Undertaking vs not indicating

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Chrisonabike
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Undertaking vs not indicating

Postby Chrisonabike » 15 May 2013, 8:22pm

On my commute home today, going (slowly) past a line of parked cars on my left there's a car going even more slowly in front of me. As it's a kind of shared use junction, it's not uncommon for cars to go slowly, so I don't read anything into that, but keep going on his inside.

Without indicating (of course - who indicates these days?) the car then pulls directly in front of me to park on my left. I stop and shout to attract his attention. He continues parking - shouting something I can't hear.

When he got out, I politely suggested he should use his indicators. He (not so politely, and still shouting) suggested I shouldn't undertake.

So what I want to know is: was either of us breaking the law/ highway code? Should I have tried to go round on the outside, even though for all I knew he might be going to turn right, and would doubtless also do that without looking or indicating? Should I have waited behind until he'd done whatever he was going to?

Or am I right to just go where I need to be, always on the assumption that any car could be about to do anything, without any warning, And that when they do I should expect to be abused into the bargain?

Thanks.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Undertaking vs not indicating

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 15 May 2013, 9:08pm

Hi,
First act like a car and take a space, undertaking at a snails pace, thats snail in the difference of speed between the two lanes, with caution.
Were there two marked lanes :?: , if no you are on dogey ground ( local councils flexing there muscles by making one lane no markings, but was originally two or wide enough to be two) If yes then they have to indicate swapping lanes.
But who ever looks in their mirrors :x
Take care.
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You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
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TonyR
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Re: Undertaking vs not indicating

Postby TonyR » 15 May 2013, 9:45pm

Overtaking on the left is not illegal - it has been carried out for a century without being challenged so has in effect become common law accepted. However you are better to overtake on the right. Yes they might turn right on you but generally drivers will look in their right mirror before turning right (because that's where they expect people to be overtaking) but not in their left mirror before turning left. Also they tend to turn right when there is no oncoming traffic which gives you a whole lane width to manoever/swerve in rather than getting pushed into the kerb and running out of space and options. Its generally a wise thing to hold back if a driver is going slow or looking uncertain because they are usually looking for something/trying to decide where to go and then act when they know, usually without looking first.

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meic
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Re: Undertaking vs not indicating

Postby meic » 15 May 2013, 9:53pm

A friend of mine was knocked off his motorbike at slow speed while on the inside line of an unofficial double line of traffic. Unofficial because it was before the lines separating the two filter lanes but the cars had already split into two queues.

The car that hit him had just decided to move over to the left line of traffic, oblivious to the "gap" containing a motorcycle.

It went to (small claims, I guess) Court and the Judge found in favour of the car driver as the motorcycle was overtaking on the left.
Yma o Hyd

hexhome
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Re: Undertaking vs not indicating

Postby hexhome » 16 May 2013, 7:51am

TonyR wrote:Overtaking on the left is not illegal - it has been carried out for a century without being challenged so has in effect become common law accepted.


The Police have successfully prosecuted drivers for overtaking on the left, never heard of a cyclist being prosecuted. It is a practice which is encouraged by road markings in some areas, but in many instances it winds drivers up. I don't think that there is any hard and fast rule, it seems to depend on the area. Generally in cities it is accepted but the Police do recommend that cyclists filter on the right.

TonyR
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Re: Undertaking vs not indicating

Postby TonyR » 16 May 2013, 8:13am

hexhome wrote:The Police have successfully prosecuted drivers for overtaking on the left, never heard of a cyclist being prosecuted.


It was cyclists I was referring to as per the OP.


It is a practice which is encouraged by road markings in some areas, but in many instances it winds drivers up. I don't think that there is any hard and fast rule, it seems to depend on the area. Generally in cities it is accepted but the Police do recommend that cyclists filter on the right.


Its a practice which is widely encouraged by cycle lanes. I have not seen any police recommendation about passing on the right for cyclists. Do you have a link?

Cyclecraft has a section on it but I can't find my copy at the moment to confirm what it says.

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mr mchenry
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Re: Undertaking vs not indicating

Postby mr mchenry » 16 May 2013, 8:46am

Well the Highway Code doesn't help much..Which of these apply?

Only overtake on the left if the vehicle in front is signalling to turn right, and there is room to do so.

Stay in your lane if traffic is moving slowly in queues. If the queue on your right is moving more slowly than you are, you may pass on the left.

On a bicycle, you're putting yourself at risk either under or overtaking, so the safest position is to stay behind him, frustrating as it is. Trust no-one!.....or don't be surprised at the consequences; there are a lot of idiots out there. :-)

https://www.gov.uk/using-the-road-159-to-203/overtaking-162-to-169

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661-Pete
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Re: Undertaking vs not indicating

Postby 661-Pete » 16 May 2013, 8:47am

Whatever Cyclecraft says, there is a time to pass and a time not to pass. If you're uncertain in any way about the car in front's next manoeuvre, wait behind it. And there are times when it's safe to filter (I prefer that word to 'undertake') on the nearside, and times when it's not safe. Knowing the difference is what matters. Sorry if this sounds like lecturing.....

But not indicating left or right, for a car, is one of my big bugbears. I get it every day, because my commute involves going straight on at a T-junction, onto a short cycle path. Cars have to turn either left or right, so they all ought to indicate. Fewer than 50% do. It's not safe to pass a car which is not indicating, especially if the lights are about to change.

But bear in mind that a left or right turn indication can be mistaken for hazard lights, and vice versa, if you can only see one side of the vehicle. Which is why I dislike hazard lights. I would much prefer a system where the headlights and red rears flash, for hazard, instead of the ambers. But that goes against the Standard I suppose...
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Dynamite_funk
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Re: Undertaking vs not indicating

Postby Dynamite_funk » 16 May 2013, 9:04am

As previously mentioned, act like any other vehicle would on the road. I hardly ever overtake on the left, I only ever do so when there is no space on the right yet a big gaping hole on the left, if I'm at all unsure I usually wait in the centre of the lane and move with the traffic, is it really worth getting taken out by another vehicle for the 5 seconds it will gain you?

Overtaking ont he right has a few advantages ...

- Drivers will see you more easily as they sit on the right side of their vehicles
- Motorbikes tend to move up on the right when filtering. By doing the same you avoid the potential for car drivers moving to the left to avoid motorbikes and hitting you.
- You are made a lot more visable to drivers in the second lane (If there are two lanes) who may be moving to left
- You tend to avoid the risks of being left hooked by vehicles in your lane (especially HGVs!)

Chrisonabike
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Re: Undertaking vs not indicating

Postby Chrisonabike » 16 May 2013, 9:25am

Thank you everyone for the replies. Seems like it's not very clear cut either way - with the onus on it being the cyclist's responsibility to look after himself.

In this particular case, I wasn't actually undertaking - I was on his rear left side, ready to overtake if he stopped (as happens - it's an area with some funny behaviour). If I had genuinely been undertaking he would have hit me.

It was more that I wanted a ready answer to this accusation if I get it again. I hear about road tax, helmets, pavements (should be on/ off them) often, but not yet heard a driver resort to this.

In my view he was clearly in the wrong (even if I was too). All I want is that he might in future consider indicating and/ or checking his mirrors before turning. But all I got was an expletive strewn attack on my riding, so I guess I was hoping for an answer that would help tackle his knee-jerk defensiveness. Maybe I'm just naive.

Also wanted to get it off my chest a bit - so thanks again.

Chrisonabike
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Re: Undertaking vs not indicating

Postby Chrisonabike » 16 May 2013, 9:29am

661-Pete wrote:But not indicating left or right, for a car, is one of my big bugbears.

Hear hear. I'm lucky to have a relatively quiet commute, and perhaps 1 day in 5 I make the 3 miles without seeing a car failing to indicate where it might either inconvenience or endanger others. How hard can it be?

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661-Pete
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Re: Undertaking vs not indicating

Postby 661-Pete » 16 May 2013, 9:35am

Chrisonabike wrote:
661-Pete wrote:But not indicating left or right, for a car, is one of my big bugbears.

Hear hear. I'm lucky to have a relatively quiet commute, and perhaps 1 day in 5 I make the 3 miles without seeing a car failing to indicate where it might either inconvenience or endanger others. How hard can it be?

In some of my wilder imagination moments, I visualise myself leaning in the driver's window, right across the startled driver, wrenching the indicator stalk right off the steering column, and inserting it in that part of the driver's anatomy where the sun don't shine....

But I must emphasise, before the Mods send for the BiB, that this is only wild speculation...
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

stoobs
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Re: Undertaking vs not indicating

Postby stoobs » 16 May 2013, 10:07am

The Highway Code:

Rule 151

In slow-moving traffic. You should

reduce the distance between you and the vehicle ahead to maintain traffic flow
never get so close to the vehicle in front that you cannot stop safely
leave enough space to be able to manoeuvre if the vehicle in front breaks down or an emergency vehicle needs to get past
not change lanes to the left to overtake
allow access into and from side roads, as blocking these will add to congestion
be aware of cyclists and motorcyclists who may be passing on either side.

I appreciate all of the other rules, and I'm no advocate of undertaking as such. I normally overtake, but sometimes (due to bad road positioning of motorists), I will pass on the inside. HOWEVER, I don't do it at anything other than slow, so it's not a licence to be an idiot. Your driver broke so many rules in the first place, and given your description and taking that as honest, then he was in the wrong.

gripper_stebson
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Re: Undertaking vs not indicating

Postby gripper_stebson » 16 May 2013, 10:32am

The situation is made a bit more confusing by cycle lanes that are painted onto the road. If I approach a traffic queue, and I am in the cycle lane, I feel perfectly free to zoom along the lane, going past all the traffic queued on your right.

Of course - I try to be careful to watch out for cars that may turn left into my path, as car drives don't seem to be always aware they are crossing a cycle lane where a cyclist could easily be zooming up on the left hand side.

But in this scenario, as I carry on in the lane past all the cars on my right, am I actually undertaking? I suspect that I am, but what are the rules when it comes to using a marked cycle lane?

karlt
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Re: Undertaking vs not indicating

Postby karlt » 16 May 2013, 10:55am

gripper_stebson wrote:The situation is made a bit more confusing by cycle lanes that are painted onto the road. If I approach a traffic queue, and I am in the cycle lane, I feel perfectly free to zoom along the lane, going past all the traffic queued on your right.

Of course - I try to be careful to watch out for cars that may turn left into my path, as car drives don't seem to be always aware they are crossing a cycle lane where a cyclist could easily be zooming up on the left hand side.

But in this scenario, as I carry on in the lane past all the cars on my right, am I actually undertaking? I suspect that I am, but what are the rules when it comes to using a marked cycle lane?


Then you're fine - traffic moving slowly in queues or whatever the wording is. If you driving and had a left filter lane you'd happily overtake all the traffic in the straight on/right turning lane wouldn't you?