Road position discussion from 'Witness or victim' thread

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jatindersangha
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Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 11:19am

Road position discussion from 'Witness or victim' thread

Postby jatindersangha » 5 Aug 2020, 10:00am

<moderator note: this thread has been split from Witness or Victim?>

Hi all,

I recently reported this vehicle for a dangerous close pass:

Video: https://youtu.be/JZYzK1gZRlM

The Surrey TPU investigated and offered the driver a driver awareness course in lieu of 3 points/prosecution etc.

I contacted the police asking them for the name of the driver and his insurance details and they responded back saying that I was a witness to an incident of bad driving not a victim and so was not entitled to the information.

I was always under the impression that I was the victim and a potential witness, and the video evidence provided another witness?

Anyway, I wanted the insurance details so that I could make a small claim from the insurers to cover the cost of my wife having to drive me to/from work for a few days as the incident above had really shaken me up by the time I got home and so I haven't ridden the bike since.

--Jatinder
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PDQ Mobile
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 5 Aug 2020, 2:12pm

To the OP.
You do seem to get a lot of grief don't you.
I remember an incident where a motor cyclist tapped you on the head.
And another with a lorry.

I said at the time of these incidents, that I think you cycle too far out.
And hence contributes (at least) to your problems.
Others do not agree about your position being poor, I know.

And it is not always easy to say from video clips.

Yet in the video at the point where you cross the shadow of the car waiting at the junction you are pretty much half way across the carriageway. Certainly more than a meter out.

I tend to be much more of a "close in" cyclist and rarely get this sort of problem. It does happen but only once in a blue moon.

All IMHO.

slowster
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby slowster » 5 Aug 2020, 2:33pm

I think you will be wasting your time with such a course of action. What you are proposing to claim for is liability for the 'nervous shock' caused by the close pass. Because there is no physical injury involved, nervous shock claims have some quite high criteria to be fulfilled before a court would accept such a claim.

There is a lot of case law and precedent for nervous shock claims, but in essence a close pass of someone on a bike would not be anywhere near meeting the criteria as far as I recall. The level of trauma has to be serious, not simply being a bit shook up and not wanting to ride your bike, and the incident that caused it would need to be a lot lot worse than a close pass. For example, if you worked in a factory and witnessed a colleague being horrifically killed in an industrial accident, and were diagnosed subsequently with PTSD, you would probably succeed in a claim for nervous shock.

I agree with PDQ Mobile that you are riding too far out in the road. That is no excuse for the close pass, but neverthless it may make close passes more likely or 'closer'. For example, where the zig zag lines indicate no parking before the pelican crossing, I would typically ride so that my wheels passed over the right hand apex of the zig zags, whereas you are much further out into the road.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Tangled Metal » 5 Aug 2020, 2:41pm

It's possible you're right. About the OP contributing to the frequency of incidents.

I've never had more than two incidents with drivers. One was a young lad in a small van being a to$$er and "having a laugh" by using his horn to make me jump. The other was more serious because it resulted in me having to cycle at a sprint while trapped between two sets of trailer wheels until I could crash out info a hedge where there was a dropped kerb.

I do find through other activities I do in the outdoors that some people are more prone to issues doing their sport or outdoor activity. Part of it is down to awareness in one form or another. There's times when primary position is warranted on UK roads for cyclists but there's times when cycling in secondary is more appropriate. Judgment on that is personal but being personal it can result in a poor decision at times.

My view of primary position is that it's a safety tool best kept for when really needed. Junctions, constrictions, etc? If you're riding in primary on a straight road then IMHO you are diluting the value of that position and potentially causing yourself, as the more vulnerable road user, issues. There's loads of to$$ers behind steering wheels and you become a target if you're out towards primary when there's no obvious reason for it.

Not saying the OP is such a cyclist as I've not watched any of his videos TBH but I'm just picking up on what PDQ posted. I just have a sneaking suspicion that we're our own worst enemy at times in that we are capable of creating our own problems. I'm sure we all know cyclists forever having accidents of one kind or another. Or who always report problem drivers on the same roads that you don't have much to complain about. I know one guy, a mountain biker from the earliest times having lived in the USA when it took off, who had a season ticket to the local A&E!! He often remembers one minute cycle cycling, the next waking up in hospital with lights flashing past as he's wheeled down the corridor. I still remember on a walk with him and he pointed out the dry stone wall he lost his front teeth to!!!

If I had gone through a run of a few accidents or incidents with motorists then at some point I'd consider what I could change to stop the run. Whether that's a cycle training course, changing my route, changing my travel time, changing my riding style, etc. I can't change motorists but I can make myself better as a cyclist and road user. I am not criticizing the OP just making the point that we can all become better cyclists.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 5 Aug 2020, 2:49pm

Answer: both
..
Suggesting he rides too far out is victim blaming IMHO
If he is further out he is even more visible
Last edited by Cyril Haearn on 5 Aug 2020, 3:08pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Vorpal
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Vorpal » 5 Aug 2020, 3:02pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:To the OP.
You do seem to get a lot of grief don't you.
I remember an incident where a motor cyclist tapped you on the head.
And another with a lorry.

I said at the time of these incidents, that I think you cycle too far out.
And hence contributes (at least) to your problems.
Others do not agree about your position being poor, I know.

And it is not always easy to say from video clips.

Yet in the video at the point where you cross the shadow of the car waiting at the junction you are pretty much half way across the carriageway. Certainly more than a meter out.

I tend to be much more of a "close in" cyclist and rarely get this sort of problem. It does happen but only once in a blue moon.

All IMHO.
What you say is exactly opposite the government guidance through Bikeability and Cyclecraft. Approaching a junction with so many potential conflicts; a car waiting/pulling out, and the overtaking car, I would be right in the middle of the lane, there, and advise any other cyclist to do the same. That's what both Bikeability and Cyclecraft recommend.

There was also a car wating to pull out at the junction. With the wide angle of that junction, drivers have look partly back to see traffic coming from thei right. Riding in the middle makes the cyclist more visible. My experience is that a central lane position 'taking the lane' is much *less* likely to result in this sort of a problem. It gives me more control over the traffic and reduces conflict; it also leaves more escape room in case someone does something stupid.

It's clear the overtaking driver was overtaking illegally, and too close; I don't see how being a bit further in would have helped that, and it may have increased the risk from the driver in the side road.

p.s. that junction design is absolute crap.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

jatindersangha
Posts: 152
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 11:19am

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby jatindersangha » 5 Aug 2020, 3:03pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:To the OP.
You do seem to get a lot of grief don't you.


I do believe the level of driving and infrastructure in Surrey is very poor and the police aren't normally particularly useful when dealing with it.

PDQ Mobile wrote:I remember an incident where a motor cyclist tapped you on the head.
And another with a lorry.


Yes, a motorcyclist wanting to overtake on a bend with an approaching vehicle - with plenty of time/space for him to just move a metre or more out and overtake safely.

And a lorry attempting to overtake on a narrow, short, steep hill with a blind crest - when an oncoming vehicle suddenly appears.

Both examples of impatient motorists who don't mind putting cyclists at risk.

PDQ Mobile wrote:Yet in the video at the point where you cross the shadow of the car waiting at the junction you are pretty much half way across the carriageway. Certainly more than a meter out.


Absolutely, if you look at my position at the beginning of the moving bit and at the very end of the video - I'm probably no more than 75cm out from the kerb. I then moved out to the centre after the dangerous overtake - whilst passing the stationary vehicle.

--Jatinder

jatindersangha
Posts: 152
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 11:19am

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby jatindersangha » 5 Aug 2020, 3:18pm

Tangled Metal wrote:If I had gone through a run of a few accidents or incidents with motorists then at some point I'd consider what I could change to stop the run. Whether that's a cycle training course, changing my route, changing my travel time, changing my riding style, etc. I can't change motorists but I can make myself better as a cyclist and road user. I am not criticizing the OP just making the point that we can all become better cyclists.


Yes, I agree and have done the same...I did the Bikeability level 3 course, and when I was commuting to Woking train station I restricted my route to the quieter back roads...all of which were narrow, windy, 40/50/60mph limits. Most days, I'd only be passed by a handful of motorists - but that in itself wasn't enough to remove the close-passes etc.

--Jatinder

slowster
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby slowster » 5 Aug 2020, 3:25pm

Vorpal wrote:What you say is exactly opposite the government guidance through Bikeability and Cyclecraft. Approaching a junction with so many potential conflicts; a car waiting/pulling out, and the overtaking car, I would be right in the middle of the lane, there, and advise any other cyclist to do the same. That's what both Bikeability and Cyclecraft recommend.

There was also a car wating to pull out at the junction. With the wide angle of that junction, drivers have look partly back to see traffic coming from thei right. Riding in the middle makes the cyclist more visible. My experience is that a central lane position 'taking the lane' is much *less* likely to result in this sort of a problem. It gives me more control over the traffic and reduces conflict; it also leaves more escape room in case someone does something stupid.

It's clear the overtaking driver was overtaking illegally, and too close; I don't see how being a bit further in would have helped that, and it may have increased the risk from the driver in the side road.

I agree about not riding close to the kerb in the run up to a junction where a car is seeking to pull out from a side road and may move forward without warning. Moreover, the fact that the OP is in the middle of the lane as he passes the car is probably not relevant, because I suspect that he has unintentionally swerved out slightly as a result of the shock of the close pass.

Subsequently he pulls in closer to the kerb as he nears the pelican crossing, but still a lot further out than I would be. Such a single short video may not be representative of the OP's usual positioning, but PDQ Mobile states that the OP has posted videos of other incidents which raised questions about the OP's positioning. If it is representative, then it looks like the OP may be spending a lot of time riding not in secondary or primary position, but halfway in between. If so, that is not good practice, and it would probably increase the likelihood and frequency of negative incidents like this one.

Cowsham
Posts: 633
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Cowsham » 5 Aug 2020, 3:41pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:To the OP.
You do seem to get a lot of grief don't you.
I remember an incident where a motor cyclist tapped you on the head.
And another with a lorry.

I said at the time of these incidents, that I think you cycle too far out.
And hence contributes (at least) to your problems.
Others do not agree about your position being poor, I know.

And it is not always easy to say from video clips.

Yet in the video at the point where you cross the shadow of the car waiting at the junction you are pretty much half way across the carriageway. Certainly more than a meter out.

I tend to be much more of a "close in" cyclist and rarely get this sort of problem. It does happen but only once in a blue moon.

All IMHO.


I agree -- the op is much too far out -- if he can't cycle a bit tighter to the kerb I think it's best he didn't venture onto the road.

On the other hand I think the car driver should have waited till the other side of the road was clear before overtaking and should have treated the cycle as a motorcycle since he was halfway across the road blocking the traffic behind him.

I think the driver has been disciplined adequately for such a slow speed manoeuvre.

Tangled Metal
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Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Tangled Metal » 5 Aug 2020, 3:58pm

jatindersangha wrote:
Tangled Metal wrote:If I had gone through a run of a few accidents or incidents with motorists then at some point I'd consider what I could change to stop the run. Whether that's a cycle training course, changing my route, changing my travel time, changing my riding style, etc. I can't change motorists but I can make myself better as a cyclist and road user. I am not criticizing the OP just making the point that we can all become better cyclists.


Yes, I agree and have done the same...I did the Bikeability level 3 course, and when I was commuting to Woking train station I restricted my route to the quieter back roads...all of which were narrow, windy, 40/50/60mph limits. Most days, I'd only be passed by a handful of motorists - but that in itself wasn't enough to remove the close-passes etc.

--Jatinder

You probably can't do more.

I hope you didn't take my post as victim blaming. I do dislike that phrase because it's often used to shutdown discussions on personal actions that could help prevent future accidents and incidents. It's why I try to be very careful in my phrasing. I'm into self reflection as I can't improve others but I can possibly improve myself. It seems you've done that self reflection and taken action through training. It is a continuous process and if there's ever another incident, let's hope not, then you might spot another action you can take. I wish you well in your cycling and hope you can get back any confidence this incident might have caused you to lose.

Jdsk
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Jdsk » 5 Aug 2020, 4:31pm

https://youtu.be/JZYzK1gZRlM
doesn't look particularly high to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOB538zCr_M
looks a bit high to start with, but it's difficult without cameras pointing both ways. And by the time of the offence it looks like an appropriate control position.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vye7Y-y50G0
I can't tell because I can't see if the road narrows at the junction or if there are other hazards.

Jonathan

jatindersangha
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Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 11:19am

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby jatindersangha » 5 Aug 2020, 4:47pm

Jdsk wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vye7Y-y50G0
I can't tell because I can't see if the road narrows at the junction or if there are other hazards.

Jonathan


It's a staggered junction - with the "straight-on" road being a few feet to the left. So, when I cycled that route I always took primary at the junction as I really didn't want motorists passing me whilst turning or veering left.

What the video doesn't show is the parked car in the cycle lane hence I was out into the road at the beginning of the video...as the junction was only a few seconds ahead and I needed to be in primary for it - I didn't see the need to pull in.

Tangled Metal wrote:I hope you didn't take my post as victim blaming.


We're all friends here even if we disagree at times ;-)


I've posted the 2mins before and after the incident with the blue Golf - it should show my usual road position. I see that I do veer out around drains etc and perhaps ride too far out when there's no traffic behind me. It's not particularly interesting.

https://youtu.be/nnjEZTpxE7I

--Jatinder

Edit: PS: If someone would like to post their own video showing their positioning then I'd be very interested.

Jdsk
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Jdsk » 5 Aug 2020, 4:51pm

jatindersangha wrote:
Jdsk wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vye7Y-y50G0
I can't tell because I can't see if the road narrows at the junction or if there are other hazards.

It's a staggered junction - with the "straight-on" road being a few feet to the left. So, when I cycled that route I always took primary at the junction as I really didn't want motorists passing me whilst turning or veering left.

What the video doesn't show is the parked car in the cycle lane hence I was out into the road at the beginning of the video...as the junction was only a few seconds ahead and I needed to be in primary for it - I didn't see the need to pull in.

Thanks. As suspected.

Jonathan

jatindersangha
Posts: 152
Joined: 23 Jun 2015, 11:19am

Re: Witness or victim?

Postby jatindersangha » 5 Aug 2020, 5:15pm