Motorists' visibility mark II

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scrumpydave
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Motorists' visibility mark II

Postby scrumpydave » 24 Jul 2015, 2:16pm

Hi all

New to this board but I've been active on other cycling websites over the years.

I've been thinking about all the attention the lorry driver blindly running into a motorbike has been getting, in particular the claim on the BBC article that the driver wasn't acting negligently. It reminded me of an incident I had with my son a couple of weeks ago.

We were on our way to nursery as normal that morning, and he was a little ahead of me on the pavement on his balance bike. The street is lined both sides with semis with driveways in front separated from the pavement by walls and often hedges too. My son suddenly stopped which drew my attention and immediately a car reversed hurriedly out one of the driveways and when the driver saw my son through her side window she looked at me apologetically suggesting to me that she knew she should have been more careful. Needless to say I'm very glad my son is so cautious around traffic.

She couldn't see him in her mirrors on his bike behind the wall and hedge of her house, and for whatever reason decided that she didn't have time to reverse cautiously. But even if she had reversed cautiously her view was blocked so she would have been reliant on people realising she was coming out and stopping. Quite frankly I don't think it should be my responsibility to do her seeing for her.

It seems to me the problem started here when she drove forwards into her driveway the night before meaning she had to reverse out with limited visibility. This was the moment of negligence.

Google Streetview shows most cars on the street parked facing towards the house, yet this is a clear source of additional danger. So my question is - am I overthinking this? Are these things just clearer to me than they are to other people? Or am I a bigoted anti-car zealot who should keep to my own kind on internet forums?

Because my patience is wearing a bit thin with motorists not taking proper responsibility around people.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Motorists' visibility mark II

Postby [XAP]Bob » 24 Jul 2015, 2:46pm

We park nose to the house - for safety reasons.

The drive is on a slope, and we don't want the doors to slam shut onto little fingers (several years back, whilst we were touring the south-western US a car door, falling under gravity, broke MrsBob's fingers (major pain) by slamming on them - and the door latched, MrsBob couldn't open the door, just because of the angles of everything...

So we park nose down.

We do have reasonably good visibility when reversing though - no walls or hedges right next to the car (another advantage of only having one car, it doesn't need to be pegged against one side or the other) - but still do so very carefully.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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661-Pete
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Re: Motorists' visibility mark II

Postby 661-Pete » 24 Jul 2015, 3:32pm

There should be a simple rule: if you cannot see where you are reversing, you either shouldn't be reversing in the first place, or you should have a 'banksman' to guide you.

Regarding parking on a slope: I recall an incident from way back when I was a kid. We had the opposite situation: the driveway had a steep slope up to the house. Well, we were getting ready to set off on a camping holiday, the car was at the top of the drive, and my father was busy loading up stuff on the roof rack, when all of a sudden the car began to roll backwards down the slope. It shot out and across the road. My father, who was nearest, sprinted alongside, wrestled with the driver's door and finally managed to wrench it open and seize the handbrake, and the car stopped short just before smashing into a brick wall opposite. :shock: Furthermore, there was a motorcyclist coming along the road: he had to react in a split second and mount the pavement (luckily there was a dropped kerb in his path) to avoid a collision. Although badly shaken, the motorcyclist was unhurt, and my father was profusely apologetic. I think my father was very lucky that the motorcyclist didn't choose to call the police. And even luckier that there wasn't a pedestrian or cyclist approaching...
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ferdinand
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Re: Motorists' visibility mark II

Postby ferdinand » 24 Jul 2015, 4:08pm

The woman could have mitigated that by coming out forward, and that is often now a planning condition on newbuilds to be able to leave in a forward gear. However even then she still has to nudge out 1-1.5m before she can see if the visibility is tight.

Sometimes there's little that can be done, unless you hoot each time before you come out.

In our case we have tight walls both sides of the drive with preservation orders on them at the very edge of the lane, which is only 5m only. Fortunately as it is a back lane in town I have just put a pair of blind spot mirrors on the telegraph pole opposite without asking anyone.

It still isn't ideal though.

People coming past have to take some responsibility too. It is a pavement not a playground.

Ferdinand

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Motorists' visibility mark II

Postby [XAP]Bob » 24 Jul 2015, 4:14pm

ferdinand wrote:People coming past have to take some responsibility too. It is a pavement not a playground.

It's a pavement, not a road.

You should expect small, slow, deaf, vulnerable people.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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gaz
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Re: Motorists' visibility mark II

Postby gaz » 24 Jul 2015, 5:13pm

scrumpydave wrote:It seems to me the problem started here when she drove forwards into her driveway the night before meaning she had to reverse out with limited visibility. This was the moment of negligence.


Welcome to the forum. I'm glad that both you and your son are OK.

Highway Code.
201

Do not reverse from a side road into a main road. When using a driveway, reverse in and drive out if you can.


It's an advisory bit. Reversing out could be a factor in establishing liability in the event of an incident but it would be one of many factors.
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Tonyf33
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Re: Motorists' visibility mark II

Postby Tonyf33 » 24 Jul 2015, 6:43pm

reversing blindly out of a driveway is anti social behaviour at best, dangerous driving at worst.
About time it was reported in the media as such and the police took a stance and prosecuted people with FPN.
Excuses like parking nose in due to an incident with another car in another country with regard to fingers that happened years ago is no excuse all...the potential to cause greater injury from any action has to mean you have to take greater responsibility... a bit like the muppet in the wagon turning blindly into the path of that motorcycle :x

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Lance Dopestrong
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Re: Motorists' visibility mark II

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 24 Jul 2015, 6:59pm

If her skills are such that you're incapable of reversing a car into a driveway then she shouldn't be in charge of a car in the first place. If I'd driven a vehicle nose first into a bay when I was in the army or the feds I'd have been given a right bollocking.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Motorists' visibility mark II

Postby [XAP]Bob » 24 Jul 2015, 7:49pm

Tonyf33 wrote:reversing blindly out of a driveway is anti social behaviour at best, dangerous driving at worst.
About time it was reported in the media as such and the police took a stance and prosecuted people with FPN.
Excuses like parking nose in due to an incident with another car in another country with regard to fingers that happened years ago is no excuse all...the potential to cause greater injury from any action has to mean you have to take greater responsibility... a bit like the muppet in the wagon turning blindly into the path of that motorcycle :x


Glad you know our situation so well.

I posted to point out that, as with all H&S decisions, there is a balance to be made. In our case we have made a reasoned decision to park nose first, based on a number of factors - including one fairly serious incident. It is the correct decision in our case - a decision the HC supports being made locally.

In the case in the OP there is a significant issue with visibility, and probably would be similar if driving out forwards TBH - as has already been pointed out the driver would need to nose out by a metre or more to be able to see down the pavement.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Motorists' visibility mark II

Postby [XAP]Bob » 24 Jul 2015, 8:18pm

Lance Dopestrong wrote:If her skills are such that you're incapable of reversing a car into a driveway then she shouldn't be in charge of a car in the first place. If I'd driven a vehicle nose first into a bay when I was in the army or the feds I'd have been given a right bollocking.

Well, armed weapons are parked towards vehicles, unarmed vehicles are parked pointing away from buildings....
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Ellieb
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Re: Motorists' visibility mark II

Postby Ellieb » 24 Jul 2015, 9:49pm

I think it is inevitable taht at some point people are going to have to reverse out. To do so quickly is clearly wrong, but if you are doing so carefully I wouldn't describe that as being negligent. As with all shared, public spaces you need to take responsibility for your own safety. Cars are allowed to cross pavements at dropped kerbs , if you are using the pavement you need to take account of that. Obviously the driver needs to take the necessary precautions too, inching out slowly is what is required here I suspect.

scrumpydave
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Re: Motorists' visibility mark II

Postby scrumpydave » 25 Jul 2015, 7:37am

Thanks for all the replies. Very interested to see the line in the Highway Code. I was out and about in the area last night so I had a look at how the cars were parked. I estimate around 95% were parked facing the house so would have to reverse out. On my own street of 10 houses only 1 household always reverses into the driveway, and they are keen motorcyclists. I wonder if being motorcyclists make them more aware?

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661-Pete
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Re: Motorists' visibility mark II

Postby 661-Pete » 25 Jul 2015, 9:18am

I don't think anyone is suggesting that it's always wrong to reverse out of a driveway. Certainly, ours, which opens onto a cul-de-sac, presents no problems. And our drive is very short - I only have to reverse a yard or two and I'm straddling the pavement. Walking pace, no more, is the obvious rule.
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).

Phil Fouracre
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Re: Motorists' visibility mark II

Postby Phil Fouracre » 25 Jul 2015, 10:17am

Funny, not really given it much thought, I've always done it wherever I park, just because it makes sense, and much easier to get out in traffic. Upside was always, easier to get the shopping out of the boot! Best parking I see on a regular basis is at the local tip, where they have a herringbone setup. Seen people manoeuvre 135 degrees, with difficulty, to park, then unload rubbish from boot and carry it around the car, then repeat in reverse. Apparently it provides endless entertainment for the staff!
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Cunobelin
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Re: Motorists' visibility mark II

Postby Cunobelin » 25 Jul 2015, 10:18am

If there is an issue reversing, fit a turntable

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