‘Tackle poor driving not cyclists’ call

First published in News by

POLICE officers should spend more time tackling bad driving instead of handing out reflective jackets to cyclists, claims the campaigning cycling organisation CTC.

Reacting to the news that New Forest police had been stopping cyclists riding in the dark and giving them free high-visibility kit, CTC campaigns and policy director Roger Geffen claimed while it might make headlines, it did not improve safety.

“Whilst we would obviously not recommend wearing dark colours at night on an unlit road, the limited evidence on the effect of fluorescent clothing is that it makes at best only a marginal difference to cyclists’ safety,” he said.

“In any case, cycling is not a particularly ‘dangerous’ activity; you are less likely to be killed in a mile of cycling than a mile of walking.

“Handing out hi-viz vests to cyclists may earn the police a few headlines, but will do little if anything to improve their safety, and is if anything more likely to put people off cycling altogether, by exaggerating the risks involved.

“That in turn could actually worsen safety for the remaining cyclists, as cycling gets less safe the fewer cyclists there are.”

He added: “The police should spend their time tackling the root causes of the hazards cyclists face, notably bad driving.”

But Julian Hewitt of the Hampshire Police’s Safer Roads Partnership said collisions involving cyclists were increasing in the county with most happening at junctions and roundabouts.

“Many of these collisions will be motorists emerging or crossing into the path of cyclists,” he said.

“It would therefore seem to be a sensible precaution for cyclists to wear high visibility clothing that makes them more visible to motorists.

“Wearing safe clothing is no more likely to put people off cycling than fitting seat belts and air bags to cars would put people off driving.

“Most cyclists will feel more confident if they know that motorists are more aware of their presence and that is why they have been so keen to take up our offer of free reflective clothing.”

Comments (37)

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7:44pm Wed 10 Nov 10

jobsworthwatch says...

Councils don't want to spend money on providing proper cycle tracks away from the traffic so more, in fact most, pavements should be made into shared routes. Cyclist don't seem to have the right of way anywhere!
Councils don't want to spend money on providing proper cycle tracks away from the traffic so more, in fact most, pavements should be made into shared routes. Cyclist don't seem to have the right of way anywhere! jobsworthwatch
  • Score: 0

7:48pm Wed 10 Nov 10

Bournefre says...

Another sensationalist headline designed to provoke controversy.
Why not go the whole hog and make it a story about people cycling around the surf reef while walking their dogs?
Another sensationalist headline designed to provoke controversy. Why not go the whole hog and make it a story about people cycling around the surf reef while walking their dogs? Bournefre
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Wed 10 Nov 10

rotcoddam says...

Are you putting that forward as a possible use for the surf reef. Cos it surely is no use for anything else.
Are you putting that forward as a possible use for the surf reef. Cos it surely is no use for anything else. rotcoddam
  • Score: 0

8:07pm Wed 10 Nov 10

captsanders says...

jobsworthwatch wrote:
Councils don't want to spend money on providing proper cycle tracks away from the traffic so more, in fact most, pavements should be made into shared routes. Cyclist don't seem to have the right of way anywhere!
And so they shouldn't, their a pain in the rear end.
[quote][p][bold]jobsworthwatch[/bold] wrote: Councils don't want to spend money on providing proper cycle tracks away from the traffic so more, in fact most, pavements should be made into shared routes. Cyclist don't seem to have the right of way anywhere![/p][/quote]And so they shouldn't, their a pain in the rear end. captsanders
  • Score: 0

8:30pm Wed 10 Nov 10

dorsetspeed says...

Animals don’t wear high vis jackets. Neither to trees, potholes, fallen loads, branches, drunks, or other unexpected hazards, etc, etc. It’s a really simple principal that I’m sure is mentioned in the highway code, don’t drive so that you are not able to stop in the space that you can see in front of you and is clear.
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Any driver requiring hazards to be shining at them like beacons in order to prevent them from hitting them, should not be driving. This IS about poor driving.
Animals don’t wear high vis jackets. Neither to trees, potholes, fallen loads, branches, drunks, or other unexpected hazards, etc, etc. It’s a really simple principal that I’m sure is mentioned in the highway code, don’t drive so that you are not able to stop in the space that you can see in front of you and is clear. . Any driver requiring hazards to be shining at them like beacons in order to prevent them from hitting them, should not be driving. This IS about poor driving. dorsetspeed
  • Score: 0

8:36pm Wed 10 Nov 10

D.S says...

Yet again, the cycling forum looking for people to blame for the misfortunes of irresponsible cyclists.
Fair enough, don't work together with police teams in order to help promote safety on our roads, or indeed educate people of the dangers of using roads - (motorists, cyclists and pedestrians a like). If hi-visibility clothing 'is not improving safety', then perhaps more needs to be done about highway code awareness for cyclists and encouraging cyclists to complete a course in cycling proficiency.
Stop looking for 'bad drivers', and perhaps take a bit more responsibility in ensuring that the cyclists who are using the roads are doing so safely. Including those using their mobiles and headphones and eating whilst cycling (it is not just irresponsible drivers who do this).
Yet again, the cycling forum looking for people to blame for the misfortunes of irresponsible cyclists. Fair enough, don't work together with police teams in order to help promote safety on our roads, or indeed educate people of the dangers of using roads - (motorists, cyclists and pedestrians a like). If hi-visibility clothing 'is not improving safety', then perhaps more needs to be done about highway code awareness for cyclists and encouraging cyclists to complete a course in cycling proficiency. Stop looking for 'bad drivers', and perhaps take a bit more responsibility in ensuring that the cyclists who are using the roads are doing so safely. Including those using their mobiles and headphones and eating whilst cycling (it is not just irresponsible drivers who do this). D.S
  • Score: 0

8:51pm Wed 10 Nov 10

dorsetspeed says...

Ok, but it is those in charge of large, heavy, vehicles easily capable of high speeds, who can do the most damage. If a drunk cyclist, listening to rave music at high volume on headphones, and texting, suddenly moves into the middle of the road, in front of me, even if in the dark with dark clothes, I have a responsibility, if I am capable, not to kill him (even if some might think he might deserve it).
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It requires no different skill or attention than avoiding an animal, or any other unexpected hazard, which all drivers should be naturally aware of all of the time.
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If a driver hits a cyclist, the blame may be somewhere between them. But I’d like to think, a cyclist would have to do something really, really, stupid, before I would be likely to hit them, and if it was purely that they were not wearing a high vis jacket, I’d blame myself. There is a lot of very bad driving, and this does need targeting.
Ok, but it is those in charge of large, heavy, vehicles easily capable of high speeds, who can do the most damage. If a drunk cyclist, listening to rave music at high volume on headphones, and texting, suddenly moves into the middle of the road, in front of me, even if in the dark with dark clothes, I have a responsibility, if I am capable, not to kill him (even if some might think he might deserve it). . It requires no different skill or attention than avoiding an animal, or any other unexpected hazard, which all drivers should be naturally aware of all of the time. . If a driver hits a cyclist, the blame may be somewhere between them. But I’d like to think, a cyclist would have to do something really, really, stupid, before I would be likely to hit them, and if it was purely that they were not wearing a high vis jacket, I’d blame myself. There is a lot of very bad driving, and this does need targeting. dorsetspeed
  • Score: 0

9:30pm Wed 10 Nov 10

fartington says...

Why do cyclists, in Parley Lane, insist on ignoring the well-marked cycleway and stay on the road holding up heavy vehicles and creating a traffic logback....other than to pander to their own personal control-freak mechanisms ?
Why do cyclists, in Parley Lane, insist on ignoring the well-marked cycleway and stay on the road holding up heavy vehicles and creating a traffic logback....other than to pander to their own personal control-freak mechanisms ? fartington
  • Score: 0

9:45pm Wed 10 Nov 10

Bob49 says...

I presume dorsetspeed will now be campaigning for the lifting of the rules requiring cyclists to carry lights after dark. After all it is all the fault of motorists.

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He bleats on about responsibility of motorists as if that absolves the cyclist from reasonable behaviour.

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However not to be outdone in the stupidity stakes we have Roger Geffen telling us that the less cyclists there are the less safe cycling is. I cycling, not as much as before, but I am aware that using lights on a bike is now almost non existent. Try walking along on the seafront after dark and you will be shocked at the number of middle aged white blokes got up like someone that looks like they have just been shot out of a cannon speeding along as if they havve just been shot out of a cannon WITH NO LIGHTS.

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There are I am in no doubt numerous 'near misses' between cyclists and motorists. Almost all as a result of motorists taking evasive action.

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Perhaps dorsetspeed might care to grasp that 'trees, potholes, fallen loads, branches' are inanimate objects without a thought process. The latter trait many cyclists seem to share.
I presume dorsetspeed will now be campaigning for the lifting of the rules requiring cyclists to carry lights after dark. After all it is all the fault of motorists. . He bleats on about responsibility of motorists as if that absolves the cyclist from reasonable behaviour. . However not to be outdone in the stupidity stakes we have Roger Geffen telling us that the less cyclists there are the less safe cycling is. I cycling, not as much as before, but I am aware that using lights on a bike is now almost non existent. Try walking along on the seafront after dark and you will be shocked at the number of middle aged white blokes got up like someone that looks like they have just been shot out of a cannon speeding along as if they havve just been shot out of a cannon WITH NO LIGHTS. . There are I am in no doubt numerous 'near misses' between cyclists and motorists. Almost all as a result of motorists taking evasive action. . Perhaps dorsetspeed might care to grasp that 'trees, potholes, fallen loads, branches' are inanimate objects without a thought process. The latter trait many cyclists seem to share. Bob49
  • Score: 0

9:57pm Wed 10 Nov 10

cmandorset says...

it is not poor driving to be unable to see cyclists without lighting and bright clothing. The Police should fine them and confiscate their bike not give them jackets. We are not bats, we need to have a chance to see road users. Cyclists need to be on safe off road routes anyway, they are not safe on busy roads. Anyone who thinks we are going to give up a safe, comfortable mode of transport is mistaken. We are not going to move to cycles on busy, dangerous roads. I cycle off main roads.
it is not poor driving to be unable to see cyclists without lighting and bright clothing. The Police should fine them and confiscate their bike not give them jackets. We are not bats, we need to have a chance to see road users. Cyclists need to be on safe off road routes anyway, they are not safe on busy roads. Anyone who thinks we are going to give up a safe, comfortable mode of transport is mistaken. We are not going to move to cycles on busy, dangerous roads. I cycle off main roads. cmandorset
  • Score: 0

10:26pm Wed 10 Nov 10

JS BAC says...

Going back to the article in question, cyclists (and all other road users for that matter) should be doing all they can to avoid accidents occurring. I fully agree that anyone behind the wheel of a motor vehicle should be in full control and be able to stop quickly at all times, but anyone riding without lights at night is just plain foolish even if it is only themselves they are endangering.
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Unfortunately it's an issue that can be seen on a daily (or should that be can't be seen on a nightly) basis so I can't see a problem with police creating awareness.
Going back to the article in question, cyclists (and all other road users for that matter) should be doing all they can to avoid accidents occurring. I fully agree that anyone behind the wheel of a motor vehicle should be in full control and be able to stop quickly at all times, but anyone riding without lights at night is just plain foolish even if it is only themselves they are endangering. . Unfortunately it's an issue that can be seen on a daily (or should that be can't be seen on a nightly) basis so I can't see a problem with police creating awareness. JS BAC
  • Score: 0

11:04pm Wed 10 Nov 10

aaron989 says...

The other day I counted 7 cyclists who was riding with no lights on my normal drive home from work! It's mad!!!! I think the police need to give more tickets out to these cyclists who are breaking the law! Most cyclists have common sence! I ride during the summer months! And I have lights!!! If they want to be seen then the best thing is lights! I did see some police last week stopping cyclists next to St Michaels church on the way to Westbourne!!! And they looked like they were issuing out tickets!!!! So if your a cyclist don't break the law!!!! You give everyone who cycles a bad name! And good on the police for taking this action!!!
The other day I counted 7 cyclists who was riding with no lights on my normal drive home from work! It's mad!!!! I think the police need to give more tickets out to these cyclists who are breaking the law! Most cyclists have common sence! I ride during the summer months! And I have lights!!! If they want to be seen then the best thing is lights! I did see some police last week stopping cyclists next to St Michaels church on the way to Westbourne!!! And they looked like they were issuing out tickets!!!! So if your a cyclist don't break the law!!!! You give everyone who cycles a bad name! And good on the police for taking this action!!! aaron989
  • Score: 0

11:44pm Wed 10 Nov 10

Frank Spencer says...

One has to question if you can't see cyclists, animals, pedestrians in the road at night should you not check the lights on your car and ensure you are driving within the stopping distance which you can see ~ if you are one of the very many cars with defective lighting get it sorted out. If police time is limited maybe car lighting should be something to prioritise before cycle lighting issues? I know what I’d rather be able to see before I was too close!
One has to question if you can't see cyclists, animals, pedestrians in the road at night should you not check the lights on your car and ensure you are driving within the stopping distance which you can see ~ if you are one of the very many cars with defective lighting get it sorted out. If police time is limited maybe car lighting should be something to prioritise before cycle lighting issues? I know what I’d rather be able to see before I was too close! Frank Spencer
  • Score: 0

6:28am Thu 11 Nov 10

MJD says...

When i was at school 1963, we had a cycle proficiency. The main thing that was drummed in to you was. Be seen at night and say alive. Yes and we did not wear all black ?
When i was at school 1963, we had a cycle proficiency. The main thing that was drummed in to you was. Be seen at night and say alive. Yes and we did not wear all black ? MJD
  • Score: 0

7:21am Thu 11 Nov 10

Phixer says...

MJD wrote:
When i was at school 1963, we had a cycle proficiency. The main thing that was drummed in to you was. Be seen at night and say alive. Yes and we did not wear all black ?
The problem is that now anyone can buy and ride a bike without any knowledge of the 'rules of the road' or without thought for protecting their own safety.

No doubt this has been made worse by the culture, developed over the last decade, that everything is someone else's fault.
[quote][p][bold]MJD[/bold] wrote: When i was at school 1963, we had a cycle proficiency. The main thing that was drummed in to you was. Be seen at night and say alive. Yes and we did not wear all black ?[/p][/quote]The problem is that now anyone can buy and ride a bike without any knowledge of the 'rules of the road' or without thought for protecting their own safety. No doubt this has been made worse by the culture, developed over the last decade, that everything is someone else's fault. Phixer
  • Score: 0

8:17am Thu 11 Nov 10

sprint says...

It is very easy to tell that Julian Hewit is not a cyclist...

I am, and I do have lights and reflectives etc. In fact, I have: Two front lights, either one of which is bright enough on its own to use on dark New Forest roads at night. Three bike mounted rear lights and one on my reflective rucksack cover. Reflective stickers on my wheels, reflective spoke covers, reflective stickers on my cranks. I also wear a fluorescent refelctive coat, have either reflective bands round my ankles or reflective overshoes on. I even have reflective and fluorescent gloves.

And all of the above makes absolutely NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER to the way I am treated by other road users. What the police are in fact doing, is what they always do, is blame the victim.
It is very easy to tell that Julian Hewit is not a cyclist... I am, and I do have lights and reflectives etc. In fact, I have: Two front lights, either one of which is bright enough on its own to use on dark New Forest roads at night. Three bike mounted rear lights and one on my reflective rucksack cover. Reflective stickers on my wheels, reflective spoke covers, reflective stickers on my cranks. I also wear a fluorescent refelctive coat, have either reflective bands round my ankles or reflective overshoes on. I even have reflective and fluorescent gloves. And all of the above makes absolutely NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER to the way I am treated by other road users. What the police are in fact doing, is what they always do, is blame the victim. sprint
  • Score: 0

8:27am Thu 11 Nov 10

dorsetspeed says...

Bob49, my focus was on drivers as that was the title of the article. Naturally, cyclists need to do their bit, and should be visible particularly at night. I see many cyclists that should be educated / disciplined.
Bob49, my focus was on drivers as that was the title of the article. Naturally, cyclists need to do their bit, and should be visible particularly at night. I see many cyclists that should be educated / disciplined. dorsetspeed
  • Score: 0

8:33am Thu 11 Nov 10

ranger_bob says...

sprint wrote:
It is very easy to tell that Julian Hewit is not a cyclist...

I am, and I do have lights and reflectives etc. In fact, I have: Two front lights, either one of which is bright enough on its own to use on dark New Forest roads at night. Three bike mounted rear lights and one on my reflective rucksack cover. Reflective stickers on my wheels, reflective spoke covers, reflective stickers on my cranks. I also wear a fluorescent refelctive coat, have either reflective bands round my ankles or reflective overshoes on. I even have reflective and fluorescent gloves.

And all of the above makes absolutely NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER to the way I am treated by other road users. What the police are in fact doing, is what they always do, is blame the victim.
Well said Sprint. My wife dresses much the same on these dark nights. She was however hit by a motorist in broad daylight who wanted to overtake her and didn't bother stopping once he'd clipped her and knocked her off her bike.
..
This was obviously her fault for obeying all the rules of the highway code!
[quote][p][bold]sprint[/bold] wrote: It is very easy to tell that Julian Hewit is not a cyclist... I am, and I do have lights and reflectives etc. In fact, I have: Two front lights, either one of which is bright enough on its own to use on dark New Forest roads at night. Three bike mounted rear lights and one on my reflective rucksack cover. Reflective stickers on my wheels, reflective spoke covers, reflective stickers on my cranks. I also wear a fluorescent refelctive coat, have either reflective bands round my ankles or reflective overshoes on. I even have reflective and fluorescent gloves. And all of the above makes absolutely NO DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER to the way I am treated by other road users. What the police are in fact doing, is what they always do, is blame the victim.[/p][/quote]Well said Sprint. My wife dresses much the same on these dark nights. She was however hit by a motorist in broad daylight who wanted to overtake her and didn't bother stopping once he'd clipped her and knocked her off her bike. .. This was obviously her fault for obeying all the rules of the highway code! ranger_bob
  • Score: 0

9:01am Thu 11 Nov 10

hammer says...

Whatever mode of transport is used on the road, bicycle, motorbike or car everyone should drive safely, be seen in the dark and obey the laws of the road. I don't see why people think cyclists should be excluded. They elect to ride a bicycle! I don't want to rant on about it but I get very angry about cyclists going through red traffic lights! It is up to each individual if they wish to endanger their life more by not having lights on their bicycles but they should not play god with other people's lives. I ride a 750cc motorbike and have my lights on during the day just to be more visible to car drivers.

There are bad car drivers, bad motorcyclists and bad cyclists - everyone takes a risk when getting in a car, on a motorbike or cycling - nobody has the monopoly on that..........but you do not get a second chance as my son found out two years ago when he died in a RTC..... and guess what the driver of the van drove off! I had a RTC on my motorbike a few weeks ago and again the driver of the van drove off!
Whatever mode of transport is used on the road, bicycle, motorbike or car everyone should drive safely, be seen in the dark and obey the laws of the road. I don't see why people think cyclists should be excluded. They elect to ride a bicycle! I don't want to rant on about it but I get very angry about cyclists going through red traffic lights! It is up to each individual if they wish to endanger their life more by not having lights on their bicycles but they should not play god with other people's lives. I ride a 750cc motorbike and have my lights on during the day just to be more visible to car drivers. There are bad car drivers, bad motorcyclists and bad cyclists - everyone takes a risk when getting in a car, on a motorbike or cycling - nobody has the monopoly on that..........but you do not get a second chance as my son found out two years ago when he died in a RTC..... and guess what the driver of the van drove off! I had a RTC on my motorbike a few weeks ago and again the driver of the van drove off! hammer
  • Score: 0

9:32am Thu 11 Nov 10

sollie says...

The police should be commended for this simple but effective road safety initiative.

Yes the police should also tackle bad driving but who says they are not?
The police should be commended for this simple but effective road safety initiative. Yes the police should also tackle bad driving but who says they are not? sollie
  • Score: 0

10:09am Thu 11 Nov 10

mikey2gorgeous says...

aaron989 wrote:
The other day I counted 7 cyclists who was riding with no lights on my normal drive home from work! It's mad!!!! I think the police need to give more tickets out to these cyclists who are breaking the law! Most cyclists have common sence! I ride during the summer months! And I have lights!!! If they want to be seen then the best thing is lights! I did see some police last week stopping cyclists next to St Michaels church on the way to Westbourne!!! And they looked like they were issuing out tickets!!!! So if your a cyclist don't break the law!!!! You give everyone who cycles a bad name! And good on the police for taking this action!!!
Sorry, you saw them... what's the issue?? You SAW them. Then you complain they're not visible enough.
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The biggest threat to cyclists is drivers not taking enough care to look properly. As the CTC (VERY responsible cyclists all) and above respondents can confirm, it makes no difference how visible you are if someone isn't looking properly.
[quote][p][bold]aaron989[/bold] wrote: The other day I counted 7 cyclists who was riding with no lights on my normal drive home from work! It's mad!!!! I think the police need to give more tickets out to these cyclists who are breaking the law! Most cyclists have common sence! I ride during the summer months! And I have lights!!! If they want to be seen then the best thing is lights! I did see some police last week stopping cyclists next to St Michaels church on the way to Westbourne!!! And they looked like they were issuing out tickets!!!! So if your a cyclist don't break the law!!!! You give everyone who cycles a bad name! And good on the police for taking this action!!![/p][/quote]Sorry, you saw them... what's the issue?? You SAW them. Then you complain they're not visible enough. . The biggest threat to cyclists is drivers not taking enough care to look properly. As the CTC (VERY responsible cyclists all) and above respondents can confirm, it makes no difference how visible you are if someone isn't looking properly. mikey2gorgeous
  • Score: 0

10:48am Thu 11 Nov 10

captsanders says...

mikey2gorgeous, Moordown says...
The biggest threat to cyclists is drivers not taking enough care to look properly. As the CTC (VERY responsible cyclists all) and above respondents can confirm, it makes no difference how visible you are if someone isn't looking properly.
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Perhaps not but it helps.
mikey2gorgeous, Moordown says... The biggest threat to cyclists is drivers not taking enough care to look properly. As the CTC (VERY responsible cyclists all) and above respondents can confirm, it makes no difference how visible you are if someone isn't looking properly. . . Perhaps not but it helps. captsanders
  • Score: 0

10:48am Thu 11 Nov 10

peter_c says...

mikey2gorgeous wrote:
aaron989 wrote: The other day I counted 7 cyclists who was riding with no lights on my normal drive home from work! It's mad!!!! I think the police need to give more tickets out to these cyclists who are breaking the law! Most cyclists have common sence! I ride during the summer months! And I have lights!!! If they want to be seen then the best thing is lights! I did see some police last week stopping cyclists next to St Michaels church on the way to Westbourne!!! And they looked like they were issuing out tickets!!!! So if your a cyclist don't break the law!!!! You give everyone who cycles a bad name! And good on the police for taking this action!!!
Sorry, you saw them... what's the issue?? You SAW them. Then you complain they're not visible enough. . The biggest threat to cyclists is drivers not taking enough care to look properly. As the CTC (VERY responsible cyclists all) and above respondents can confirm, it makes no difference how visible you are if someone isn't looking properly.
*sigh* what is it about this sort of topic that it always turns into the good old '2 wheels good, 4 wheels better debate'? You would've thought the Echo would've learned by now...
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Anyways, couldn't agree with you more aaron989. I'm always lit up like the proverbial xmas tree, reflective gear, the works (I even have a dimmer front light on the handlebars which is turned to illuminate my jacket!), and yet still arrogant idiots in their one ton plus armour try and squeeze me off the road.
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In relation to the good old cycle lane issue (as bought up by Fartington), its stated in the HC that cycle lanes are 'advisory', and do not have to be used. As when I'm on my bike I can not only keep up with traffic but can actually overtake it (if I really wanted - the maximum speed I've had is approaching 35 mph), then I do not use them. You still get some idiots though who see a bike and the old 'must-get-past-no-ma
tter-what' mentality kicks in....
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Back on topic though, I seem to recall a little while ago that the police were handing out discount vouchers for bike light sets instead of hi-vis jackets - I know which I'd have preferred!
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And a small PS - I'm also a driver for a living, and I see MANY more drivers breaking the law than cyclists.
[quote][p][bold]mikey2gorgeous[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]aaron989[/bold] wrote: The other day I counted 7 cyclists who was riding with no lights on my normal drive home from work! It's mad!!!! I think the police need to give more tickets out to these cyclists who are breaking the law! Most cyclists have common sence! I ride during the summer months! And I have lights!!! If they want to be seen then the best thing is lights! I did see some police last week stopping cyclists next to St Michaels church on the way to Westbourne!!! And they looked like they were issuing out tickets!!!! So if your a cyclist don't break the law!!!! You give everyone who cycles a bad name! And good on the police for taking this action!!![/p][/quote]Sorry, you saw them... what's the issue?? You SAW them. Then you complain they're not visible enough. . The biggest threat to cyclists is drivers not taking enough care to look properly. As the CTC (VERY responsible cyclists all) and above respondents can confirm, it makes no difference how visible you are if someone isn't looking properly.[/p][/quote]*sigh* what is it about this sort of topic that it always turns into the good old '2 wheels good, 4 wheels better debate'? You would've thought the Echo would've learned by now... . Anyways, couldn't agree with you more aaron989. I'm always lit up like the proverbial xmas tree, reflective gear, the works (I even have a dimmer front light on the handlebars which is turned to illuminate my jacket!), and yet still arrogant idiots in their one ton plus armour try and squeeze me off the road. . In relation to the good old cycle lane issue (as bought up by Fartington), its stated in the HC that cycle lanes are 'advisory', and do not have to be used. As when I'm on my bike I can not only keep up with traffic but can actually overtake it (if I really wanted - the maximum speed I've had is approaching 35 mph), then I do not use them. You still get some idiots though who see a bike and the old 'must-get-past-no-ma tter-what' mentality kicks in.... . Back on topic though, I seem to recall a little while ago that the police were handing out discount vouchers for bike light sets instead of hi-vis jackets - I know which I'd have preferred! . And a small PS - I'm also a driver for a living, and I see MANY more drivers breaking the law than cyclists. peter_c
  • Score: 0

10:49am Thu 11 Nov 10

The Liberal says...

Would I ride a bike at night without lights? Certainly not. I have more concern for my own safety. However, many car drivers do treat cyclists with complete disdain, lights or no lights.
 
So IMHO it's car drivers who really need educating – maybe they should dust off that old TV ad about giving a cyclist the same room as you would a small car when overtaking.
Would I ride a bike at night without lights? Certainly not. I have more concern for my own safety. However, many car drivers do treat cyclists with complete disdain, lights or no lights.   So IMHO it's car drivers who really need educating – maybe they should dust off that old TV ad about giving a cyclist the same room as you would a small car when overtaking. The Liberal
  • Score: 0

11:30am Thu 11 Nov 10

GB916 says...

I myself am lit well,i have 2 front lights,2 rear lights,reflectors on my wheels,and a high vis reflective jacket,but i have been knocked off my bike twice,one car emerged from a junction,knocked me off,and then drove off,the Police were not interested,the second time a van squashed me against the pavement andknocked me off,he stopped,his excuse he did not see me,he obviously should not be driving,i have no problem with the police handing out Hi vis jackest,but along side that they should fine any road user breaking the law.The one thing i do find about these debates is some people seem to be saying it is ok to knock a cyclist over if they are not doing everything right on the road,i will remember that ,the next time i catch up with a motorist who cuts me up,or nearly knocks me off my bike,i will break there car mirror with my metal water bottle,that will make them know im on the road too
I myself am lit well,i have 2 front lights,2 rear lights,reflectors on my wheels,and a high vis reflective jacket,but i have been knocked off my bike twice,one car emerged from a junction,knocked me off,and then drove off,the Police were not interested,the second time a van squashed me against the pavement andknocked me off,he stopped,his excuse he did not see me,he obviously should not be driving,i have no problem with the police handing out Hi vis jackest,but along side that they should fine any road user breaking the law.The one thing i do find about these debates is some people seem to be saying it is ok to knock a cyclist over if they are not doing everything right on the road,i will remember that ,the next time i catch up with a motorist who cuts me up,or nearly knocks me off my bike,i will break there car mirror with my metal water bottle,that will make them know im on the road too GB916
  • Score: 0

12:04pm Thu 11 Nov 10

JS BAC says...

peter_c, they have learned: comments = page views = advertising revenue. And there is nothing wrong highlighting issues that people want to talk about, people choose to make comments.
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We all seem to be in agreement that cyclists should be visible at night, which is what the police operation was all about and all those who cycle claim to do just that. There have also been articles recently about the police tackling bad driving. Scrutiny/debate is part and parcel of what all authorities do and the Echo is duty bound to report both sides of an issue.
.
This shouldn't be about irresponsible cyclists or about irresponsible car drivers, it should be about irresponsible road users needing educating. For me, this includes unlit cyclists and the drivers to which sprint and rangerbob refer to - I hope your wife didn't get too badly hurt and still enjoys cycling.
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On the issue that drivers should be able to see anything on the road and be prepared to stop, there are times when due care and attention isn't being paid by drivers, we all know this and I certainly wouldn't play russian roulette complacent that all drivers are watching me intently while cycling. There are also times when bike standards fall short and unpredictable things happen quickly. This can also happen at no fault - a big gust of wind can veer a cyclist sideways several foot (even pro racers talk about how hazardous crosswinds are) - if they are in a driver's blind spot being overtaken at 30mph, then a light in the corner of the driver's eye can make a difference. People can either learn this the easy way by police operations and regular media coverage, or the hard way as the tragic case of hammer's son.
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If this article and subsequent debate causes just one cyclist to don lights and avoid an accident, or one driver to think twice about an overtaking manourvre and avoiding an accident then this article has been worthwhile.
peter_c, they have learned: comments = page views = advertising revenue. And there is nothing wrong highlighting issues that people want to talk about, people choose to make comments. . We all seem to be in agreement that cyclists should be visible at night, which is what the police operation was all about and all those who cycle claim to do just that. There have also been articles recently about the police tackling bad driving. Scrutiny/debate is part and parcel of what all authorities do and the Echo is duty bound to report both sides of an issue. . This shouldn't be about irresponsible cyclists or about irresponsible car drivers, it should be about irresponsible road users needing educating. For me, this includes unlit cyclists and the drivers to which sprint and rangerbob refer to - I hope your wife didn't get too badly hurt and still enjoys cycling. . On the issue that drivers should be able to see anything on the road and be prepared to stop, there are times when due care and attention isn't being paid by drivers, we all know this and I certainly wouldn't play russian roulette complacent that all drivers are watching me intently while cycling. There are also times when bike standards fall short and unpredictable things happen quickly. This can also happen at no fault - a big gust of wind can veer a cyclist sideways several foot (even pro racers talk about how hazardous crosswinds are) - if they are in a driver's blind spot being overtaken at 30mph, then a light in the corner of the driver's eye can make a difference. People can either learn this the easy way by police operations and regular media coverage, or the hard way as the tragic case of hammer's son. . If this article and subsequent debate causes just one cyclist to don lights and avoid an accident, or one driver to think twice about an overtaking manourvre and avoiding an accident then this article has been worthwhile. JS BAC
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Thu 11 Nov 10

peter_c says...

I understand that JS BAC, it just gets my goat up how quickly people start jumping on each other - especially when cyclists are involved. I do agree with everything you've said, but many media types always use sensationalist headlines / stories to try and stir up 'hatred' (or is that too strong a word?) towards the lower caste of road users. Certain posters on this site and many other forums I frequent are very anti-cycling, and as I've said as I drive for living I can see both sides of the coin. I just wish we could all get along on the roads thats all. Unfortunately there is always going to be the minority with the good old SMIDSY excuse, no matter how lit up you are!
I understand that JS BAC, it just gets my goat up how quickly people start jumping on each other - especially when cyclists are involved. I do agree with everything you've said, but many media types always use sensationalist headlines / stories to try and stir up 'hatred' (or is that too strong a word?) towards the lower caste of road users. Certain posters on this site and many other forums I frequent are very anti-cycling, and as I've said as I drive for living I can see both sides of the coin. I just wish we could all get along on the roads thats all. Unfortunately there is always going to be the minority with the good old SMIDSY excuse, no matter how lit up you are! peter_c
  • Score: 0

12:59pm Thu 11 Nov 10

JS BAC says...

"many media types always use sensationalist headlines / stories to try and stir up 'hatred'"
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Yes, especially in nationals, not that they are agenda driven or anything!
"many media types always use sensationalist headlines / stories to try and stir up 'hatred'" . Yes, especially in nationals, not that they are agenda driven or anything! JS BAC
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Thu 11 Nov 10

peter_c says...

or car-centric for that matter!
or car-centric for that matter! peter_c
  • Score: 0

5:06pm Thu 11 Nov 10

alanhl says...

on my way home one dark and drizzly night i went to turn into Fernheath road off Turbary Park Avenue, as i started to turn a cyclist with dark clothing and no lights appeared in my dipped headlights, i braked hard and managed to stop, he swerved and braked then fell off his bike at some considerable speed. when he picked himself up he came over to my car and started swearing at me telling me what a fool i was. I replied " I have lights on and i was driving at an appropriate speed for the conditions so i managed to stop before getting in your path also i am not grazed, bleeding and in pain - are you sure it is me who is the fool"
on my way home one dark and drizzly night i went to turn into Fernheath road off Turbary Park Avenue, as i started to turn a cyclist with dark clothing and no lights appeared in my dipped headlights, i braked hard and managed to stop, he swerved and braked then fell off his bike at some considerable speed. when he picked himself up he came over to my car and started swearing at me telling me what a fool i was. I replied " I have lights on and i was driving at an appropriate speed for the conditions so i managed to stop before getting in your path also i am not grazed, bleeding and in pain - are you sure it is me who is the fool" alanhl
  • Score: 0

7:31pm Thu 11 Nov 10

downfader says...

Whoah there people, lets be clear on this - some of the comments here are blaming the cyclist but when you actually look at the stats (and how many of you denegrating us on two wheels actually have?) ..when you actually look at the stats the majority of accidents over the past 10 years have been pulling out into the path of the cyclist, or rear ending/failed overtake.
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According to the stats only 2-6% of those were unlit at night, or doing something they shouldnt have (such as a RLJ).
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Even the officer in the inteview has admitted it - drivers have failed to look and observe the road correctly.
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We need to be clear on this and stop playing games avoiding the issues. People are dying, and people are having their lives seriously affected. We have a complicit culture in the UK were we wont even talk about the danger this minority of driver represent, we even make excuses and blame the victims.
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How many times have you heard "the cyclist came from out of no where!"? I used to fix and fill vending machines in an A&E and I heard this more than once.
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Highvis doesnt work. Look at Germany, where they barely wear it or helmets and yet their casualties are far, far lower than here in the UK. Same with the Netherlands.
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Highvis is also different to reflectives (I have a lot of reflectives on when I ride at night).. reflectives only work from certain angles, highvis does not reflect light in the same way, its just coloured fabric.
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Fair enough stopping cyclists without lights if fine and right when the sun goes down.. but highvis... come on.
Whoah there people, lets be clear on this - some of the comments here are blaming the cyclist but when you actually look at the stats (and how many of you denegrating us on two wheels actually have?) ..when you actually look at the stats the majority of accidents over the past 10 years have been pulling out into the path of the cyclist, or rear ending/failed overtake. . According to the stats only 2-6% of those were unlit at night, or doing something they shouldnt have (such as a RLJ). . Even the officer in the inteview has admitted it - drivers have failed to look and observe the road correctly. . We need to be clear on this and stop playing games avoiding the issues. People are dying, and people are having their lives seriously affected. We have a complicit culture in the UK were we wont even talk about the danger this minority of driver represent, we even make excuses and blame the victims. . How many times have you heard "the cyclist came from out of no where!"? I used to fix and fill vending machines in an A&E and I heard this more than once. . Highvis doesnt work. Look at Germany, where they barely wear it or helmets and yet their casualties are far, far lower than here in the UK. Same with the Netherlands. . Highvis is also different to reflectives (I have a lot of reflectives on when I ride at night).. reflectives only work from certain angles, highvis does not reflect light in the same way, its just coloured fabric. . Fair enough stopping cyclists without lights if fine and right when the sun goes down.. but highvis... come on. downfader
  • Score: 0

10:28pm Thu 11 Nov 10

JS BAC says...

alanh, I have a very similar story to tell from this evening, which again I have to share because of the actions of the driver.

I was cycling along a tree lined road and hit a pothole covered by leaves. This caused me to fall in the road with a car approaching from behind. The car wasn't speeding and managed to break in time not to hit me. I was surprised and grateful that the driver stopped to check I was ok even though he didn't have to and there was no fault attached. Thankfully the worst of it was just some dented pride, but he did comment how the lights on my bike enabled him to react quicker.
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Like I have said before, don't hate all car drivers even if irresponsible actions by a few rightly annoy you.
alanh, I have a very similar story to tell from this evening, which again I have to share because of the actions of the driver. I was cycling along a tree lined road and hit a pothole covered by leaves. This caused me to fall in the road with a car approaching from behind. The car wasn't speeding and managed to break in time not to hit me. I was surprised and grateful that the driver stopped to check I was ok even though he didn't have to and there was no fault attached. Thankfully the worst of it was just some dented pride, but he did comment how the lights on my bike enabled him to react quicker. . Like I have said before, don't hate all car drivers even if irresponsible actions by a few rightly annoy you. JS BAC
  • Score: 0

1:07pm Fri 12 Nov 10

mikey2gorgeous says...

Be safe, be invisible....

http://www.jimmykueh
nle.com/performance/
invisible_bike/invis
ible_bike.php
Be safe, be invisible.... http://www.jimmykueh nle.com/performance/ invisible_bike/invis ible_bike.php mikey2gorgeous
  • Score: 0

9:17pm Fri 12 Nov 10

DanWeston says...

Case in point..

I wear Hi Viz, and I have two headlights on my bike, one British Standard and one that is an off road system some 80 times the output required to meet the BRitish Standard!

Yet I still had a taxi pull out in front of me, and inform me that it was alright because I have brakes!

Is there any point in my lights and jacket if this is the attitude of the elf styled professionals?
Case in point.. I wear Hi Viz, and I have two headlights on my bike, one British Standard and one that is an off road system some 80 times the output required to meet the BRitish Standard! Yet I still had a taxi pull out in front of me, and inform me that it was alright because I have brakes! Is there any point in my lights and jacket if this is the attitude of the elf styled professionals? DanWeston
  • Score: 0

6:51pm Sat 13 Nov 10

glennzilla says...

DanWeston.... This was a remark made by somebody who happens to be a taxi driver, please do not presume that we all have this attitude. I witnessed a cyclist, who had right of way, collide into the side of a taxi. This happened on a rainy night and the cyclist had no lights, however the driver should have been more vigilant. The driver immediately checked to see if the cyclist was ok and fortunately he was not injured. His bike, however, had a buckled wheel and could not be ridden. After exchanging details the driver attempted to put the bike in his boot but was unable to do so, so arranged and paid for a bigger taxi to take the cyclist and his bike home.
DanWeston.... This was a remark made by somebody who happens to be a taxi driver, please do not presume that we all have this attitude. I witnessed a cyclist, who had right of way, collide into the side of a taxi. This happened on a rainy night and the cyclist had no lights, however the driver should have been more vigilant. The driver immediately checked to see if the cyclist was ok and fortunately he was not injured. His bike, however, had a buckled wheel and could not be ridden. After exchanging details the driver attempted to put the bike in his boot but was unable to do so, so arranged and paid for a bigger taxi to take the cyclist and his bike home. glennzilla
  • Score: 0

10:37pm Sat 13 Nov 10

hrothgar says...

Idiot cyclists. Where there are cycleways they don't use them. I cycle but would always use cycleways when available. I'm amazed at how many cyclists ignore cycleways and continue to use roads. Stubborn or just not un-observant fools.
Some cyclists seem to think they have a devine right to use roads at the risk to themselves and other roadusers.
Arrogant fools
Idiot cyclists. Where there are cycleways they don't use them. I cycle but would always use cycleways when available. I'm amazed at how many cyclists ignore cycleways and continue to use roads. Stubborn or just not un-observant fools. Some cyclists seem to think they have a devine right to use roads at the risk to themselves and other roadusers. Arrogant fools hrothgar
  • Score: 0

1:02pm Sun 14 Nov 10

peter_c says...

hrothgar wrote:
Idiot cyclists. Where there are cycleways they don't use them. I cycle but would always use cycleways when available. I'm amazed at how many cyclists ignore cycleways and continue to use roads. Stubborn or just not un-observant fools. Some cyclists seem to think they have a devine right to use roads at the risk to themselves and other roadusers. Arrogant fools
Down boy! If you see my above post, you'll see why EXPERIENCED riders like myself (I commute 75+ miles a week) don't use them. The only time I use them is on a particular vicious hill (Constitution Hill springs to mind), so as not to slow the traffic down.
[quote][p][bold]hrothgar[/bold] wrote: Idiot cyclists. Where there are cycleways they don't use them. I cycle but would always use cycleways when available. I'm amazed at how many cyclists ignore cycleways and continue to use roads. Stubborn or just not un-observant fools. Some cyclists seem to think they have a devine right to use roads at the risk to themselves and other roadusers. Arrogant fools[/p][/quote]Down boy! If you see my above post, you'll see why EXPERIENCED riders like myself (I commute 75+ miles a week) don't use them. The only time I use them is on a particular vicious hill (Constitution Hill springs to mind), so as not to slow the traffic down. peter_c
  • Score: 0

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