Log in

No account? Create an account
Off in the distance
my journal
May 2016

The Bellinghman
Date: 2008-04-03 11:26
Subject: Usually it's the other way round
Security: Public
Cyclists often rightly complain that other road users don't always see them. This is a problem - a number of collisions occur when vehicles pull out or cut across in front of them.

But this case is different: Cyclist doesn't see stationary van.

nil nisi bonum and all that, but <cynical>I can only think that, the van being stopped at a pedestrian crossing, the cyclist was too intent on running the red light and knocking over a pedestrian or two ...</cynical>
Post A Comment | 31 Comments | | Link

User: knell
Date: 2008-04-03 11:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's easier than you might think. Don't forget that cycling in towns is a very high-concentration exercise - if you're in a car, for instance, people generally don't pull out in front of you (too often), but if you're on a bike people will often do things like starting to pull out before you've gone past because "hey, a bike is only narrow", or pulling out of parking spaces, or whatever. This is very distracting, and while distracted by someone dicking around in a BMW and pulling out of a parking space I ran into the back of a Smart stopped at a zebra crossing a while ago. No damage done, but it can easily happen. People sometimes forget that a bike can be doing 30 or 40 kph quite easily, and assume they're able to stop within 1 metre.

And yes, I stop religiously at red lights. No, I don't ride on the pavement. No, I don't ride the wrong way down one way streets. Or do any of the other things drivers seem to use as an excuse to spread the hatin'.

Edited at 2008-04-03 11:55 am (UTC)
Reply | Thread | Link

The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2008-04-03 12:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I ran into the back of a Smart stopped at a zebra crossing

If the Smart hadn't been there, would you have overrun the crossing, though? Judging by the lack of damage, I'd guess not, which distinguishes you from this cyclist.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link

User: korenwolf
Date: 2008-04-03 12:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
if you're in a car, for instance, people generally don't pull out in front of you (too often),

Pretty much a daily thing in my experience, my default condition when driving is "assume the other road users have no brain and are actively trying to make me claim on my insurance".

Most of the time it's "can't be arsed to wait" or (this is a mini-roundabout special) "what!!! You're going round it rather than straight across, commie!!!"
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link

The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2008-04-03 13:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The difference I see is that when a car does it, it's (almost always) going through on the change. When cyclists do it, they seem to go through at any point of the cycle.

(Observational bias here - I don't live where you do.)

This means that the time you are most at risk from a rogue car is when the lights have just changed. As you don't usually know exactly when the opposing lights do change, you are already paying attention to the ends of the lines of traffic crossing, and since you won't be moving off before they have cleared, the effect is usually that you get delayed a bit.

By comparison, a car going through when the lights have been red for a while is incredibly dangerous. A cyclist going through at the same point is plain suicidal.

The modern road system being designed for cars, with pavements for pedestrians, cyclists do get a raw deal. As a motorist, I do try to give plenty of room, and I'm lucky to live somewhere where there don't seem to be hordes of insane cyclists.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link

User: xnamkrad
Date: 2008-04-03 18:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well in the last year alone
I've been hit by a cyclist barging thru a red light
My daughter was hit by a cyclist barging thru a red light
Witnessed a mother and child boarding a bus being hit by a cyclist who was between the bus and the footpath
Witnessed a cyclist almost go under a bus turning left at a junction which the cyclist tried to cross (while on the footpath)

In my experience many (not all) cyclists do not obey the rules of the road. It's very common place to see them going thru red lights at any time.
And yes there also many bad drivers as well.

One last word - I was driving thru Phoenix Park in Dublin one day, and on the radio was a talk about cyclist bad road behaviour. On each side of the main road there is a dedicated cycle lane - seperated from the road by about 12 ft, with a seperate foot path between. All with a large grass margin. I passed 7 cyclists on the road - not one was using the cycle paths.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link

User: xnamkrad
Date: 2008-04-04 08:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Cyclists are obliged to use the cycle path is one is there so it is illegal for them to use the road in those circumstances.

It was not an afterthought, merely a comment that not all dangerous behaviour on the roads is down to cyclists, and yes I agree more people are killed by cars.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link

User: mkillingworth
Date: 2008-04-03 20:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think the reason that cyclists who cross against the light or do other things that risk their lives get so much schtik is because the automobile drivers know that they would never be able to live with themselves if they killed someone with their car, even if it *was* the victim's own fault.

As for turning left on red - it's legal in most states in the US to turn right on red after stopping, which is the same thing as turning left here. It does help traffic flow.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link

Erik V. Olson
User: erikvolson
Date: 2008-04-04 14:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
In particular a turn left on red is (I gather, I don't do it myself) not really dangerous at all,

To cars, not really, but it's a very hostile thing to pedestrians. The US has almost universal right-on-red (since we drive on the right side) and what I've seen.

1) Nobody actually stops to make a right on red, as required. Indeed, they glance to see if a car is coming, then whip into the turn, occasionally hitting a pedestrian or cyclist who was finishing a green crossing.

2) The most ignored traffic control sign in the US is "Speed Limit XX." The second most is "No Right on Red." So, you now have people turning into protected crossings.

3) In dense traffic environments, you end up double feeding a section of road -- all the traffic on the green during turning right *and* all the traffic turning right on red. If the next section of road can't handle the extra flow, you get grid lock.

It might work, if drivers paid attention and followed the rules. In the US, these are two staggeringly bad assumptions.

Right-on-red really didn't buy us much in terms of safety or traffic flow.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link

Erik V. Olson
User: erikvolson
Date: 2008-04-04 14:29 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, as a cyclist, I'm against it, because I know many cyclist's regard for traffic law. There will be places where a no-left-on-red will be validly post it, and they'll ignore it.

Of course, they ignore it now, but the answer there is simple enforcement. You are a wheeled vehicle, act like one. We'll all get along better if we all follow the same rules.

One problem here in the US is there is a large minority of drivers who are very hostile to cyclists. This, of course, leads to a large minority of cyclists being very hostile to drivers -- see things like Critical Mass.

I don't have a good answer here.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link | Expand