Unwise Undertake?

thirdcrank
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Re: Unwise Undertake?

Postby thirdcrank » 4 Nov 2010, 5:29pm

Meanwhile, back at the video, I've watched it a few times now and it seems to throw up few points about helmet camera evidence. Obviously, I knew from the outset that the cameraman was familiar with gathering and securing evidence so it was no surprise when the reg was captured. :D It's my impression that many people see cyclists as a homogeneous group; in the event of a collision, I tend to think that they would doubt the independence of another cyclist's evidence, in a way that they would not doubt a motorist's. I could not really hear the conversation between the cyclists, but I could imagine any show of solidarity reinforcing this attitude. The cyclist going through the red light - especially as pedestrians were crossing - does nobody any favours, even though he looked to do some sort of a track stand in the middle of the crossing. At this point, the camera was turned towards the cab - I presume this was legal experience again trying to identify the driver (anybody hoping headcam footage will form the basis of a prosecution would do well to try to get a clear mugshot of the driver, without provoking violence.) OTOH, I suspect that anybody trying to convince a jury that cyclists shared some bond of solidarity might make a lot of mileage about why the camera was diverted from the red light.

Perhaps the most important point of all is that although the cameraman is a senior barrister, he expresses surprise at some of the reaction it caused even from an audience of cyclists. No cyclist should expect a bench of magistrates or a jury to see something from anything other than a driver's POV. Come to think of it, that's implied in the blog.

I'd repeat what irc said in his OP. This is all hindsight from somebody sitting in a comfy chair with the rain lashing the window. I appreciate that the real world is a different place. OTOH I've said before that headcam footage is potentially such strong evidence that a competent defence would do everything possible to discredit it in a criminal trial.

Jonty

Re: Unwise Undertake?

Postby Jonty » 4 Nov 2010, 7:30pm

An accident waiting to happen IMO. I put the responsibility on poor highway design,then the cyclist and finally the lorry driver.
The cyclist started to be squeezed when the lorry driver started moving to the left as the road narowed because of the central refuge/crossing. The lorry driver was simply following where the road took him.There simply wasn't enough space for the lorry and a cyclist to be safely adjacent to each other when the road narrowed IMO. At this point the provision of the cycle lane probably increased the risk as it implied that the cyclist should stay in the lane. If I had been in front of the lorry I would have been tempted to move out to stop the lorry from passing me on a stretch of road which isn't wide enough to overtake safely.
The cyclist approached the lorry at considerable speed and started to undertake on a very narrow cycle path. He should have appreciated that the lorry driver may not have been aware of his presence and that he would be squeezed if the road narrowed. At this point he should have dropped back. If he wants to stay alive he should modify his cycling behaviour and ride more defensively.
Finally, the lorry driver should have checked in his off-side mirror before the road started taking him to the left to ensure that he wasn't cutting up any cyclists given the presence of a cycling lane.
jonty

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orbiter
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Re: Unwise Undertake?

Postby orbiter » 4 Nov 2010, 8:14pm

thirdcrank wrote:I presume this sort of thing happens because they let the least experienced people loose designing cycling 'facilities' as a form of work experience until they are allowed to join the big misters and design for motor traffic.


But how much experience does it need to understand 'minimum 1.2 metres width'?

irc
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Re: Unwise Undertake?

Postby irc » 4 Nov 2010, 8:23pm

orbiter wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:I presume this sort of thing happens because they let the least experienced people loose designing cycling 'facilities' as a form of work experience until they are allowed to join the big misters and design for motor traffic.


But how much experience does it need to understand 'minimum 1.2 metres width'?


1.2M? I feel overtaking vehicles are too close if I can reach out and touch them. My span from side to side outstretched fingertips is 186cm. So if I'm riding in the centre of a cycle farcility anything less than that is too narrow. Or put another way riding roughly 0.9M from the kerb with another 0.9M to my offside. Either way around 1.8M is my minimum comfort space, let's just call it 2 yards in old money.
No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?

downfader
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Re: Unwise Undertake?

Postby downfader » 4 Nov 2010, 8:43pm

irc wrote:
orbiter wrote:
thirdcrank wrote:I presume this sort of thing happens because they let the least experienced people loose designing cycling 'facilities' as a form of work experience until they are allowed to join the big misters and design for motor traffic.


But how much experience does it need to understand 'minimum 1.2 metres width'?


1.2M? I feel overtaking vehicles are too close if I can reach out and touch them. My span from side to side outstretched fingertips is 186cm. So if I'm riding in the centre of a cycle farcility anything less than that is too narrow. Or put another way riding roughly 0.9M from the kerb with another 0.9M to my offside. Either way around 1.8M is my minimum comfort space, let's just call it 2 yards in old money.


There is a better way if done properly.Instead of dividing up a single road we could divide up districts. So parallel routes could segregate cycles from motortraffic and visa versa. Access could be granted for residents and deliveries where needed. It would make overtaking other cyclists easier in places. However I sincerely doubt people would be prepared to give up their "right" to drive on certain roads like this.

Jonty

Re: Unwise Undertake?

Postby Jonty » 4 Nov 2010, 10:48pm

The provision of a bus lane on the opposite carriageway and the central refuge has reduced the amount of road space to one lane in either direction and an inadequate cycle lane at this pinch point.
Consideration should be given to widening the cycle lane by reducing the over-generous pavement provision where the road narrows.
jonty

Richard Mann
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Re: Unwise Undertake?

Postby Richard Mann » 4 Nov 2010, 11:07pm

orbiter wrote:But how much experience does it need to understand 'minimum 1.2 metres width'?


Eh? Where does 1.2m come from? At refuges, the gap should be at least 4m (or 4.3m for a 30mph design speed / 3.8m for a 20mph design speed), depending on which bit of LTN2/08 you read. I think the 4m should have been updated to reflect the developing thinking on design speeds, so I'd take the 4.3/3.8 as the better guidance.

As for cycle lane widths: "A minimum width of 1.5 metres may be generally acceptable on roads with a 30 mph limit." Which seems to be a definition based on when people will stop shouting at you, rather than anything else. A width of 1.0m is not "generally acceptable" to quite a lot of people, but actually seems to be adequate in practice if you also get speeds down (by having one consistently-narrow traffic lane in each direction).

1.2m is given as a minimum for the approach to ASLs. A bit of width is certainly helpful (to get round cyclists queuing in the approach lane and dodge the odd passenger getting out of a car), but hardly essential.

It takes a huge amount of experience to navigate guidance as contradictory and as poorly-evidenced as this.

Richard

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Si
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Re: Unwise Undertake?

Postby Si » 5 Nov 2010, 10:04am

Secondly is that an undertake? I technically think not for one very good reason. You have effectively 2 prescribed lanes and the cyclist clearly in his "area", the van in theirs until the road narrows. The van then encroaches on the cyclelane blocking a freeflow of traffic in said lane. So I would imagine that the driver is on a technical basis more at fault.


It certainly was an attempted undertake - you don't have to be in the same lane as someone else to under or over take them. The real question is, is it a legal undertake?

I seem to remember the HWC says something along the lines that you can only undertake if the traffic to the right is stationary or slow moving ? So, in this case was the cyclist allowed to undertake? Does it being a cycle lane make it a special case?

mporter
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Re: Unwise Undertake?

Postby mporter » 5 Nov 2010, 10:06am

I suppose I should be impressed that as a group we are so enthusiastically law abiding. Compare eg motorists giving each other endless advice on how to get off a speeding or traffic light ticket on their boards. In contrast, and contrary to the Daily Mail image, here we are agonising over what a cyclist, who has come close to being squashed by a large vehicle pulling into his lane, does when he gets to the traffic light. No, I did not look away, so as not to record him going through a light. I actually tried to catch the driver's eye and make him aware how close he had got to him. If you look frame by frame you will see that when I look back at the lights they are green and he is doing a track stand before the line of studs that delineate the pedestrain crossing. There is not a scrap of evidence, just prejudice, to support any suggestion that he inconvenienced or endangered any pedestrain. OK he is not supposed to go over the white line but either there was no ASL there or it was blocked. I found myself this morning numerous times passing the actual stop line to make myself visible to traffic. That was technically a breach of the law but it is, in my view, very different from going through a junction or crossing on red. Indeed I would ask for, and expect to get, an absolute discharge if prosecuted.
I have cycled with this cyclist over significant distances. In my opinion he is a careful and considerate rider but he rides too close to the kerb. He probably does that to avoid the antagonism and threats like the one I got yesterday. We can learn from seeing him ride up the inside of a vehicle on a narrow cycle lane but believe me it was not fast (this could be prejudcie against people in lycra I don't know) but this obsession about whether he went past a stop line on red does surprise me, as does the implication that if he did he foreits the right to protection from the law.

kwackers
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Re: Unwise Undertake?

Postby kwackers » 5 Nov 2010, 10:19am

mporter wrote: OK he is not supposed to go over the white line but either there was no ASL there or it was blocked. I found myself this morning numerous times passing the actual stop line to make myself visible to traffic. That was technically a breach of the law but it is, in my view, very different from going through a junction or crossing on red. Indeed I would ask for, and expect to get, an absolute discharge if prosecuted.

I agree with that, I rarely stop this side of the ASL, even stopping at the lights in primary frequently results in a race for either a turn or a pinch point. Being forward of the ASL almost always stops that.

Having watched the video again, I've still got to say the manoeuvre with the truck was a bad idea though...

snibgo
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Re: Unwise Undertake?

Postby snibgo » 5 Nov 2010, 10:41am

Few of us have bothered much about the red light. But now you mention it ...

mporter wrote:If you look frame by frame you will see that when I look back at the lights they are green and he is doing a track stand before the line of studs that delineate the pedestrain crossing.

No. When you look back, they are on red and amber.

The cyclist could have stayed safely where you did, in the green box. He chose not to.

Of course, even if the cyclist had killed a dozen pedestrians, this wouldn't excuse the lorry driver's conduct.

The RLJing (and it is an RLJ, unless he took just 0.1 seconds to travel from the green box for at least 2 metres) demonstrates my oft-repeated point that cyclists and lorry drivers alike want to make good progress irrespective of traffic violations. The difference, of course, is that the cyclist endangered no one, but the lorry driver did.

mporter
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Re: Unwise Undertake?

Postby mporter » 5 Nov 2010, 11:07am

[img]<object%20style="height:%20390px;%20width:%20640px"><param%20name="movie"%20value="http://www.youtube.com/v/CIz2AYoY8Ug?version=3"><param%20name="allowFullScreen"%20value="true"><param%20name="allowScriptAccess"%20value="always"><embed%20src="http://www.youtube.com/v/CIz2AYoY8Ug?version=3"%20type="application/x-shockwave-flash"%20allowfullscreen="true"%20allowScriptAccess="always"%20width="640"%20height="390"></object>[/img]

OK that didn't work but look at 0:26/0:29. But look fast, I did not have the permission of the cyclist to put his actions up to such scrutiny and frankly I now regret it.

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Re: Unwise Undertake?

Postby Vorpal » 5 Nov 2010, 11:21am

Si wrote:It certainly was an attempted undertake - you don't have to be in the same lane as someone else to under or over take them. The real question is, is it a legal undertake?

I seem to remember the HWC says something along the lines that you can only undertake if the traffic to the right is stationary or slow moving ? So, in this case was the cyclist allowed to undertake? Does it being a cycle lane make it a special case?


The HWC isn't completely clear on the matter of undertaking. The HWC says under rule 163 (overtaking): 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

There are also some bits that say you shouldn't change lanes to overtake on the left, you sould only overtake on the left when overtaking a car that is signalling and slowing to turn right. Finally, there are a couple of bits that say to check both sides for cyclists and motorcyclists overtaking or filtering though traffic, coming up on the inside of traffic at junctions, etc.

Even though HWC is unclear, a cyclist is unlikely, in a situation like this, to be moving fast enough to undertake illegally. That a cyclist *can* undertake implies traffic is moving slowly enough to make it legal. There are obviously exceptions. Also, if traffic isn't heavy (i.e. there are just a couple of slow moving vehicles rather than a queue), an argument could be made that it isn't legal to undertake.

I don't think a cycle lane is a special situation; it's no different than cyclists and motorcyclists in bus lanes. Undertaking is acceptable when taffic in the outside lanes is queuing and moving slowly.

That doesn't make it safe.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Jonty

Re: Unwise Undertake?

Postby Jonty » 5 Nov 2010, 12:13pm

snibgo wrote:Few of us have bothered much about the red light. But now you mention it ...

The difference, of course, is that the cyclist endangered no one, but the lorry driver did.


The cyclist endangered himself. He also endangered the future well-being of the lorry driver. No normal person wants to live the rest of his or her life knowing that they killed another road user.
But as stated by many above, the main responsibility rests with poor highway design.
jonty

kwackers
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Re: Unwise Undertake?

Postby kwackers » 5 Nov 2010, 12:20pm

Jonty wrote: He also endangered the future well-being of the lorry driver..
jonty

I think that's stretching it a bit. The lorry driver changed road position and moved into the cycle lane. As inadvisable as the cyclists actions were fundamentally it's up to the lorry driver to make sure the manoeuvre is safe.
Mind you I'm speaking as someone who'll look over their should before changing position whilst walking on a footpath. Perhaps it's just me...