Royal Mail Driver Reporting

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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Si
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Re: Royal Mail Driver Reporting

Postby Si » 31 Dec 2009, 4:15pm

I just dispute that he was any more dangerous. People could run out from any side of the road into traffic on either side of the road. If the refuge wasnt there he would be expected to use the other side of the road as an overtake.


But the fact that the refuge is there means that other road users will treat that location differently. When someone crosses the road in one go they tend to look both ways; when they know that they only need to go half way and can then take refuge then they might be more inclined only to look one way. The fact that there is a refuge there makes it somewhat different to crossing to the other side of the road when there is no refuge.

After all, we could claim that driving through a red light when the driver can't see anyone else on the road is a similar comparison, or, perhaps, driving the wrong way up a one-way street.

Indeed, one has to consider that in deliberately transgressing the rules of the road the driver is, in effect, putting out the message that those rules do not apply to him/her...which leads me to wonder how many other rules they are happy to break?

the driver demonstrated that he/she could not control their vehicle in accordance with the highway code and thus, at the very least, is in need of some re-eduction.

thirdcrank
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Re: Royal Mail Driver Reporting

Postby thirdcrank » 31 Dec 2009, 5:17pm

meic wrote:...What would the legal penalty be for his deed? Does it carry a licence endorsement?


It's failing to comply with a traffic sign (s 36) Road Traffic Act 1988 (basically the same offence as ignoring traffic lights, STOP signs, GIVE WAY signs etc.)

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/uk ... -pb9-l1g36

That sign is specified in the Traffic Signs Regs 2002 (Regulation 10)

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/SI/si2002/20023113.htm#10

(For anybody checking this it's diagram 610)

It is endorsable and the fine is level three on the standard scale (Schedule 2 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act, 1988)

And before anybody asks, I've no more idea about how much level three is than I have about level three on the Richter Scale. :wink:

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts1988/uk ... en_10#sch2

Gearoidmuar
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Re: Royal Mail Driver Reporting

Postby Gearoidmuar » 31 Dec 2009, 5:27pm

That was clearly illegal, but perfectly safe. Forget it.
Happy New Year

reohn2
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Re: Royal Mail Driver Reporting

Postby reohn2 » 31 Dec 2009, 5:28pm

Whilst this manouvre was technically illegal there wasn't any danger being caused to anyone and he and you could see clearly an empty road ahead so no problem there IMHO.
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adinigel
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Re: Royal Mail Driver Reporting

Postby adinigel » 31 Dec 2009, 5:36pm

Gearoidmuar wrote:That was clearly illegal, but perfectly safe. Forget it.
Happy New Year


Personally I couldn't see enough to conclude, as you have, that the van drivers action was perfectly safe.

All the van driver had to do was ease off the accelerator a little earlier and he would have been able to pass the cyclist after the refuge. he probably wouldn't have had to slow down all that much either!

Nigel
DSA registered Driving Instructor, RoSPA Diploma in Advanced Car Instruction, SAFED registered van trainer, National Standards Cycling Instructor

manybikes
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Re: Royal Mail Driver Reporting

Postby manybikes » 31 Dec 2009, 5:56pm

Pete Owens says
None of your arguments points to it being preferable to drive to the left of the island rather than the right
Surely there is just one argument - the law says you should do so. If you are prepared to break a S36 sign (the old S22 I believe) and risk points on your licence as a "professional " driver how many other rules are you prepared to ignore just because you feel like it? Why should being caught even come into the equation?
Pete Owens continues to insult other contibutors by making the suggestion that those critical contributors would think "it is OK to kill a child provided the vehicle is on the correct side of the road". I have read no such comment from anyone else that could reasonably be interpreted that way..
The driver had options -one of them was to ease the foot off the accelorator sufficiently to slow down enough to enable the cyclist to go past the reservation and then overtake - probably not even needing to apply the brake IF s(he) had been looking and planning ahead.
As usual I agree with Third Crank - its not worth reporting to either PO or Police - for the reasons already given. However I find it almost unbelievable that cyclists can not only come on this forum and see nothing wrong in the actions but also say they would do the same.

kwackers
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Re: Royal Mail Driver Reporting

Postby kwackers » 31 Dec 2009, 7:52pm

reohn2 wrote:Whilst this manouvre was technically illegal there wasn't any danger being caused to anyone and he and you could see clearly an empty road ahead so no problem there IMHO.

And yet...
reohn2 wrote:I think that there is a lot to be said for the 'zero tolerance' approach and target the minor/antisocial things. If people know that they cannot get away with the small stuff, perhaps they will develop some respect and will not graduate onto the more serious stuff. I've been saying this for years, ...

errr....

reohn2
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Re: Royal Mail Driver Reporting

Postby reohn2 » 31 Dec 2009, 8:07pm

kwackers wrote:
reohn2 wrote:Whilst this manouvre was technically illegal there wasn't any danger being caused to anyone and he and you could see clearly an empty road ahead so no problem there IMHO.

And yet...
reohn2 wrote:I think that there is a lot to be said for the 'zero tolerance' approach and target the minor/antisocial things. If people know that they cannot get away with the small stuff, perhaps they will develop some respect and will not graduate onto the more serious stuff. I've been saying this for years, ...

errr....


I was feeling generous and in the festive mood,whats you're excuse.

PS He may have been delivering a parcel to our house! :D
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kwackers
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Re: Royal Mail Driver Reporting

Postby kwackers » 31 Dec 2009, 8:27pm

reohn2 wrote:I was feeling generous and in the festive mood,whats you're excuse.

PS He may have been delivering a parcel to our house! :D

I'll let you off ...
I was more worried you'd been 'got' by Clarkson. ;)

My excuse is I'm also in a festive mood - i.e. grumpy. :lol:

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DaveP
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Re: Royal Mail Driver Reporting

Postby DaveP » 1 Jan 2010, 9:26am

I'm not having a go at the OP, Im just bemused by much people can read into a video clip :)
What we are shown is a van driver catching up with a cyclist and taking a "convenient" solution.

Is it illegal?
Yes.

Is it particularly hazardous?
Well, we see a long straight road with no other vehicles and no pedestrians. It is raining, but visibility is good. The driver has given the cyclist a wide berth, he can see that there is no one else near the crossing,( which, BTW does not line up with the bus stop in this instance). The only hazard that actually presents, as far as I can see, is that someone may step out of the bus shelter and be caught out by a vehicle on the wrong side of the road.
While the driver clearly wouldnt have a leg to stand on if anything went wrong, it seems to me that its not necessarily the biggest risk ever. Given the weather, the chances of a "child pursuing a ball" sort of incident are fairly low. Given the general traffic conditions I would expect the noise of the van to have a significant warning value.

Is excess speed involved?
Well I really dont know how you would tell. We dont know what the speed limit is on that road. If it is 40mph then he might be just about legal IMO. I'm not going to argue about this point because it is only a subjective impression. As is yours!

Would I do the same?
Today, no. I take pride, these days, in being particularly nice to cyclists. Its good for the self control too! Five years ago, hhm. I like to think that I would have picked up on the bus shelter. If so I would almost certainly have hesitated, lost the moment, and had to slow down.

Would I shop the driver?
No. he exhibited poor judgement / hazard perception, but not disastrously so. He did a great deal better than the ostensibly law abiding drivers who race cyclists to a restriction or junction, or try to force their way through at the same time.

In many ways I think NUKe made the most interesting comment, about the possible effects of the increasing prevalence of video cameras. We do seem to be heading towards a world where it just isnt going to be safe to step out of your front door without your legal advisor at your side :shock:
Trying to retain enough fitness to grow old disgracefully... That hasn't changed!

thirdcrank
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Re: Royal Mail Driver Reporting

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Jan 2010, 10:47am

Before the arrival of the motor vehicle, traffic law involved a few bits and pieces like furiously driving a carriage and obstructing the highway. The growth of motor traffic led to all sorts of problems and a mushrooming of legislation. In the absence of a collision, proving things like careless and dangerous driving is difficult (although video evidence probably makes it a whole lot easier.) So-called absolute offences have proliferated and ignoring certain traffic signs is one of them. Let the "driver's judgment" faction have their way and it's back to square one and cyclists have a lot to lose.

Without knowing what happened in the run up to this clip, we cannot really know how the van was being driven. It seems to me that either the driver miscalculated and was obliged to take avoiding action (and in which case, all the stuff about clear straight road is just good luck) or, the driver is taking a pick 'n' mix approach to which laws to comply with. Either way, unless the driver was forced to take avoiding action by, for example, the cyclist emerging from a side road without giving way, it seems to me that a licence endorsement is just the ticket, so to speak.

Si made an important point about islands. Once they are installed, pedestrians generally cross the road in two stages. If there had been a pedestrian on the off side here - and I do know there wasn't - they might well have been looking for danger to their right, rather than both ways. (If this had been a one-way street, there would have been instructions painted on the kerb to LOOK LEFT or whatever.)

There's a couple of things about video. On the philosophical side, I think it's easy to be too concerned about the 1984 element. I see a difference between private people filming and the authorities doing it, especially covertly. On the more practical side, in the past, when cyclists have tried to report bad driving, they have been thwarted by a lack of corroboration. Not any more. There will be concerns that the evidence may have been tainted by editing (and some police officers may well use this as an easy fob-off) but that is dealt with by the evidence of the camera operator that they have not tampered with the recording. OTOH, I think there is an increasing likelihood that the answer will be "this is not a priority."

I think anybody recording like this has to be clear about what they are trying to achieve - getting a discussion going on here is not the same as reporting stuff to the police. I think the approach suggested previously by meic is a good one - be selective and only report clear-cut cases of really bad driving. It's probably best to try to avoid coming across as an obsessive. If something is successfully reported to the police, it's going to mean a statement and an early issue is going to be an explanation of why you ride around with a camera fastened on your head. I rather like something along the lines that "traffic enforcement is now so poor that I feel threatened by poor driving. It's a widespread belief among cyclists that they are not taken seriously if they feel obliged to report something. I hope that with a video recording, my account will be believed." Anyway, as this gets more common, "the" ACPO will probably come up with a uniform approach.

FWIW if I had witnessed that in an official capacity, or if later in life somebody had come to me for a decision, that would have been "Go to jail, move directly...." (although it does remind me that there are procedural problems with dealing with a Royal Mail driver, which probably discourage reporting them.) Even with a film by Walt Disney, I'd not bother trying to report something like this now I am retired, but that's down to my idleness, rather than a feeling that the driving wasn't bad.

Finally, for anybody reporting something like this to the police, be prepared to follow it all the way, as far as giving evidence at court if necessary. In some cases, such as an appeal against conviction, that can be a judge and jury + learned friends in fancy dress at the crown court.

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andrew_s
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Re: Royal Mail Driver Reporting

Postby andrew_s » 1 Jan 2010, 1:01pm

thirdcrank wrote:
meic wrote:...What would the legal penalty be for his deed? Does it carry a licence endorsement?


It's failing to comply with a traffic sign (s 36) Road Traffic Act 1988 (basically the same offence as ignoring traffic lights, STOP signs, GIVE WAY signs etc.)

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1988/uk ... -pb9-l1g36

That sign is specified in the Traffic Signs Regs 2002 (Regulation 10)

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/SI/si2002/20023113.htm#10

(For anybody checking this it's diagram 610)

It is endorsable and the fine is level three on the standard scale (Schedule 2 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act, 1988)

And before anybody asks, I've no more idea about how much level three is than I have about level three on the Richter Scale. :wink:

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts1988/uk ... en_10#sch2


When I googled this earlier, I found sentencing guidelines for magistrates that stated L3 fine but no points for failure to obey keep left signs (same as give way). Same fine but 3 points for ignoring a stop sign.

thirdcrank
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Re: Royal Mail Driver Reporting

Postby thirdcrank » 1 Jan 2010, 3:23pm

I cannot explain the point raised by andrew_s (Explanation now below) Here's a cut and paste from the link to Sched 2 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act. I cannot reproduce the formatting in columns, so it's in paragraphs instead:

Act and section: RTA section 36

Offence: Failing to comply with traffic signs.

Mode of trial: Summarily

Fine:Level 3 on the standard scale.

Disqualification: Discretionary, if committed in respect of a motor vehicle by failure to comply with an indication given by a sign specified for the purposes of this paragraph in regulations under RTA section 36.

Endorsement: Obligatory if committed as described in column 5.

Points: 3

I am barred by law from becoming a magistrate so the point is not one that I will ever have to apply (and I'll try to KEEP LEFT so nobody has to apply it to me. :mrgreen: )

==============================================================================

I've found the answer - in the relevant bit of the Traffic signs regulations, there are two lists. The first - which I was originally quoting from - is the signs covered by the section and includes diagram 610 - KEEP LEFT. The second list which I had overlooked :oops: is just those signs from the first list which attract endorsement, and, as andrew_s's link shows, this does not include diagram 610. What really does surprise me is that diagram 602 - GIVE WAY is not included either. We live and lear, or at least I do and thanks to andrew_s for the lesson. :D

e999sam
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Re: Royal Mail Driver Reporting

Postby e999sam » 1 Jan 2010, 4:24pm

I can't believe that people are trying to defend this. He has broken the law. You can't see on the video what is to the right of the pedestrian refuge and you can't see what is behind the camera. Anyone wishing to cross the road at the pedestrian refuge would quite rightly assume that they only needed to check for traffic coming from the right so could possibly step out into the path of a vehicle passing on the wrong side of the refuge.

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meic
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Re: Royal Mail Driver Reporting

Postby meic » 1 Jan 2010, 4:30pm

We can clearly see, as can the van driver, that there is nobody on the refuge.
If there was any pedestrian even in sight of using it then I would be singing that tune too.
Yma o Hyd