local authorities. ... should ... ensure pedestrians, cyclists and users of other modes of transport that involve physical activity are given the highest priority when developing or maintaining streets and roads."

If this guideline was actually followed, there would be no need for cycle campaigning.

And a correctly designed road network (using Dutch guidance, with segregation of walking, cycling and driving) is designed to enable people to travel easily and safely without conflicts.

@productofquebec

this clearly isn't good enough. i would go back to the police station, show them the letter, and ask them to report it again, more clearly..

@baron

I did write back following your suggestion. A reply was sent May 8th :

"As there was no personal injury we do not check CCTV... therefore without any independent evidence there is no ... conviction".

So even with the registration number I gave them and the cameras on the junction they won't lift a finger...

Since then I have had two other incidents with vehicles, one with a van and another with a scooter. I didn't bother going to the police as I have understood that, as a cyclist, I am not in the public interest...

 

 

  • By phufbl at 01:03pm 10 Jun 2014

Have you tried writing to your local MP?

As phufbl said, write to your MP. Ask them to take it up with the Home Office minister. If car had gone thru a red light it would get a ticket automatically, no injury or damage involved. So likewise, knocking someone over can be caught on camera, reg no recognised, and a ticket for assault issued. Money-earner for gov, the only thing that seems to motivate them!

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