Road position discussion from 'Witness or victim' thread

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Jdsk
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Jdsk » 7 Aug 2020, 8:24am

DaveBeck wrote:Where do you live? It must be a bloody awful place wherever it is, because I really don't recognise the situation you describe where I live in Cornwall. Ok, you get the very occasional driver who may get a bit close, but very, very rarely do I get what feels to be a deliberate close pass, or what we would refer to as a "punishment pass." But by and large, I find that drivers give me space, don't follow too closely (sometimes they hang back too far, so they loose the opportunity to pass at a suitable spot when I would like them to get past), they certainly don't terrorise me.

Same here. Most drivers give me enough room whether I'm cycling or walking. Most stop at most Stop signs. Most negotiate appropriately in tight situations.
And, funnily enough, most other cyclists on open roads smile or wave or greet.
And it doesn't seem to vary much wherever I am. I wonder if some of the problems might be in the eye of the beholder rather than associated with location.

DaveBeck wrote:I'm sure it will be slightly different in cities, purely because of the increased volumes of traffic, both cyclists and motorists. But I think that as the numbers of people cycling increases and hopefully stays that way, more and more will appreciate life from our side and things will improve even more.

Agreed. And as well as more people cycling and directly delivering benefits to themselves and others that will also mean that more people driving vehicles have also cycled in the recent past. And that should decrease the tribalism.

Jonathan
Last edited by Jdsk on 7 Aug 2020, 9:06am, edited 1 time in total.

Jdsk
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Jdsk » 7 Aug 2020, 8:29am

Pete Owens wrote:Though even if the lane was wide enough to overtake it is still prudent to move out on the approach to a junction so the driver coming from the side road is less likely to fail to see you

Agreed: your visibility is improved. And you get more decision time and better escape routes, especially from vehicles joining from the L. And it deters those passing and immediately turning L in front of you. I don't think that it affects the risk from oncoming vehicles turning R across you.

Jonathan

paddler
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby paddler » 7 Aug 2020, 9:16am

Jdsk wrote:
DaveBeck wrote:Where do you live? It must be a bloody awful place wherever it is, because I really don't recognise the situation you describe where I live in Cornwall. Ok, you get the very occasional driver who may get a bit close, but very, very rarely do I get what feels to be a deliberate close pass, or what we would refer to as a "punishment pass." But by and large, I find that drivers give me space, don't follow too closely (sometimes they hang back too far, so they loose the opportunity to pass at a suitable spot when I would like them to get past), they certainly don't terrorise me.

Same here. Most drivers give me enough room whether I'm cycling or walking. Most stop at most Stop signs. Most negotiate appropriately in tight situations.
And, funnily enough, most other cyclists on open roads smile or wave or greet.
And it doesn't seem to vary much wherever I am. I wonder if some of the problems might be in the eye of the beholder rather than associated with location.

DaveBeck wrote:I'm sure it will be slightly different in cities, purely because of the increased volumes of traffic, both cyclists and motorists. But I think that as the numbers of people cycling increases and hopefully stays that way, more and more will appreciate life from our side and things will improve even more.

Agreed. And as well as more people cycling and directly delivering benefits to themselves and others that will also mean that more people driving vehicles have also cycled in the recent past. And that should decrease the tribalism.

Jonathan


Well said both.

Dave

jatindersangha
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby jatindersangha » 7 Aug 2020, 9:23am

Hi all,

Within this thread, these words were used to describe the driving of the Golf - "The car approaches slowly and cautiously giving room". "wasn't really a close pass".

I disagree with both of those. The driver may have initially wanted to overtake safely but let his desire to get in front trump everything else. The two cars in front of the Golf overtook with most of the vehicle in the oncoming lane. The driver of the Golf just about gets his offside wheels over the central line, sees the oncoming car so speeds up and starts to pull in.

Video at full speed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BQkXBiQBNs

1st 40 seconds is rear/forward video of the incident - and the rest is the same but just longer segments so that you can see the other overtakes. From traffic lights I was overtaken by a number of cars - the one by a Mazda MX-5(?) convertible was fast and close too - another driver who couldn't be bothered to wait for an oncoming vehicle to pass before overtaking.

From what I see in the video, once I'm overtaken by the white Transit - there's quite a gap behind me to the Golf - which moves over and I suspect can clearly see the oncoming vehicle but decides to speed up and overtake anyway - 5seconds after the Transit has overtaken me. The driver of the Golf then starts pulling in before he's even reached me.

Remember, this incident occurred during the early days of lockdown - and the roads were essentially very quiet. This stretch of the A322 was the busiest section that day - and of the 18miles I cycled that day - this was the only section I felt unsafe on due to the actions of those two drivers (Golf & Mazda).

--Jatinder

Pebble
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Pebble » 7 Aug 2020, 9:26am

Jdsk wrote:
DaveBeck wrote:Where do you live? It must be a bloody awful place wherever it is, because I really don't recognise the situation you describe where I live in Cornwall. Ok, you get the very occasional driver who may get a bit close, but very, very rarely do I get what feels to be a deliberate close pass, or what we would refer to as a "punishment pass." But by and large, I find that drivers give me space, don't follow too closely (sometimes they hang back too far, so they loose the opportunity to pass at a suitable spot when I would like them to get past), they certainly don't terrorise me.

Same here. Most drivers give me enough room whether I'm cycling or walking. Most stop at most Stop signs. Most negotiate appropriately in tight situations.

Yes most drivers do, probably well in excess of 99% get it right, but it only takes that one idiot driver who could end your days or put you in a wheel chair for the rest of your life. Even small low speed collisions can have life changing consequences for cyclists. There needs to be a zero tolerance approach.

For me I will endure about one close call every couple of month (1,500 mile) and that is one too many. The answer is not for me to move to Cornwall, I already live in a beautiful place with hundreds and hundreds of miles of very quiet roads, the answer has to be in better enforcement and more drivers losing their licences.

Jdsk
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Jdsk » 7 Aug 2020, 9:29am

jatindersangha wrote:"wasn't really a close pass".

I disagree with both of those. The driver may have initially wanted to overtake safely but let his desire to get in front trump everything else. The two cars in front of the Golf overtook with most of the vehicle in the oncoming lane. The driver of the Golf just about gets his offside wheels over the central line, sees the oncoming car so speeds up and starts to pull in.

Not to mention:

Rule 167
DO NOT overtake where you might come into conflict with other road users. For example
approaching or at a road junction on either side of the road

Jonathan

PDQ Mobile
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 7 Aug 2020, 9:55am

Vorpal wrote:The police agreed that the driver was in the wrong.

The OP asked advice about making a claim against the driver.

Why do folks feel the need to criticise the OP's riding position?

Because driving errors happen and sometimes things can be done to help that not occur.
We all make errors on the road, mostly small, and unimportant, but sometimes a small error becomes something more serious.


There is a happy medium in this instance IMV. A position far enough out to be a "presence" but not so far out as to become a risk factor in the whole equation.


The driver made an error, we have all agreed that.
The pass itself does not appear to be that close, the driver appears to prepare to give plenty of room, appears to hesitate, and then goes halfway into to other carriageway and this results in the "cut in" as he runs out of room.

I would argue that had the OP not been so far out, he is in the middle of his carriageway at times, the outcome would have been more acceptable. Alround.

While I fully understand Pete's opinion that taking primary here improves the driver of the waiting car's view, I think in view (no pun etc!) of the bollard and badly positioned lamppost this is open to question.

There are genuine blind spots for the driver wherever the oncoming cyclist is positioned.
I refer to my earlier opinion that there is no better guarantee of safety in such a place than decent eye contact with the driver.

The other point I made was that the extra distance that the offending driver was forced to take (once he had decided to overtake) contributed to the close pass.
No one has commented on that?

There is, IMV, a safer line through this situation. About half a meter out. A bike's width.
An often overlooked plus to being closer in is that the pavement is closer; in tight spots a place of refuge therefore more quickly available.


The OP has has several similar problems. It remains my view that his doggedly sticking to what can only be described as "extreme primary" is a factor.

Vorpal
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Vorpal » 7 Aug 2020, 10:37am

PDQ Mobile wrote:The other point I made was that the extra distance that the offending driver was forced to take (once he had decided to overtake) contributed to the close pass.
No one has commented on that?

There is, IMV, a safer line through this situation. About half a meter out. A bike's width.
An often overlooked plus to being closer in is that the pavement is closer; in tight spots a place of refuge therefore more quickly available.


The OP has has several similar problems. It remains my view that his doggedly sticking to what can only be described as "extreme primary" is a factor.

The driver made an illegal overtake. Any 'extra distance' is beside the point, and your advice to ride about a half meter out is contradictory to the official advice from the government and police forces across the country. I fyou look at the 'wide pass' mats, they put the cyclist at 0.75 meters out, and Bikeability and Cyclecraft advise the middle of the lane on the approach to a junction.

BTW. The camera position in the video is much lower than the cyclist's body, so the bollard doesn't obscure the view as much as it seems to in the video.

But we are just going in circles, now. I don't think further discussion about the OP's road position will gain anything, even if it wer the main topic of the thread.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

PDQ Mobile
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 7 Aug 2020, 11:08am

Vorpal wrote:The driver made an illegal overtake. Any 'extra distance' is beside the point, and your advice to ride about a half meter out is contradictory to the official advice from the government and police forces across the country. I fyou look at the 'wide pass' mats, they put the cyclist at 0.75 meters out, and Bikeability and Cyclecraft advise the middle of the lane on the approach to a junction.

BTW. The camera position in the video is much lower than the cyclist's body, so the bollard doesn't obscure the view as much as it seems to in the video.

But we are just going in circles, now. I don't think further discussion about the OP's road position will gain anything, even if it wer the main topic of the thread.

Going in circles sure.

Lower camera!, spare a thought for recumbent riders.
Or sports car drivers.
The lamp post??

Eye contact is the best here. No doubt in my mind.

Extra distance not a factor? Distance is always a factor.

Drivers clearer view of the road ahead not a factor?

You stick with the official advice and ignore through thick and thin (no pun etc!) what other factors suggest is (worth a try?) a better way.

Official advice is sometimes simply too rigid in its approach.

I want my cycling to be as safe possible, and enjoyable as a consequence.
I don't want stress of police, road rage, or insurance claims for psychological damage.

The driver made a bad judgement.
Was penalized, that's good, I think, if it doesn't instil hatred of cyclists.

I don't live and cycle in Surrey.
It looks tough, and fast.
Perhaps I'm just a country bumpkin.

slowster
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby slowster » 7 Aug 2020, 1:16pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:The pass itself does not appear to be that close, the driver appears to prepare to give plenty of room, appears to hesitate, and then goes halfway into to other carriageway and this results in the "cut in" as he runs out of room.

I agree. That sort of misjudged overtake and premature cut in is so common that, probably like a lot of cyclists, I am almost inured to it.

PDQ Mobile wrote:I would argue that had the OP not been so far out, he is in the middle of his carriageway at times, the outcome would have been more acceptable.

There is no good evidence for such a presumption, only evidence for the opposite. What happens in these scenarios is predominantly dependent on the driver. The only thing we can say for certain about the driver is that they show poor judgement when faced with a very simple situation on the road. Whilst such driving may not be uncommon, I think such a manoeuvre would have resulted in an instant failure by an examiner if it happened during a driving test.

The OP was far enough out into the road that the driver was presented with a situation where they had to make a conscious decision to overtake, and to assess the space available for doing so as well as the presence and speed of vehicles in the oncoming lane into whose path they would have to move during the overtake. This was a very basic, easy situation for a driver to see, assess, and act accordingly, despite which they did the wrong thing. Such a poor driver is probably much more likely to be one who makes a close pass when presented with a cyclist who is closer to the the gutter. If anything based on the actual evidence we do have, the OP's position did produce a better outcome, given that an actual close pass would have been worse and more dangerous to him.

PDQ Mobile wrote:While I fully understand Pete's opinion that taking primary here improves the driver of the waiting car's view, I think in view (no pun etc!) of the bollard and badly positioned lamppost this is open to question.

There are genuine blind spots for the driver wherever the oncoming cyclist is positioned.
I refer to my earlier opinion that there is no better guarantee of safety in such a place than decent eye contact with the driver.

It is no 'guarantee' whatever, as countless SMIDSY incidents indicate. More importantly it's not just a matter of the waiting car driver's view, it's a matter of the margin of safety when riding across the path of a car waiting to pull out. A cyclist has no control over the driver, whether with eye contact or telepathy. The only thing they can control is their own road position/speed and the margin of safety it provides against sudden unpredictable action by the driver. If the OP had been half a metre out and the driver started to pull out or their foot slipped off the clutch, the OP would either go over the bonnet or have to swerve very sharply and dangerously to the right (potentially into the path of an/the overtaking car).

I think it's reckoned to be better to watch the front wheels of cars waiting to pull out, rather than trying to make eye contact, because the wheel movement will give the earliest warning of the car moving.

To come back to the following point:
PDQ Mobile wrote:I would argue that had the OP not been so far out, he is in the middle of his carriageway at times, the outcome would have been more acceptable.

The only time he is in the middle of the carriageway is for a couple of seconds after the overtake, when he is doutbless shaken up, and he then pulls back in.

In short, we are discussing how to minimise risk. Where the risk stems from a manifestly poor driver who makes bad decisions, arguing that presenting the driver with a different scenario - where they can just as easily make an equally bad or worse decision - is likely to significantly reduce the risk is indeed victim blaming and not constructive. Ultimately this is about the degree to which the OP and all of us are able to control and influence what happens on the road around us, which for the most part is relatively little.

Hence my comments about the OP's two other videos - probably the greatest control the OP had over the Warburtons lorry was where it would overtake him, and slowing down would have resulted in the overtake well before the danger zone of the hill. Similarly with the staggered junction, keeping left in that situation would have controlled how close the van passed, because the van travelled in a straight line from its position in the middle of the road towards the junction.

PDQ Mobile
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby PDQ Mobile » 7 Aug 2020, 2:01pm

^^Slowster.

Firstly forgive lack of partial quotes my device makes it all but impossible.
I think your argument well reasoned and well meant.

With some points I understand but still do not agree.

The foot slipping off the clutch is, IMV, clutching (sorry!) at straws. It happens too infrequently to be a consideration in the big picture.
And will be a problem in many road situations no matter how cautious and prepared one is.

SMIDSY is best avoided by eye contact in my opinion, I would sooner watch the driver, their eyes and overall behavior than rely on just front wheel movement as a clue.
But we are all different and it may be useful.

The OP is all over the place by your own observation and he is always far out from the kerb sometimes in the middle of the carriageway.
Why does he have so many issues?
It is still my humble contention that his overall extreme primary is a big factor.

This is a cyclist that restricts the carriageway so much that a motorcyclist thought it necessary to tap him on the head as he passed. There should be room on a normal carriageway for a motor cyclist to pass a cyclist without crossing the central line IMV.

In the incident in question you say correctly that the fault is primarily with the driver. I agree. I also agree it would rightly be a fail of the driving test.
But the OP's position is a factor.
It is possible that the hesitation seen on the part of the VW driver was caused by the high primary. We do not know what he could see or could not see. His position early on seems reasonable as far as I can tell.
The earlier white van may well have obscured his view of the oncoming car. The white van was so far over (completely in other carriageway) because of the OP's high primary position. So one thing led to another.

It's poor judgement on the driver's part I agree, but could have been helped or maybe avoided altogether by a less high primary position from the OP.

IMHO.

Jdsk
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Jdsk » 7 Aug 2020, 2:04pm

PDQ Mobile wrote:SMIDSY is best avoided by eye contact in my opinion, I would sooner watch the driver, their eyes and overall behavior than rely on just front wheel movement as a clue.
But we are all different and it may be useful.

Both useful and I don't see them as alternatives.

And, yes, knowing where they're looking and not looking is a much a part of it as making eye contact.

Jonathan

Cowsham
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Cowsham » 7 Aug 2020, 2:10pm

Anybody got a link to the motorcyclist tapping him on the head ?

jatindersangha
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby jatindersangha » 7 Aug 2020, 2:10pm

slowster wrote:... - probably the greatest control the OP had over the Warburtons lorry was where it would overtake him, and slowing down would have resulted in the overtake well before the danger zone of the hill.


Yes, I think that would have been the safest option and it is something I've done at that spot on a few occasions with cars/vans. Not sure why I didn't do that on that particular occasion - I think it may have been disbelief that the HGV driver even considered overtaking there as a possibility.

[quote="slowster]
Similarly with the staggered junction, keeping left in that situation would have controlled how close the van passed, because the van travelled in a straight line from its position in the middle of the road towards the junction.[/quote]

I'm in two minds about this one - by the time the van is at the corner of the road, ie. the nearest position to the kerb whilst moving left through the staggered junction - there certainly wouldn't have been enough room to pass a cyclist safely - given the driver was quite willing to perform this manoeuvre indicates to me that if I'd been further to the left the same would have happened except I'd be nearer the kerb and possibly unable to move further left.

The case with the van was strange - the company owning the van identified the driver; the driver refused to admit he was driving etc and so received 6 points on his licence. I have no idea if the company censured him in some way but it takes a "special" kind of person to drive like that and make such denials to his employer and the police. I'd be very surprised if he wasn't driving like that today...after all, how many vulnerable road users actually have cameras and actually make police reports?

I used to work in the City of London and many of my colleagues cycled to work and had similar examples of dangerous driving, some of them even had cameras but very rarely (if ever) made police reports because either they weren't bothered or didn't think the police would do anything.

--Jatinder

Cowsham
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Re: Witness or victim?

Postby Cowsham » 7 Aug 2020, 2:25pm

Just watched the " normal speed version " or as I'd like to call it " how not to cycle in traffic "

https://youtu.be/4BQkXBiQBNs

One piece of advice mate --- don't ever take up motorcycling !