mjr wrote: JohnW wrote:
mjr wrote:Of course 1.5m may not be enough sometimes, but an extra passing law would not remove the possibility of prosecution under existing offences. Is it really a case of letting perfection be the enemy of improvement? I doubt it but I'm not sure which of the more likely reasons it is. It's really hard to understand why council wants to persist with the failed education approach when even constabularies are giving up on it.
If a vehicle comes past you and unseats you then that's dangerous, irrespective of a 1.5m law. If the law says 1.5m, then the motorist will say that he did give you 1.5m and therefore it's your fault. Neither of you can prove the exact distance, and the motorist's clever barrister will soon talk any court (if it came to that) into a verdict that it was your fault, because the 1.5m is his word against yours.................and will anyone believe a cyclist?
I don't see why a 1.5m law would necessarily make this situation any worse than it currently is, where mostly nothing happens, in my experience. Could some 1.5m law opponent explain what they think currently happens? Ideally with a famous case or two of a driver being prosecuted for unseating a rider by close-passing?
JohnW wrote:It's all fraught with questions, isn't it?
No more than anything else. That's part of why there's a bicameral legislature refining what becomes law. I'm sure they'd iron such piffling things out, especially if they took the excellent advice of the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group and the Active Travel Alliance.
I think this is another aspect where the CTC/CUK have got it completely wrong. The motion is not about creating a law. The CTC/CUK are not going to be creating a law (it's beyond their powers to create legislation). The real and best the CTC/CUK could achieve is to convince Government that close passes need to be addressed through legislation. Government then, if they could be persuaded to accept the need would then write a document, start a consultation where experts, interested parties (including the CTC/CUK), public, etc. could contribute thoughts, etc., etc. And then hopefully, we end-up with something sensible, as it will have gone through an extensive reviews, modified by experts, etc., etc.
Phrasing it as "1.5m passing law" is not creating legislation - it is just the way to kick-off the process. Vague wishes like "address that some motor vehicles sometimes pass too close to cyclists
" will never start any process for change. "1.5m passing clearance
" is concise, identifies the problem, etc. Better details come later and CTC/CUK would get the opportunity to comment on specific government proposals.
I also think that another central issue missed by the CTC/CUK (and others) is the word "legal" in that a law is needed, not just a sentence hidden away in the Highway code masked by a "should". A "should" hidden sentence in the Highway Code would not be noticed by 99% of drivers who have already passed their test and those 1% who do notice will also appreciate that there is no real power of enforcement. It would take years before any significant percentage of drivers were even aware of the hidden away sentence. But a law change gives immediate powers to the Police, would have some associated publicity (hopefully even the Daily Mail would run a "Drivers Further Oppressed by New Law" - I'm sure they'll come-up with some (anti-cyclist) twaddle of a headline - but it will spread word of a new law).