Passing clearance - motion at AGM

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Re: Passing clearance - motion at AGM

Postby Vorpal » 8 Apr 2016, 9:10am

al_yrpal wrote:Perhaps Vorpal can tell us if there is any such law in Skandinavia or the USA.

In New Zealand last year I noticed signs indicating that cyclists should be given 1 metre clearance, so they think that its important too.

Al

In the USA, it goes state by state. http://www.ncsl.org/research/transporta ... lists.aspx shows where the differen laws apply.
http://www.bicyclelaw.com/news/n.cfm/us ... ges-ctc-to is the website of a US campaigner who stated his support for such a law in the UK.

Canada has a minimum passing clearance law. It is 1 metre, without reference to speed and qualified by a 'when practical'. I'm not aware that it is enforced.

Norway and Sweden do not have such a law, but there is a well-publicised recommendation that drivers give at least 1.5 metres clearance, and it is required material in driver training in Norway. I'm not sure if it is included in theoretical test material. I'm not aware of drivers having been prosecuted for passing too close to a cyclist, here. When I complained to the police about a driver who forced me off the road, I was very disappointed by the response. On the other hand, I think that most drivers give me 1,5 metres and more. I can only recall a couple of incidents where I had less than 1 metre clearance. Drivers who do hit or injure cyclists are dealt with pretty harshly, and I generally find the riding conditions to be much better than in the UK.

I'm not sure about other Scandinavian countries.

TBH, I'd rather the focus was on something like proportional liability. IMO, the countries / places that have the best road culture for vulnerable user do not have a minimum passign distance law, but maybe someone will be along to correct me on that.

If it's an easy win, I don't have a problem with it, but I'm not sure that it's a good use of campaigning resources.
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Re: Passing clearance - motion at AGM

Postby al_yrpal » 8 Apr 2016, 10:07am

On campaigning, there is NO MORE MONEY for cycling as far as the Tories are concerned. They are spending what little they can borrow on new and better roads for cars and lorries. So, IMO its pretty useless spending precious CTC funds and government grants campaigning for more. Its not going to happen! The way things are presently we could have the Tories for another 9 years!

But… a law that seeks to protect cyclists by making it mandatory to distance an overtaking vehicle well clear will cost absolutely nothing. And like the laws on observing speed limits, drink driving, rights of way, it puts the onus on drivers to observe the rules and take care around cyclists and will thus make cycling much safer.

Why is the CTC going to bash its head against a brick wall campaigning for non existing funds when it could make us all safer by lobbying for a law that forbids close passing that costs NOTHING to impliment?

Engage in battles that you can win, not battles you are bound to loose… !!!

Al
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Re: Passing clearance - motion at AGM

Postby Vorpal » 8 Apr 2016, 10:10am

al_yrpal wrote:But… a law that seeks to protect cyclists by making it mandatory to distance an overtaking vehicle well clear will cost absolutely nothing.
Al

There's no such thing. Just the time spent discussing it and the paperwork to make it exist cost something. And there's no point to a law that is not publicised nor enforced. But that's the only way it can cost nothing.
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Re: Passing clearance - motion at AGM

Postby Psamathe » 8 Apr 2016, 10:15am

Vorpal wrote:
al_yrpal wrote:But… a law that seeks to protect cyclists by making it mandatory to distance an overtaking vehicle well clear will cost absolutely nothing.
Al

There's no such thing. Just the time spent discussing it and the paperwork to make it exist cost something. And there's no point a law that is not publicised nor enforced. But that's the only way it can cost nothing.

I suppose also the fewer requests/demands cyclists make on legislation changes the better they will be received by the legislators. So if a group campaigns for <x>, then also starts campaigning for <y>, then they get <x> and start campaigning for <z>, etc. we might find a "they are never satisfied" attitude starting where those considering new legislation think it will just be a continual demand, demand, demand ...

So I can see how fewer campaigns for clearly thought out and well justified changes with evidence might be better received and have greater chances of success.

That said, I do like the sound of motor vehicles giving me a descent passing clearance (so not anti the idea, just unsure of it in terms of priority, enforcement, etc.).

Ian

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Re: Passing clearance - motion at AGM

Postby al_yrpal » 8 Apr 2016, 10:24am

Vorpal wrote:
al_yrpal wrote:But… a law that seeks to protect cyclists by making it mandatory to distance an overtaking vehicle well clear will cost absolutely nothing.
Al

There's no such thing. Just the time spent discussing it and the paperwork to make it exist cost something. And there's no point a law that is not publicised nor enforced. But that's the only way it can cost nothing.


That is nitpicking, of course there is a small cost. You could probably build half a mile of new road or two miles of cycle path for the trivial cost of a law. The frequently updated copy of the highway code would spell it out and a press release the BBC and other media would publicise it as would the anguished cries from motorists and the debate would make everyone aware. We could all invest in a £5 yellow vest with a 1 metre sign on it. What price a life?

And, if its a law, the plod must enforce it.

Al
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Re: Passing clearance - motion at AGM

Postby mjr » 8 Apr 2016, 11:19am

Vorpal wrote:TBH, I'd rather the focus was on something like proportional liability. IMO, the countries / places that have the best road culture for vulnerable user do not have a minimum passign distance law, but maybe someone will be along to correct me on that.

If it's an easy win, I don't have a problem with it, but I'm not sure that it's a good use of campaigning resources.

Policy and focus/resources are different concerns. All the motion (viewtopic.php?f=48&t=104977) says is "The AGM requests ..." - there seems no downside to approving it even if no resources are committed yet.

Not only can I find no minimum passing distance in the Netherlands road law (which I think is http://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0004825/2014-03-20) but proportional liability was only enacted long after cycling was increasing.

I'd put both policies on the books and allocate resources tactically - it might be that something comes up which means minimum passing distance is likely but proportional liability isn't, or the reverse.

I really don't understand "even 1.5m may not be enough in some circumstances and we don’t want to risk giving drivers the impression that it is. The Highway Code (rather than the law) is better placed to explain" as a good reason to oppose calling for a minimum. Vague descriptive explanation of the sort CTC Council seems to support has been in the Highway Code in some form since at least 1946 ("Give pedestrians and pedal cyclists plenty of room. They are very vulnerable." in section 41 in that edition) and it hasn't worked yet, nor is there any reason to think it would. Low-profile changes to the code take years to have any effect because most motorists don't read it after they pass the test - plenty will still tell you that bikes aren't allowed to have flashing lights.

It also seems unlikely that CTC would get its preferred changes in the code, as they couldn't stop the evidence-free junk about using cycle facilities, wearing helmets and wearing bright clothing getting into the current edition. At least once a law is passed, amendments happen by a public process, rather than in shady post-consultation revisions.

This feels a bit like the bad old CTC oppose-every-new-tactic approach, which is just bizarre given the radical embracing of a new brand over the heads of members.
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Re: Passing clearance - motion at AGM

Postby Vorpal » 8 Apr 2016, 11:22am

mjr wrote:
Vorpal wrote:TBH, I'd rather the focus was on something like proportional liability. IMO, the countries / places that have the best road culture for vulnerable user do not have a minimum passign distance law, but maybe someone will be along to correct me on that.

If it's an easy win, I don't have a problem with it, but I'm not sure that it's a good use of campaigning resources.

Policy and focus/resources are different concerns. All the motion (viewtopic.php?f=48&t=104977) says is "The AGM requests ..." - there seems no downside to approving it even if no resources are committed yet.

Not only can I find no minimum passing distance in the Netherlands road law (which I think is http://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0004825/2014-03-20) but proportional liability was only enacted long after cycling was increasing.

I'd put both policies on the books and allocate resources tactically - it might be that something comes up which means minimum passing distance is likely but proportional liability isn't, or the reverse.


That's fair enough, and seems like a reasonable approach.
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Re: Passing clearance - motion at AGM

Postby Bmblbzzz » 8 Apr 2016, 3:45pm

mjr wrote:
Vorpal wrote:TBH, I'd rather the focus was on something like proportional liability. IMO, the countries / places that have the best road culture for vulnerable user do not have a minimum passign distance law, but maybe someone will be along to correct me on that.

If it's an easy win, I don't have a problem with it, but I'm not sure that it's a good use of campaigning resources.

Policy and focus/resources are different concerns. All the motion (viewtopic.php?f=48&t=104977) says is "The AGM requests ..." - there seems no downside to approving it even if no resources are committed yet.

Not only can I find no minimum passing distance in the Netherlands road law (which I think is http://wetten.overheid.nl/BWBR0004825/2014-03-20) but proportional liability was only enacted long after cycling was increasing.

I'd put both policies on the books and allocate resources tactically - it might be that something comes up which means minimum passing distance is likely but proportional liability isn't, or the reverse.

I really don't understand "even 1.5m may not be enough in some circumstances and we don’t want to risk giving drivers the impression that it is. The Highway Code (rather than the law) is better placed to explain" as a good reason to oppose calling for a minimum. Vague descriptive explanation of the sort CTC Council seems to support has been in the Highway Code in some form since at least 1946 ("Give pedestrians and pedal cyclists plenty of room. They are very vulnerable." in section 41 in that edition) and it hasn't worked yet, nor is there any reason to think it would. Low-profile changes to the code take years to have any effect because most motorists don't read it after they pass the test - plenty will still tell you that bikes aren't allowed to have flashing lights.

It also seems unlikely that CTC would get its preferred changes in the code, as they couldn't stop the evidence-free junk about using cycle facilities, wearing helmets and wearing bright clothing getting into the current edition. At least once a law is passed, amendments happen by a public process, rather than in shady post-consultation revisions.

This feels a bit like the bad old CTC oppose-every-new-tactic approach, which is just bizarre given the radical embracing of a new brand over the heads of members.

Yes. It feels like all the rebranding, appealing to everyone with a fresh image, was a sham and in the inner circle we still have crusty old (white, male, middle class) tourists intending on upholding their rights, rather than the lizard-beings sucking up membership in return for oodles of public subsidy we think should now be there!

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Re: Passing clearance - motion at AGM

Postby mjr » 8 Apr 2016, 4:09pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:Yes. It feels like all the rebranding, appealing to everyone with a fresh image, was a sham and in the inner circle we still have crusty old (white, male, middle class) tourists intending on upholding their rights, rather than the lizard-beings sucking up membership in return for oodles of public subsidy we think should now be there!

If CTC was run by "tourists intending on upholding their rights" then surely they'd be supporting making it a clear and unambiguous offence to drive less than a set distance from the edge of one's saddlebag or panniers? :eek:

As I suspect you know, CTC had a reputation for flatly opposing almost every change - sometimes with good reason (the early lighting regulations that started the arms race cyclists can never win, for example) and sometimes not (allowing powered two-wheelers in bus lanes, to pick a different example to the usual one).
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Re: Passing clearance - motion at AGM

Postby Bmblbzzz » 8 Apr 2016, 4:45pm

The lighting changes was the kind of thing I was thinking of. The right to ride or drive with no rear lights because people should be able to stop within the distance they can see to be clear, it shouldn't be anyone's responsibility to make themselves seen but to see. That kind of thing. Legalistic theoretical rights with less practical implementation. Perhaps in this case "We uphold our right to ride on any road, even where the minimum passing distance cannot be met." (And who knows, it could end up going that way: you have to ride in the gutter so "traffic" can pass you with minimum clearance, if the road is too narrow you can't ride there, etc. But no one at CTC/CUK has actually said this, or indeed given any reason that makes much sense, which is why I wondered if they were just opposing everything on principle... )

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Re: Passing clearance - motion at AGM

Postby MikeF » 8 Apr 2016, 11:50pm

Can anyone explain how this law would work? On its own I'm at a loss to see what effect it would have in practice. How would it be policed? All the evidence would need to be on video and even then there would need to be a measurement marker to prove it was a close pass. Also who's going to bring the prosecutions? It just seems fraught with difficulties.

Careless and dangerous driving are very ill defined; it could be incorporated as a criterion for these, but still very difficult to prove in court. And charges such as these are brought only after a collision, so it wouldn't protect a cyclist.

I think a presumed liability law would be better - drivers might be more aware of the cost to their pockets, but even that won't affect motorists who don't have insurance.
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Re: Passing clearance - motion at AGM

Postby al_yrpal » 9 Apr 2016, 8:52am

How does the no speeding law work? Who enforces the priorities at roundabouts? How does the 'no mobiles' law work? Who polices traffic lights? The passing law will (not) be enforced in exactly the same way. The lack of traffic police is a scandal. But, all these laws must be obeyed by vehicle drivers and in the same way the new law on passing cyclists will tell vehicle drivers at what distance they MUST pass cyclists. At the moment they can do exactly what they like with impunity under the law because there is no law.

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Re: Passing clearance - motion at AGM

Postby Bez » 9 Apr 2016, 9:37am

al_yrpal wrote:How does the no speeding law work?


That would be the one that 83% of drivers openly admit to breaking on a regular basis, yes? (Source: RAC)

I think the answer to your question is: "badly".

And that's with widespread use of calibrated cameras which can take measurements at fixed locations. Motion 14 requires measurement between two constantly moving vehicles.

The problems with this motion are far too numerous and serious to cover in a forum post, so I shall put something on the blog later. IMO the motion is the most naive thing I have seen in a long time, and is counter-productive to the objectives of achieving more and safer cycling.

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Re: Passing clearance - motion at AGM

Postby Psamathe » 9 Apr 2016, 11:46am

al_yrpal wrote:How does the no speeding law work?
Using carefully calibrated equipment often requiring measuring bars painted on the road, requiring specially trained staff

al_yrpal wrote: Who enforces the priorities at roundabouts?
painted bars on the road providing explicit unambiguous indications

al_yrpal wrote:How does the 'no mobiles' law work?
It doesn't. Not enforced as far as I can see (otherwise, if each Police Officer was acting on mobile use they observed our courts growth would outstripping every other sector in the world.

al_yrpal wrote:Who polices traffic lights?
Special cameras that record evidence and measurements.

Ian

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Re: Passing clearance - motion at AGM

Postby anniesboy » 9 Apr 2016, 12:07pm

2014-06-25%252014.43.39.jpg
Photo taken in France 2014