Primary position - maniac undertaking driver!

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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EdinburghFixed
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Primary position - maniac undertaking driver!

Postby EdinburghFixed » 31 Oct 2008, 9:29am

I seem to be discovering the disadvantage of primary position - that if you're not careful it invites lunatic drivers to undertake you!

On the way to work today I was overtaken by a plush executive car who left about one inch of elbow room (the classic 'I'm too important to move over much'). Of course there were lights with an advanced stop about 30 feet ahead - so I made sure to adopt a very aggressive primary position in the stop zone to ensure he didn't try to overtake, then pull in due to oncoming traffic and squash me!

My girlfriend was beside me on my left, in secondary position.

When the light changed, we made it almost all the way across before he started leaning on his horn and swerved up behind my right pannier. I slowed but my girlfriend didn't, allowing him to swerve left, undertake me and then overtake her! I just about went under his off-side but managed to stay clear, although I pranged my left bars somehow (not on his car I don't think).

An epic chase ensued - as the traffic wasn't too heavy I struggled with my panniers and low gearing to keep up. However after about a mile I managed to catch him and tap the passenger window - he ignored me and drove on. So I caught him again a couple of minutes later and we had a short conversation where he told me I shouldn't have been riding side by side and could get killed cycling like that!! :shock: :evil:

Only by herculean effort did I manage not to smash up his car. Instead I told him he was mad to weave through cyclists like that and I would phone the police.

So my question is - should I bother to report this or not? I'm not sure quite what happened when he undertook me but in the panic my bar tape has torn out at the top of the bar and possibly the wiring underneath (don't ask) has been damaged.

Since my girlfriend can witness, is there any mileage in pursuing this, either with the police or through Small Claims for a bike shop to re-tape the bars (on principle?)

Alternatively any other suggestions to divert my rage before it gives me a very early heart attack!

PS Do you think he started driving randomly to avoid me? I can't imagine this is his normal route!!.... (also, 2.5 miles! better than I thought)

PPS If for some reason you find yourself near a black Volvo XC90 2.4D automatic, reg. 1RLA - watch out! Also realised how silly it is for bad drivers to have custom plates.

pwward
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Postby pwward » 31 Oct 2008, 10:35am

Many thanks for you vivid account. I recognise your experience and the emotions you felt keenly.

I fantasise about putting a brick through their window but as a respectable citizen it has to remain just that.

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squeaker
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Crackdown

Postby squeaker » 31 Oct 2008, 11:46am

In Sussex we have Crackdown which the police claim great things for, and does help lower your blood pressure.
(A few weeks ago, my local town had most of West Sussex's mobile cops in it as someone, fingered via Crackdown, and his 'family' were objecting to having his car taken away :D )
"42"

2Tubs
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Postby 2Tubs » 31 Oct 2008, 12:07pm

Yes indeed, we have to position ourselves to prevent us from becoming victoms of idiots.

In cases like this I move slightly to the left, so I'm not in hte centre of the lane but no where near the secondary riding position.

By looking over my right shoulder often and a signal (or half signal, arm pointing at roughly 45% down) to the right I clearly indicate that I'm going straight on and not turning left.

This hopefully lets the good drivers turning left to slot in behind us and prevents any dangeous undertaking.

Obviously, we can't account for idiots like this man. We always have to be ready to bail out of any dodgy situation.

Report it to the police. Your girlfriend isn't an indepentent witness and they won't prosecute. But they are likely to have a chat with this moron. Might have an effect, who knows?

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mac111051
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Postby mac111051 » 31 Oct 2008, 12:54pm

I would phone the police, one just to get it of your chest and two if the police did have a word with him it may save another cyclist going through the same .Can someone explain to me why normal law abiding tolerent people as soon as they get behind the wheel of a car completly change and the law no longer applies to them , mobile phones that dosnot mean them thirty mph well thats to slow and realley means thirty eight, seventy that means eighty five, drink driving well they are used to four or five pints so that dosnot mean them, people who will queue in a supermarket will not wait to use traffic lights, and thats what traffic lights and road junctions are a queue to use that junction why can,t they wait there turn , what is it about a car that turns there brains

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meic
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Postby meic » 31 Oct 2008, 1:11pm

I dont think you would be best served by going to the Police. The Higway code says that if you are being mistreated on the road that you should meakly yield and not hinder the aggresor.
Like most people you stood your ground but by doing so you are no longer above reproach in the matter.
This is not criticising you, I would have behaved in a similar matter but I appreciate that by so doing, this one is unlikely to get reported.
Also I strictly ration my visits to Mr Plod as it is a bit like swear words, you can lose effectivness (what effectivness?) if you overuse them.
Yma o Hyd

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EdinburghFixed
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Postby EdinburghFixed » 31 Oct 2008, 1:36pm

Thanks all, I have calmed down a little although it is making me think of getting a helmet camera in order to have more 'independent' evidence... :?

meic wrote:Like most people you stood your ground but by doing so you are no longer above reproach in the matter.

This is not criticising you, I would have behaved in a similar matter but I appreciate that by so doing, this one is unlikely to get reported.


I don't follow this bit of your reply? Primary position is right out of the government's approved manual isn't it?

doobyduck

Postby doobyduck » 31 Oct 2008, 2:07pm

Report him. I have reported someone in Edinburgh for dangerous overtaking in the past and I got an e-mail back from the Police saying they take these things seriously and would be visiting the driver.

Use the following address.

enquiries@lbp.pnn.police.uk

Good luck

Stuart

dmiller
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Postby dmiller » 31 Oct 2008, 3:15pm

EdinburghFixed wrote:Thanks all, I have calmed down a little although it is making me think of getting a helmet camera in order to have more 'independent' evidence... :?

Strathclyde Police wont accept it as evidence. I have tried. Good luck with Lothain and Borders finest...

David.

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EdinburghFixed
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Postby EdinburghFixed » 31 Oct 2008, 3:22pm

That's odd - after the london bombings (to take one example) there was a request put out for footage. Bit random if it's not admissible!

But even if the police don't accept it, presumably there's nothing stopping you using it in an insurance claim?

dmiller
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Postby dmiller » 31 Oct 2008, 3:25pm

I dont know about insurance claims - might be worth something there. I had video footage of a taxi driver threating to kill me at a set of lights and then driving at me.

The police said they couldnt do anything as the video could be faked... seriously.

David.

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EdinburghFixed
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Postby EdinburghFixed » 31 Oct 2008, 3:50pm

Wow, weird.... but *can* that sort of footage be faked? :shock:

I could understand maybe if there were just a couple of frames of number plate that looked suspiciously clear - but I would have thought that the state of digital forensics nowadays would make it easy to tell that a whole sequence had been fabricated.

Something to bear in mind!

kwackers
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Postby kwackers » 31 Oct 2008, 3:59pm

My experience of police is they'll always try and put you off, particularly if no one is hurt.
I got knocked off a motorcycle many years ago, once they'd established no one was hurt they didn't give a monkeys.
In retrospect I should have just pushed harder, but back then I didn't know any better.

Same thing I reckon goes for video footage, they COULD go and have a word with a driver, they just don't want to, regardless of whether the footage has any legal value.

Best way to keep crime rates low is not to have them reported in the first place.

doobyduck

Postby doobyduck » 31 Oct 2008, 3:59pm

Even if the Police cant charge they will still visit the driver and make him aware that they are concerned about his driving behaviour so I would still report it.

If you are worried about evidence you can contact the Council as Edinburgh has a huge number of CCTV cameras that you can request they have a look at if you know the location, date and time.

cheers

Stuart

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 31 Oct 2008, 4:07pm

Bearing in mind that we probably start out from quite different backgrounds, it's interesting (to me at least) how often I find myself agreeing with meic. He has expressed himself here very diplomatically but that does not reduce the strength or validity of what he says.