When confronted by the police and by his employer the driver of this Asda branded tanker said he was sorry and that he would 'endeavour to give cyclists a wider berth in future'. His transport manager put him on a computer based hazard awareness course. He has been driving for the same company for 20 years with no previous driving infringements. A prosecution was not thought to be in the public interest.
The problem I have is that he was aware of 'the hazard' (oka me) but chose to hoot and to drive close enough to both intimidate and to endanger. For all I know he has been doing this for 20 years to hundreds of cyclists who just will not have been in a position to do anything because they did not have a camera on their helmet.
His conduct gave every appearance of being from the type of motorist who resents cyclists using 'their' road.
I am sure there is an underlying thought that it may have been close but no harm was done. But again I have a problem with this. It is this type of conduct that frightens people off cycling as a rational mode of transport. Incidents like this make me think twice about cycling to work, notwithstanding that I know the statistics and I can be remarkably stubborn. It is the subjective fear of danger that holds back the longed for 'cycling revolution'.
Getting cyclists off the roads maybe what drivers like this are seeking to achieve. There is an overwhelming public interest in ensuring that they do not succeed. This ought to rank above the job security of professional drivers who prove themselves to be temperamentally unsuited to their work.
If he is rational, then this experience should have scared him, and perhaps this is enough to make him change his behaviour.ReplyDelete
If he is irrational, then his behaviour could become worse. Is there some kind of official record of this incident, so that if he is caught again he can expect a more severe punishment?
Sorry isn't enough.ReplyDelete
If the authorities gave out gun licences on the basis that the licencee can lose their temper and fire at people, the Nation would be in uproar. "Sorry" isn't a get-out-of-jail-free type of card to be used when our actions are clearly dangerous and deliberate. He had a whole other lane to use, and if he had the ability to read the blinking road he'd have been able to plan ahead and use it.
Do we really want people like this driving such large vehicles, with so many other potential risks, "sharing" the road with not just cyclists but motorists too.
I sincerely hope the driver DOES address their behaviour.
If he'd done that during a driving test, for a car, let alone for his HGV licence, he would have failed. Since he has acted in a way that would prevent him getting a licence, he should lose his licence until he has passed his driving test again.ReplyDelete
No need for a fine or a prison sentence, just remove the licence to drive from people who demonstrate that their driving standards are too low to pass the driving test. The licence is supposed to be a privilege, only available to those that have shown that they can drive in a safe manner.
So.. you amost kill someone. but there is no need for a fine or a prison sentence?Delete
So.. if I get a gun, and shoot a bullet towards your head (but miss) I should JUST lose me gun, until I do a random test? :)
"His conduct gave every appearance of being from the type of motorist who resents cyclists using 'their' road."ReplyDelete
I agree (only a 20sec clip but beeped and then cut in on you, fairly obvious)
Not even a caution eh
I do not believe that formal cautions are ever given as a way of disposing of road traffic act offences. The police did write to him, and I would hope that a record of this was kept; so it would be fair to acknowledge that he was informally 'cautioned.'Delete
Sorry is not good enough.ReplyDelete
Driving like that does cause deaths. Misjudgement kills directly, but driving cyclists away from the roads increases the number of vehicles on the roads and inevitably kills and injures vulnerable road uses. Plus the increased numbers who travel inactively (as passengers or drivers) means that the beneficial effects of active travel are denied them. This too will have life-threatening consequences.
Cyclists on the road terrify me especially the lycra-clad-uber-fit ones because I have trouble keeping up with them especially when they are going downhill and I'm in the car! Then there is that moment, the decisive moment when they are powering up the hill and you think, 'Shall I or shan't I? 'Will I get passed them before we both reach that pedestrian island in the middle of the road?' No better not hang back and follow! It's a jungle out on the roads.ReplyDelete
It's not a race, though. Just be patient. A few seconds won't hurt anyone.Delete
I ride a cycle and drive an artic - I don't own a car - and that was scary to watch. Lorry drivers are meant to give you at least six feet of space when overtaking and aren't supposed to use the size of their vehicles to intimidate other road users. They're also meant to watch you on the nearside mirrors when overtaking. That said, training and, hopefully, an official verbal warning probably means he won't do it again as most transport managers hate this sort of thing.ReplyDelete
btw: When I'm driving one I'll hang back until it's safe to go, but it's nice when cyclists raise a hand after I've safely passed to let me know it's OK to pull in. Oh, and please don't filter up the inside of those things when they're at the lights. There are blind spots and we can't see everywhere at once. But you all knew that one already...
That is a good point. I do always wave at lorry drivers who have passed me safely first to thank them and second to let them know they are safely past. It seems to have a positive effect on vehicles behind too.ReplyDelete
As for the filtering; yes I think we do all know that but it is always worth repeating.
re: "filter up the inside".Delete
I'm a cyclist who uses "defensive" manoeuvers and positioning when out on the road. This means generally I do not filter up the inside of a queue of traffic but I move and behave as if I'm in my car in a queue of traffic. (Yes exceptions: sometimes I overtake on the outside - or if there is a marked bike lane on the nearside I will use that.) My view is that if I wait in the queue with all the other drivers take my turn and when pulling away from traffic lights invite the faster car behind to overtake - I get treated much better.
Looking at this clip http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-16469483 I would either 1) nave stopped in outside lane at 41 seconds and signaled intention to move in behind silver GB car as soon as it moved off or 2) possibly positioned myself behind bus at 42 seconds - but I would not have pushed between the bus and cars at 43 seconds.
We all get a bit irritated by the car which speeds past cutting us up just to get to the red traffic lights before us. The thought is often "what did you save by being in such a hurry". This thought of course also applies to the cyclist. Why are we also so much in a hurry that we've ALWAYS just got to get past those cars in front of us? Isn't that thought the same kind of thought Scott Lomas had trying to push past Martin Porter?
This point was made to me by a friend back in the 1980s. She had a red reflective arm that protruded out "offside" from her bike frame. Her point was if we cyclists wanted to be treated favourably by car drivers then we should position and behave as car drivers.
"What disgusting Car driver behaviour?!!" And do I now hear another penny dropping? Of course its neither uniform nor consistent - some car drivers behave superbly, others behave abominably ... and exactly the same applies to cyclists.
I regularly am passed by other cyclists (well attired with helmets, reflectors etc) as I wait at a certain set of traffic lights (http://g.co/maps/rqhwe).
I accept this is only one part of the problem - but it IS STILL ONE PART of the whole problem. Currently both drivers and cyclists are all being "tarred with the same brush". We all need to improve our various behaviours on the road.
We have drifted some way from the point of my post. Nonetheless it is interesting how cyclists are often the harshest critics of other cyclists. I believe it is over-harsh to criticise Mr Mason for making his way through stationary traffic into an ASL and it has nothing to do with the prior very poor driving of the red car. The driving of that car, and the tanker that this post is all about, is many orders of magnitude worse than any perceived fault on the part of this cyclist.Delete
I have said before, and I say again, that I do not like this 'six of one, half a dozen of the other' approach. Yes, some cyclists are less than perfect but physics means they are less of a menace and this oft-repeated mantra does nothing to excuse the type of driving illustrated by either clip.
I bike daily in Lisbon (Portugal) and I try to pass stationary traffic all the time on the lights.
Then I'll usually go while the light is still red (just after the cars/pedestrians crossing have stopped). And then I can pull away a bit.
Feels much safer than "starting" in the middle of all the traffic.
Of course i would rather have a bike lane and early green light as some cities in northern europe ^^
Further to my above post: if you ever get the chance, sit in the drivers seat of a large goods vehicle so you can get some idea of the blind spots and potential hazards. The worse place to place a bike is underneath or in front of the nearside mirrors, and the nearside front of the cab itself. If you can see the driver's eyes in the mirrors, chances are she can see you. Believe it or not, we'd rather not run you over so stay where you can be seen. Please.ReplyDelete
I'd like it if every cycle, car, and truck user had at least some experience of what it's like for other road users. That'd go some way to cut the number of accidents. Ah well, I suppose there's fat chance of that happening.
That would be great!Delete
And I'm guessing there is a higher proportion of bikers in traffic that are also used to driving in traffic than the other way around.
Thats my experience for instance, i do drive in my city some times, but the time spent on the traffic while biking should be about 50 times higher
Ah ha! I've used those new mirrors and they do help, though there are a lot of 'em to check and something might creep into a space while you're checking the others, if you see what I mean. There are a couple of types; the old ones that are fitted on top of the windscreen and point straight down, and the new - far better - type that go on the top left of the screen and are easier to check along with the n/s mirrors. I don't see why they can't be retrofitted. Surely not the expense...ReplyDelete
Getting right to the front of the advanced stop line/cycle box thingy is a good idea if you're on a bike. I do it. I also leave a gap so I can see the thing if I'm in a truck, though it's not unusual for a car to take advantage of the big gap that's left. But that's what cars /do/
I see you've put the registration number in the video. If instead you were to put it in ordinary plain text then search engines would be able to pick it up. Who knows, it might be helpful for this incident (and any similar ones you report here) to be that much more discoverable.Delete
Oops sorry - I didn't intend my comment to appear as a reply to the comment which preceded it, but rather a direct reply to the original video.Delete
After fifty years of cycling I'm just beginning to feel a bit intimidated by a sense recently that lorry drivers (and other commercial drivers) who behave like this don't just believe, they know they won't suffer more than a fine for dangerous driving whatever the outcome for the cyclist. They're not going to jail, they're not going to lose their licence, they're not going to get a criminal record and they're not going to lose their job - because their employer won't incur any penalty at all for failing to control their driver's behaviour.ReplyDelete
It's a bit like Ferguson's unwavering support for Roy Keane when he published that book boasting of having ended the career of another footballer with a dirty tackle. He was making too much money for Manchester United for there to be any cost to him.
A sister of mine has now actually asked me to stop cycling in London because a former colleague of hers has recently been mown down from behind and killed by a lorry driver in Edinburgh. That scenario is beginning to be more common and now includes a bus driver in London killing a woman cycling that way. His excuse: bursitis (or the like) causing a spasm... He'd been off work with it for some time apparently. You have to wonder which medic / Occupational Health Adviser said he was fit to drive.
Meanwhile, I'd be glad to read any recommendations for helmet mounted video cameras. I think I probably could do with something that covers 360 degrees but front and rear facing probably has to suffice.
Out of interest, have you seem this site? https://sites.google.com/site/driversprotestunion/cycles-horses-v-motors/these-camera-vigilantes-must-be-stoppedReplyDelete
I'm assuming that filming can't be seen as an action liable to cause a breach of the peace?
Mike, he posts on (and therefore presumably reads) my blog but I have no interest in his!Delete
Your assumption is reasonable.