Nasty Selfish Cyclists who don't give way to pedestrians

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
glueman
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Postby glueman » 25 Oct 2007, 1:45pm

Velo wrote:I have picked up the basics – a sprinkling of sophistry here; a selective argument there; lashings of unsupported opinion; and a dash of obfuscation.

Splendid, settling in then?
You've remembered the main thing - do exactly as you please then back engineer a logical* argument that gives the practice a veneer of respectability. On the high seas of opinion it's as good as a lifeboat.

*logical, not to be confused with ordinary logic.

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Tandemist
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Postby Tandemist » 25 Oct 2007, 4:56pm

Go Banana go !

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Mrs Tortoise
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Postby Mrs Tortoise » 26 Oct 2007, 8:30pm

I'm surprised this old chestnut is still going, but the fact is that passing through red traffic lights, riding on pavements and the wrong way down one way streets is against the law.

We can argue about the wrongs or rights of it till the cows come home (or I get to the top off a hill!) but if anything goes wrong, ie an accident of some sort, the cyclist concerned could find themselves in the dock, or in difficulty claiming reparation from a third party, because they were contravening the law.

Isn't all this a symptom of how selfish we are all getting, where what's going on in our lives is more important than those of other people. It's suggested that one of the major differences between humans and apes is the fact that we retain our juvenile sense of curiosity and play. I would add that at times I think our whole behaviour is juvenile and that includes the inability to delay gratification, even long enough to wait for a traffic light to change.

Wiggles

Postby Wiggles » 2 Nov 2007, 2:58pm

RLJs ? I think we're all missing the point here! The very reason traffic lights exists is to control the ever increasing numbers of motorists! Why should cyclists have to waste time hanging around at traffic lights set up for motorists! Me, I stop at ALL types of pedestrian crossings and do not ride on the pavement - but those traffic light junctions installed for motorists and with timing set ups for motrists! On yer bike, I'm off when I can!

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Mick F
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Postby Mick F » 2 Nov 2007, 3:04pm

I'm with you Wiggles, up to a point. I very much depends on the complexity and busy-ness of the junction. I probably wouldn't turn right, but I am possibly likely to turn left on red - but as I say, it really depends on the junction.

BTW, welcome to The Forum !!
Mick F. Cornwall

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Ben Lovejoy
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Postby Ben Lovejoy » 3 Nov 2007, 10:38am

Mrs Tortoise wrote:I'm surprised this old chestnut is still going, but the fact is that passing through red traffic lights, riding on pavements and the wrong way down one way streets is against the law.

That something is against the law isn't a particularly strong argument in itself. The law is a very blunt instrument designed to cater for the lowest common denominator (in this case, the cyclist with poor observation skills and even worse judgement).

That something poses a risk to the offender is a far stronger argument, and that it poses a risk to third parties is a much more powerful one.

In the case of running red lights, in most situations there will be a risk (most often to the cyclist and to pedestrians). However, I can show you examples where an observant cyclist exercising careful judgement can sometimes go through a red light with no risk to anyone. Indeed, on my commute home from work, there was one red light I could safely go through probably four days out of five.

Ben

vernon
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Postby vernon » 3 Nov 2007, 11:52am

Ben Lovejoy wrote: However, I can show you examples where an observant cyclist exercising careful judgement can sometimes go through a red light with no risk to anyone. Indeed, on my commute home from work, there was one red light I could safely go through probably four days out of five.

Ben


It still is illegal whether or not one excercises careful judgement.

The courts would be discharging a whole range of cases if 'excercising careful judgement' was an acceptable defense.

I'm sure you wouldn't welcome the attentions of a psycho who has chosen to 'excercise careful judgement' and come to the conclusion that (s)he'd get away with your murder. :lol:

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Ben Lovejoy
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Postby Ben Lovejoy » 3 Nov 2007, 12:05pm

Lots of things are illegal (indeed, until the CJA cleared a whole load of ancient laws off the statute books a few years ago, it was illegal to eat xmas pudding on xmas day ...).

Laws are there for a purpose, in this case to ensure safety at junctions. If the purpose can be achieved despite technical breaches of the law, I don't have an issue with that.

Ben

peanut

Postby peanut » 3 Nov 2007, 12:09pm

I expect Patsy is a one post wonder and won't be back to discuss this issue . Probably just wanted to vent her spleen.
Its important to realise that this is just one person's perspective on an incident that none of us witnessed.
Its perfectly possible that due to the circumstances the cyclist was completely unaware of the pedestrians ,they may well have been out of view. If this was the case then this was simply an unavoidable but regrettable accident.

I have never seen a car driver indicate to pull out and overtake an cyclist so I think its extremely unlikely Patsy or the other car drivers paid any heed to the potential hazards of pulling up for the pedestrians. i have often seen drivers pull up on a major road to let traffic out. ?! completely illegal and extremely dangerous manoeuvre.

Lets not automatically assume that the cyclist was to blame for this incident although they should perhaps have stopped although as no injury was caused they were not obliged to do so

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Ben Lovejoy
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Postby Ben Lovejoy » 3 Nov 2007, 12:14pm

For me, the original scenario is clear-cut: if we cycle or drive across a zebra crossing, the onus is on us to be sure that it is safe to do so, and if our view is blocked, then we need to slow down or stop.

Ben

peanut

Postby peanut » 3 Nov 2007, 1:00pm

agreed Ben but not having been a witness I for one would recommend reserving judgement on the cyclist. We only have the observation of a single witness who was clearly biased and rather judgemental

glueman
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Postby glueman » 3 Nov 2007, 6:51pm

Ben Lovejoy wrote:For me, the original scenario is clear-cut: if we cycle or drive across a zebra crossing, the onus is on us to be sure that it is safe to do so, and if our view is blocked, then we need to slow down or stop.

Ben

It's worrying when individuals take it upon themselves to decide what's safe and what isn't. It smacks of drivers saying they are the best judge of a speed limit, a dangerous notion that leaves risk averse pedestrians at the mercy of road users with different ideas of danger.

Like RLJs there are always exceptions but common sense dictates if there is even a chance of peds, stop on the line. Don't use lost momentum as an excuse to push things.

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Ben Lovejoy
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Postby Ben Lovejoy » 3 Nov 2007, 7:56pm

glueman wrote:
Ben Lovejoy wrote:For me, the original scenario is clear-cut: if we cycle or drive across a zebra crossing, the onus is on us to be sure that it is safe to do so, and if our view is blocked, then we need to slow down or stop.

It's worrying when individuals take it upon themselves to decide what's safe and what isn't. It smacks of drivers saying they are the best judge of a speed limit, a dangerous notion that leaves risk averse pedestrians at the mercy of road users with different ideas of danger.

Like RLJs there are always exceptions but common sense dictates if there is even a chance of peds, stop on the line. Don't use lost momentum as an excuse to push things.

Um, that was exactly what I said: if you can't see the crossing, slow down or stop, whichever is necessary to see that it's clear.

On the broader point, we all have to decide what is safe and what isn't every time we walk out the door. If we can't be trusted to do that, it's time to sell our bikes and cars and hire a care assistant.

Ben

glueman
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Postby glueman » 3 Nov 2007, 8:12pm

I wasn't having a pop Ben. Sail before steam is still the best approach- as soon as a pedestrian steps foot on the edge of the crossing it becomes a footpath, in effect. Drivers endlessly bang on about how they should be left to judge what's safe and we're in a nanny state. I happen to think they're wrong and cyclists who adopt a laissez faire tack further down the predator chain are out of line too.

Many more people get flattened by cars than bicycles but that doesn't mean bike/ped accidents don't happen. When they step off the footpath in front of you walkers are being dumb. When you ride a crossing they're on the cyclist is being stupid. The whole tribal right/wrong, us/them thing and the crushing weight of the motor lobby shouldn't blind us to the chumps in our midst.

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Ben Lovejoy
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Postby Ben Lovejoy » 3 Nov 2007, 8:15pm

No argument on the general 'sail before steam' philosophy.

I think we'll leave the bigger nanny state vs commonsense debate to another time - it's Saturday night and the reason I'm stuck at my PC is I've been working all day (the freedom of running your own business, eh?), so I think it's time to go do something else. :-)

Ben