Bicycle versus the bus

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
signola

Bicycle versus the bus

Postby signola » 15 Mar 2007, 3:21pm

I work in a small rural town in Hertforshire and commute there by bicycle from my home, a distance of 7 miles. Two weeks ago cycling to work I had an incident with a bus which still leaves me shaken and angry. I was cycling downhill on a semi rural single lane road at about 25mph. As it was 8.30 there was some traffic, however the three cars behind waited until there was a gap in the oncoming traffic and overtook safely leaving me plenty of room. I estimate I might have added 10 seconds to their journey. The bus that came afterwards decided not to wait for a safe gap and instead overtook me so close I crashed into the kerb and fell off, fortunately with no serious injuries other than bruises and scuffed clothing. The bike was scraped on the forks and frame where I had fallen off.

After calming myself down and checking that everything with both me and my bike was functional I set off for work. My route to work takes me past the main bus stop in the town where the bus that had just nearly killed me was now parked.

I stopped and asked the driver was he aware that he had caused an accident. His response to this was incredible I was told I was holding up traffic and cyclists shouldn't be allowed on the road.

I was livid and was about to lose control when I spied the keys. I don't know what possessed me but I snatched the keys to the bus and said "Well you're not going to run any other cyclists today" and with that I leapt on my bicycle and pedalled off as fast as possible with the bus driver yelling abuse at me. This abuse increased in volume as I threw the keys into the river.

The main bus depot is in a town 15 miles away from the town where I work and the bus that I disabled was the bus back to the depot. I don't know what excuse the bus driver had for losing his keys or how he got back to the depot. The bus was still there 2 days later however.

Was I wrong?

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Deckie
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Postby Deckie » 15 Mar 2007, 5:31pm

Morally, no...

Legally yes...

A lorry driver did this to me, I phoned his boss. He hasn't worked since. Legal & more satisfying, I know he can't do it to anyone else.

pwward
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Postby pwward » 15 Mar 2007, 9:05pm

well done. I dream of doing this.

Dai

Postby Dai » 15 Mar 2007, 9:47pm

You should have taken the keys to the local police station and told them that the driver had left the scene of an accident.

eileithyia
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Postby eileithyia » 15 Mar 2007, 10:09pm

Well we all dream of the opportunity to do as you did, but I guess the sensible option was to report him to the police and/or the bus depot. Indeed i frequently report bad driving/attitudes of bus drivers to their depot.
Hope you are ok.

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horizon
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Postby horizon » 16 Mar 2007, 12:02pm

signola: three points:

1. In my, non legal opinion, you were right to take the keys to prevent the committing of a crime - i.e. not reporting an accident involving an injury.

2. You were wrong to throw them in the river and should have reported the accident immediately to the police and you should now have some lawyers working (for free) on your behalf for some compensation. I presume there were no witnesses.

3. The bus overtook you too closely. How did this come to happen? Surely this is something we have to discuss. I believe that on narrow roads you must ride in such a way that vehicles are forced to overtake on the other side of the road. I come across this time after time. I would love to make things easier for cars to pass slowly and carefully but they just abuse your moving over by passing too fast and too closely.

Hope your bruises heal quickly!

sharpy
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Postby sharpy » 16 Mar 2007, 7:35pm

Signola,
I love your attitude and the guts that you showed in taking the action that you did. :lol:

Next time, however, may I respectfully suggest that you inform the Police of any similiar incident. You may well have turned a stupid, bullish no-brain bus driver into a cyclist hating murderer and furthermore he has a large, heavy and very hard weapon at his disposal.
Best Wishes
Paul

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Mrs Tortoise
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Postby Mrs Tortoise » 16 Mar 2007, 9:19pm

Signola, I accept you were angry with the loutish bus driver but your actions were wrong. If you had complained to the bus company you would have retained the moral high ground, in stealing his keys and losing them any sympathy you might have been able to use will have been lost.

Terrorism gets headlines but entrenches attitudes, education changes them. We need to win hearts and minds not harden attititudes.

vernon
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Re: Bicycle versus the bus

Postby vernon » 16 Mar 2007, 9:32pm

signola wrote:I work in a small rural town in Hertforshire and commute there by bicycle from my home, a distance of 7 miles. Two weeks ago cycling to work I had an incident with a bus which still leaves me shaken and angry. I was cycling downhill on a semi rural single lane road at about 25mph. As it was 8.30 there was some traffic, however the three cars behind waited until there was a gap in the oncoming traffic and overtook safely leaving me plenty of room. I estimate I might have added 10 seconds to their journey. The bus that came afterwards decided not to wait for a safe gap and instead overtook me so close I crashed into the kerb and fell off, fortunately with no serious injuries other than bruises and scuffed clothing. The bike was scraped on the forks and frame where I had fallen off.

After calming myself down and checking that everything with both me and my bike was functional I set off for work. My route to work takes me past the main bus stop in the town where the bus that had just nearly killed me was now parked.

I stopped and asked the driver was he aware that he had caused an accident. His response to this was incredible I was told I was holding up traffic and cyclists shouldn't be allowed on the road.

I was livid and was about to lose control when I spied the keys. I don't know what possessed me but I snatched the keys to the bus and said "Well you're not going to run any other cyclists today" and with that I leapt on my bicycle and pedalled off as fast as possible with the bus driver yelling abuse at me. This abuse increased in volume as I threw the keys into the river.

The main bus depot is in a town 15 miles away from the town where I work and the bus that I disabled was the bus back to the depot. I don't know what excuse the bus driver had for losing his keys or how he got back to the depot. The bus was still there 2 days later however.

Was I wrong?


Congratulations. You have successfully confirmed the bus driver's suspicions and prejudices.

What you did was wrong and I suspect is technically theft. Are you prepared to foot the bill for the recovery of the bus in exchange for the bus company paying for a respray to your biek. I suspect that you would be considerably out of pocket.

There are legal means of making a protest. I suggest that you stick to using them in the future. You have done a great disservice to you local cycling community with your rash actions.

dodger
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Postby dodger » 16 Mar 2007, 9:47pm

On the other hand, maybe next time the stupid driver will think twice when he remembers what happened last time!
It's nice to fight back sometimes.

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 17 Mar 2007, 9:27am

Just in case anybody decides cyclists should be doing this more often, there is a real problem. (Buses don't usually have ignition keys.)

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Lusting my Pinnarello
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Postby Lusting my Pinnarello » 17 Mar 2007, 9:07pm

I initially laughed my guts out... then i read all the other comments.

The fact is you should have reported this to the police AND bus company. Gaining from the police AN ACCIDENT REPORT reference number. With this they HAVE to investigate it. and especially with HIS words of "cyclists should be on the road" this to me shows he is guilt of coming too close and this deams to be a DELIBERATE act. You have misjudged the opportunity (easy said days/weeks after the crash)

He may well have been sacked.

:roll:

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horizon
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Postby horizon » 17 Mar 2007, 10:29pm

This all sounds a bit harsh. Given that many people have reported accidents only to be fobbed off, this seems to me a pretty reasonable, albeit not the best, thing to have done in the circumstances. And at least the driver had some explaining to do.

diapason
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Postby diapason » 18 Mar 2007, 4:25pm

Let's not get too 'holier than thou'. Alright, perhaps legally not the best respojnse, but personally and morally......wonderful :twisted: I'd love to have seen the expression on the guy's face -and perhaps he'll remember it next time he's tempted to cut one of us up!

N
Advena ego sum in Terra

rodk
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Postby rodk » 18 Mar 2007, 9:33pm

Bus companies have a huge insurance bill each year. They are desparate to reduce this and one way is to implement a training and disciplinary system to ensure that their drivers are not likely to get into accidents, especially with cyclists and pedestrians.

If you had reported the incident to the bus company then I am sure that they would come don like tone of bricks on the driver involved.

better still, get your local Cycle Campaign group to liaise with the bus company. In Warrington we recently developed a leaflet for bus drivers and cyclists to make them more aware of their respective needs for clearance, etc. It was enthusiastically supported by the local bus company who printed leaflets for distribution to cyclists and bus drivers.

Best regards

Rod King - Warrington