A caution - really?

thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: A caution - really?

Post by thirdcrank »

I think this exchange deserves more attention than it has received on here. Initially, it seemed like a case of "inadequate police response to assault on cyclist by motorist" but the vid seems to show it's more complicated than that. Hitting somebody isn't generally the solution to anything, but there's nothing smart about getting into an avoidable bust-up. IMO
Pete Owens
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Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: A caution - really?

Post by Pete Owens »

I came to the opposite conclusion. From the initial account it sounded like the appropriate response to an escalating incident where a motorist overreacted to some provocation. The incident was not ignored by the police - a formal caution is a serious matter not just "having a word".

It was only after watching the video that a came to the conclusion that this indeed was 'a case of "inadequate police response to assault on cyclist by motorist"'. If you are familiar with my posts you will know that I'm not one to automatically take the side of cyclists, but I can see absolutely nothing in the behaviour that was anything other than exemplary. The initiation, provocation, escalation and assault were entirely on the part of the driver.
slowster
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Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: A caution - really?

Post by slowster »

Pete Owens wrote: 26 Sep 2021, 10:44am I'm not one to automatically take the side of cyclists, but I can see absolutely nothing in the behaviour that was anything other than exemplary.
The cyclist in question showed poor judgement and poor roadcraft; to call his behaviour exemplary is absurd. That does not excuse the driver, who was completely in the wrong.
Jdsk
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Re: A caution - really?

Post by Jdsk »

slowster wrote: 24 Sep 2021, 4:44pm Setting aside the confrontation, am I alone in thinking that holding a wing mirror (or any other part of a moving vehicle) while riding a bike is a dangerous and incredibly stupid thing to do?
No, you're not alone, especially if the driver is someone you don't know and with whom you're going to have an unwelcome conversation.

And it crossed my mind earlier that the police using a caution rather than prosecution avoided the possible defence of the driver claiming to have been frightened.

Jonathan
Pete Owens
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Re: A caution - really?

Post by Pete Owens »

thirdcrank wrote: 24 Sep 2021, 2:41pm
I'm not clear why this escalated into something which might have resulted in serious injury or worse.
So an unprovoked attack - for which the offender needs to be dealt with severely.
I've printed some of the significant moments reproduced below, from this youtube version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCjzH9z6dHA

There's a section at the beginning where we see an apparently uneventful several seconds showing part of a group of riders riding normally. There's a glimpse of following traffic but nothing significant and in particular, none of the riders appears to react to anything happening behind. What I take to be THE car overtakes on the other side of the centre line

Screenshot (22).png

None of the riders appears to react to the car or driver and, more to the point, there's then no obvious sign of the riders having to brake.
Indeed, entirely unremarkable up to that point. Absolutely nothing in the behaviour of the cyclists could be taken as an excuse or provocation. It seems the driver was enraged simply be the existence of cyclists on the road.

Whether or not the cyclists were perturbed by the overtake is immaterial since they are not the ones that subsequently resorted to violence - however the SLOW sign painted on the tarmac does suggest it wasn't the most sensible place to choose to overtake.
After a further few seconds of the riders appearing to ride normally, there's a shout and one of the riders raises their arm and appears to signal
Screenshot (23).png
I presume that the car had been held up and was eventually caught by the riders who all begin to overtake it. One rider interacts with the car driver who raises a single-fingered salute
I think your explanation is extremely unlikely.

I don't appear to get any audio - but all I see is one of the riders giving a friendly wave - from the overall context of the video this can only be intended as an ironic response to angry hand gestures from the driver. The obvious explanation for the car slowing was not some coincidental hold up, but the driver slowing down to make those hand gestures.

It appears that the driver then decides to slow down even more to give the cyclists a taste of their own medicine. You delayed be therefore I am going to delay you. It is abundantly clear that the driver has not stopped for a hold up - they are still moving slowly - and the cyclists simply overtake him. The driver has the window wound down - his arm hanging outside or making gestures and is self-evidently not paying much due care and attention to the control of his vehicle.

One of the riders does indeed engage with the driver (AFTER being given the finger), but nothing in their body language suggests any aggression or escalation, but calmly trying to diffuse the situation.
Screenshot (24).png

A rider takes hold of the door mirror briefly
Indeed, holding on for balance in order to continue the conversation because they are going so slowly.
Screenshot (25).png

The rider moves away, then takes hold again when the driver appears to try to dislodge the rider's hand then strikes him, causing him to fall as seen in earlier posts.
No, the driver pulls the cyclists towards them so they can punch them repeatedly in the face.
The car lurches forward where it stops just short of running over the camera (and presumably its rider)

Screenshot (26).png
The jerk in the video is the point at which the driver collides with the bike knocking the rider off - the last frame shows the riders leg on the tarmac.

That in itself constitutes dangerous driving. Colliding with another driver due to driving whilst assaulting another road user goes way beyond due care and attention.

Now, the video stops there so we can't absolutely know what happens next. But if I were part of a group friends and a psychopath with a large powerful vehicle had punched one of them to the ground and knocked another from their bike, then I would start to be thinking about the degree of force that would constitute reasonable self defence.
slowster
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Re: A caution - really?

Post by slowster »

thirdcrank wrote: 26 Sep 2021, 10:00am there's nothing smart about getting into an avoidable bust-up
What strikes me when I watch that video is the lack of presence of mind and situational awareness. In choosing to slow down and hold a conversation with the driver, rather than maintain speed and complete the overtake, the cyclist forced the rider behind him to unclip and come to a standstill in the middle of the road (note that there is another car visible behind). The cyclist with the rear camera placed herself in the danger zone in front of the car.

A key skill in group riding is maintaining awareness of what is happening around you and taking into account what effect your actions might have on the other riders. That incident was a dog's breakfast of group riding technique.

We all make mistakes from time to time, and the most important thing is that we learn from them and don't repeat them. Sometimes it is not obvious to ourselves that we have done something wrong, and we need someone else to explain it to us. In a cycling club that might mean a friendly word from a more senior experienced rider (and occasionally a more robust word if someone refuses to accept they made a mistake). What concerns me about the video is that they do not seem to have realised that they handled that situation poorly (maybe in private they do, but if so I would expect them to be too embarrassed to give an interview and to not want that video plastered over news media and social media).

If they continue to think they did nothing wrong, they will continue to be an increased risk to themselves and the other club members they ride with.
thirdcrank
Posts: 32943
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: A caution - really?

Post by thirdcrank »

Here's another couple of bits of the HC aimed at all drivers and riders.
Rule 147

Be considerate. Be careful of and considerate towards all types of road users, especially those requiring extra care (see Rule 204).

......
  • try to be understanding if other road users cause problems; they may be inexperienced or not know the area well.
    be patient; remember that anyone can make a mistake.
  • do not allow yourself to become agitated or involved if someone is behaving badly on the road. This will only make the situation worse. Pull over, calm down and, when you feel relaxed, continue your journey.
...

Rule 148

Safe driving and riding needs concentration. Avoid distractions when driving or riding such as
.....
  • arguing with your passengers or other road users
....
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-highway ... 103-to-158
Pete Owens
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Re: A caution - really?

Post by Pete Owens »

slowster wrote: 26 Sep 2021, 11:47am
Pete Owens wrote: 26 Sep 2021, 10:44am I'm not one to automatically take the side of cyclists, but I can see absolutely nothing in the behaviour that was anything other than exemplary.
The cyclist in question showed poor judgement and poor roadcraft; to call his behaviour exemplary is absurd. That does not excuse the driver, who was completely in the wrong.
Perhaps you could clarify which of the victims you are blaming here? The one who was run over or the one who was beaten to the ground?
Pete Owens
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Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: A caution - really?

Post by Pete Owens »

slowster wrote: 26 Sep 2021, 12:57pm
What strikes me when I watch that video is the lack of presence of mind and situational awareness. In choosing to slow down and hold a conversation with the driver, rather than maintain speed and complete the overtake, the cyclist forced the rider behind him to unclip and come to a standstill in the middle of the road (note that there is another car visible behind).
Really - you watch a video showing a driver beating up one cyclist while knocking off another with their car and THE thing that strikes you are are details of group riding etiquette!

I can imagine a Cornish fire fighter call to assist the Devon brigade at a major fire i9n Plymouth - and the most important thing he can think of is whether or not they put the cream on their scones before the jam.
The cyclist with the rear camera placed herself in the danger zone in front of the car.
You mean she was riding along the road?
Bonefishblues
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Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: A caution - really?

Post by Bonefishblues »

It would have been better for the group to stop behind the car. The driver may well have ranted, gestured, and delayed them by a few seconds, but nobody would have put themselves in a position of potential danger, faced with an unpredictable and angry motorist. Unless of course he reversed towards them, but then I suspect that he'd be awaiting trial.

Just to be clear, I'm not victim-blaming - it's not in debate that it's the driver who is fault in all respects, and it was he who was cautioned, but it is wise to reflect on incidents to see if there are learning points for others/the future.
slowster
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Joined: 7 Jul 2017, 10:37am

Re: A caution - really?

Post by slowster »

Pete Owens wrote: 26 Sep 2021, 2:02pm
slowster wrote: 26 Sep 2021, 11:47am
Pete Owens wrote: 26 Sep 2021, 10:44am I'm not one to automatically take the side of cyclists, but I can see absolutely nothing in the behaviour that was anything other than exemplary.
The cyclist in question showed poor judgement and poor roadcraft; to call his behaviour exemplary is absurd. That does not excuse the driver, who was completely in the wrong.
Perhaps you could clarify which of the victims you are blaming here? The one who was run over or the one who was beaten to the ground?
Both of them did things which were stupid. It is best for them and for those who ride with them, that they realise that and learn from it. The alternative is that they continue to do things which put themselves, and more importantly their fellow riders, at unnecessary increased risk.

If I were the rider behind that cyclist, I would have taken a dim view of his decision to slow down and talk to the driver while I was stuck behind him in the middle of the road with more traffic behind. I would similarly have taken a dim view of his holding onto a moving vehicle while directly in front of me. The fact that the cyclist was assaulted would not stop me from concluding that unless he was more careful in future, I would not want to ride in a group with him, especially not on his wheel.
Pete Owens wrote: 26 Sep 2021, 2:17pm Really - you watch a video showing a driver beating up one cyclist while knocking off another with their car and THE thing that strikes you are are details of group riding etiquette!
Pete Owens wrote: 26 Sep 2021, 12:13pm But if I were part of a group friends and a psychopath with a large powerful vehicle had punched one of them to the ground and knocked another from their bike, then I would start to be thinking about the degree of force that would constitute reasonable self defence.
Really - you watch that video and your response is to sit at a keyboard and have an internet hard man fantasy imagining how much force you might legally use?

I have had to call ambulances when fellow riders have exercised poor judgement and ended up severely injured as a result. I can recall how physically sick with worry I felt at the time about the possibility of the rider being permanently disabled or worse. Your Walter Mitty fantasizing is utterly removed from what I experienced and felt in those circumstances.
Carlton green
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Re: A caution - really?

Post by Carlton green »

Judgement can and often does become poor in inflamed situations.

Perhaps the challenging (of poor driving) action of the cyclist was ill advised and perhaps the driver should not have had his window open. The situation could have ended more badly.

If there is a clear fault it is down to lack of Policing and the (seemingly justified) lack of confidence in some Policing. A best way forward would have been reporting of the original (poor driving) event to the Police and them taking action, life isn’t perfect but it shouldn’t be necessary for individuals to have to take matters into their own hands.

As for the caution, well as far as I’m concerned it is a penalty but simply doesn’t appear to me to be a sufficient penalty. I think that the Courts should have judged the matter but in that situation the driver might have no penalty or (rightly IMHO) a much greater one.
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