Blame drivers for collisions

Blame drivers for collisions

Blame drivers for collisions

First published in News
Last updated

DRIVERS should automatically be held responsible for crashes with cyclists, according to a campaigner.

Paul Avison, vice chairman of the Colchester Cycling Campaign, has called for a law change.

It comes after Essex Police figures show crashes involving cyclists resulting in serious injuries or death rose 16 per cent last year.

Mr Avison wants the collisions to be treated in law as “strict liability” offences, meaning the motorist would be responsible, regardless of culpability.

But a senior traffic officer has described his idea as “totally flawed”.

Mr Avison said: “The most vulnerable road user should be protected.”

He claimed drivers would take more care if they knew they would be blamed if there was a crash.

He said: “I don’t think people should be worried about cycling.

“The health benefits outweigh the risks and there are a lot more people cycling.

“Things in Colchester have gone from bad to better for cyclists, but an awful lot more needs to be done.”

Mr Avison was backed by campaign group chairman, Professor Steffen Boehm, who said: “I believe this is the law in other European countries and that’s where the idea came from.

“I think it is a good idea because at the moment the law is slightly set against cyclists.”

But Inspector Steve Brewer, of Stanway traffic unit, said “In my opinion, it is totally flawed from the word go.

“We don’t work like that.

“We have to approach a scene with an open mind, gather the facts and evidence and speak to other witnesses and get verification of what’s happened.

“We could never turn up at collision involving a cyclist with the starting point being the motorist is at fault here.

“It would skew the investigation and it is a lawful requirement that we have to investigate and gather the evidence.

“Then we look at a way forward to see if someone needs to go on a driving course or go to the courts.”

Insp Brewer said in Essex, between April and August 2012 there were 37 incidents involving cyclists killed or seriously injured.

During that same period last year, there were 53.

Insp Brewer said the Essex figures reflected the national picture that incidents were on the rise.

However he said more cyclists were on the roads following enthusiam sparked by the 2012 Olympics and Tour de France.

Comments (45)

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9:25am Thu 30 Jan 14

PROOFREADER says...

Some cyclists ride in the dark without lights and wearing dark clothing therefore not making themselves easily visible. If they are hit then surely
they at least partly to blame.
Some cyclists ride in the dark without lights and wearing dark clothing therefore not making themselves easily visible. If they are hit then surely they at least partly to blame. PROOFREADER
  • Score: 60

9:33am Thu 30 Jan 14

The-Poker says...

Agreed PR, as soon as riders stop at all red traffic lights, ride the correct way down one way streets, don't cycle on pavements, have some form of road training, make themselves visible and have lights that work on their bike then, and only then will this CCC bloke have a point.
Up to then he's more likely to be Chair of the Barking Cycle Campaign!
Agreed PR, as soon as riders stop at all red traffic lights, ride the correct way down one way streets, don't cycle on pavements, have some form of road training, make themselves visible and have lights that work on their bike then, and only then will this CCC bloke have a point. Up to then he's more likely to be Chair of the Barking Cycle Campaign! The-Poker
  • Score: 49

9:47am Thu 30 Jan 14

cynicalsubber says...

So if a driver had hit the cyclist I saw late one night, with dark clothing, no lights, and cycling the wrong way round a roundabout, the driver would have been to blame? Absolute rubbish. We all know that most cyclists are sensible, but maybe they should be putting more pressure on the idiots that get them a bad name, rather than trying to make life harder for motorists.
So if a driver had hit the cyclist I saw late one night, with dark clothing, no lights, and cycling the wrong way round a roundabout, the driver would have been to blame? Absolute rubbish. We all know that most cyclists are sensible, but maybe they should be putting more pressure on the idiots that get them a bad name, rather than trying to make life harder for motorists. cynicalsubber
  • Score: 44

9:55am Thu 30 Jan 14

Valid comment says...

Paul Avison, vice chairman of the Colchester Cycling Campaign....
Take a cycle test
Pay road fund license.
Pay for an MOT on the bike.
Obey ALL the road laws (not just the ones you think apply to you)
Pay for insurance.
Even after you comply with all of these, you still cannot put forward your crackpot idea as it's....well to be blunt...CRACKPOT!
Paul Avison, vice chairman of the Colchester Cycling Campaign.... Take a cycle test Pay road fund license. Pay for an MOT on the bike. Obey ALL the road laws (not just the ones you think apply to you) Pay for insurance. Even after you comply with all of these, you still cannot put forward your crackpot idea as it's....well to be blunt...CRACKPOT! Valid comment
  • Score: 31

9:57am Thu 30 Jan 14

Route88 says...

PROOFREADER wrote:
Some cyclists ride in the dark without lights and wearing dark clothing therefore not making themselves easily visible. If they are hit then surely
they at least partly to blame.
There is an Act of Parliament which allows a judge to deduct damages from a claimant in a civil action if he/she finds that the claimant was partly responsible for some of his injuries.
[quote][p][bold]PROOFREADER[/bold] wrote: Some cyclists ride in the dark without lights and wearing dark clothing therefore not making themselves easily visible. If they are hit then surely they at least partly to blame.[/p][/quote]There is an Act of Parliament which allows a judge to deduct damages from a claimant in a civil action if he/she finds that the claimant was partly responsible for some of his injuries. Route88
  • Score: 11

10:02am Thu 30 Jan 14

Jack222 says...

Absolutely not! Some cyclists do stupid things as do some drivers. The assumption that all cyclists are perfect is ridiculous.
Absolutely not! Some cyclists do stupid things as do some drivers. The assumption that all cyclists are perfect is ridiculous. Jack222
  • Score: 34

10:25am Thu 30 Jan 14

romantic says...

Even as somebody who cycles every day, I have to say this sounds unfair on drivers. Yes, there are times when motorists just don't see you or overtake too close, but sadly there are far too many of my fellow cyclists who do stupid things. I watched somebody come flying down East Hill last week (on the pavement), straight across road entrances, dodging pedestrians, and then straight across the junction at the bottom without even slowing down. If a driver hits that cyclist, how can it be the driver's fault?

This kind of thing would only exacerbate the war which sometimes seems to exist between motorists and cyclists.
Even as somebody who cycles every day, I have to say this sounds unfair on drivers. Yes, there are times when motorists just don't see you or overtake too close, but sadly there are far too many of my fellow cyclists who do stupid things. I watched somebody come flying down East Hill last week (on the pavement), straight across road entrances, dodging pedestrians, and then straight across the junction at the bottom without even slowing down. If a driver hits that cyclist, how can it be the driver's fault? This kind of thing would only exacerbate the war which sometimes seems to exist between motorists and cyclists. romantic
  • Score: 29

10:39am Thu 30 Jan 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

Paul Avison is making stupid and crass statements that have absolutely no credibility and even less chance of anyone taking his viewpoint seriously. His comments do more harm than good and unfortunately only discredits genuine cycling campaigners who actually understand the law.

As others have said we see cyclists ignoring traffic lights, riding on pavements and carrying out dangerous and illegal manoeuvres so Paul Avison spend your time wisely and concentrate on what you can actually do to raise the profile of cyclists obeying the highway code which should improve matters of safety for all cyclists.
Paul Avison is making stupid and crass statements that have absolutely no credibility and even less chance of anyone taking his viewpoint seriously. His comments do more harm than good and unfortunately only discredits genuine cycling campaigners who actually understand the law. As others have said we see cyclists ignoring traffic lights, riding on pavements and carrying out dangerous and illegal manoeuvres so Paul Avison spend your time wisely and concentrate on what you can actually do to raise the profile of cyclists obeying the highway code which should improve matters of safety for all cyclists. Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 21

10:46am Thu 30 Jan 14

Ontheball says...

Utter drivel. Cyclists now think they are immune from all traffic regulations these days. They ride the wrong way in 'one'way' streets, ride on the footpathand disregard pedestrians at the same time, ignore traffic signals, do not use lights on the bikes and some don't even have brakes. They also place themselves in self-righteous positions on the road to cause the maximum annoyance to other road users.

In many cases they are the offender but if somethihg happens they come off worse, which makes me wonder about the intelligence of some of these bikers!!
Utter drivel. Cyclists now think they are immune from all traffic regulations these days. They ride the wrong way in 'one'way' streets, ride on the footpathand disregard pedestrians at the same time, ignore traffic signals, do not use lights on the bikes and some don't even have brakes. They also place themselves in self-righteous positions on the road to cause the maximum annoyance to other road users. In many cases they are the offender but if somethihg happens they come off worse, which makes me wonder about the intelligence of some of these bikers!! Ontheball
  • Score: 22

12:17pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Biggus Davus says...

Some motorists are idiots but all make mistakes at some point.
Some cyists are idiots but all make mistakes at some point.

Whenever these conversations come up the same old boring rhetoric keeps getting repeated from the pro motorists & pro cyclists , thank goodness the police are immune from such nonsense and treat each incident on the evidence in front of them.

If you can't share the roads safely you shouldn't be using them.
Some motorists are idiots but all make mistakes at some point. Some cyists are idiots but all make mistakes at some point. Whenever these conversations come up the same old boring rhetoric keeps getting repeated from the pro motorists & pro cyclists , thank goodness the police are immune from such nonsense and treat each incident on the evidence in front of them. If you can't share the roads safely you shouldn't be using them. Biggus Davus
  • Score: 19

12:46pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Scoot says...

Couldn't agree more with the other 'posters' on this. Firstly it should be made an offence for a cyclist to ride on a road when a perfectly suitable cycle path has been provided at the expense of all council tax payers. If there isn't a cycle path cyclists should be forced to 1. have working lights on their bikes and 2. wear a high viz jacket so they can be seen.
The real trouble makers who cause problems are the 'club' cyclists and the groups who seem to think that because they are all 'lycrad' up with their 'team sky' tops on they can ride en masse as if they are the peloton of the tour de france or use roads (near to the community stadium) as if it is their own velodrome. The police should prosecute the cyclists under rule 66 of the highway code when they ride more than 2 abreast on a main road and without due care and attention or consideration for other road users. Finally cyclists should face the same levels of prosecution when they break (the majority ignore) other parts of the road traffic act.
Couldn't agree more with the other 'posters' on this. Firstly it should be made an offence for a cyclist to ride on a road when a perfectly suitable cycle path has been provided at the expense of all council tax payers. If there isn't a cycle path cyclists should be forced to 1. have working lights on their bikes and 2. wear a high viz jacket so they can be seen. The real trouble makers who cause problems are the 'club' cyclists and the groups who seem to think that because they are all 'lycrad' up with their 'team sky' tops on they can ride en masse as if they are the peloton of the tour de france or use roads (near to the community stadium) as if it is their own velodrome. The police should prosecute the cyclists under rule 66 of the highway code when they ride more than 2 abreast on a main road and without due care and attention or consideration for other road users. Finally cyclists should face the same levels of prosecution when they break (the majority ignore) other parts of the road traffic act. Scoot
  • Score: 11

1:04pm Thu 30 Jan 14

omgwtfbbq says...

make it law that if there is a cycle route they must use it, that will keep them safe!
make them obey the highway code that says don't use lights in flashing mode in streets with no street lights, and don't dazzle other road users ( hight power front lights set aiming into drivers eyes are getting too common now)
make it law that if there is a cycle route they must use it, that will keep them safe! make them obey the highway code that says don't use lights in flashing mode in streets with no street lights, and don't dazzle other road users ( hight power front lights set aiming into drivers eyes are getting too common now) omgwtfbbq
  • Score: 7

1:14pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Carlosfandangles says...

well first of all, the idea lacks any credibility at all and I agree does more harm to the cause than good.

Secondly a good point about prosecuting cyclists who flout the law.........if you use the road, you adhere to the rules. However, this would have to be a civil offence ie a fixed penalty as many will not have licences anyway. ie children, non-drivers and so on.
well first of all, the idea lacks any credibility at all and I agree does more harm to the cause than good. Secondly a good point about prosecuting cyclists who flout the law.........if you use the road, you adhere to the rules. However, this would have to be a civil offence ie a fixed penalty as many will not have licences anyway. ie children, non-drivers and so on. Carlosfandangles
  • Score: 11

1:33pm Thu 30 Jan 14

fact says...

So now car drivers will have to be prepared when in stationary traffic then. Not only to look out for when it is their right to move forward but look out for bikes that decide to ride into the back of you. Whilst sitting in stationary traffic recently my husband heard a screech of breaks. A cyclist rode straight into the back of his car, head butted the rear window, composed himself and then rode away as quick as he could before my husband could see if he was OK. Luckily the car isn't a lowish one or the cyclist would have flown straight over and landed on the bonnet. So now we have scratches down the back of the car and a cracked rear light thanks to an incompetent cyclist that can't obey road rules, and this Mr Avison wants to lay the blame at car drivers.
So now car drivers will have to be prepared when in stationary traffic then. Not only to look out for when it is their right to move forward but look out for bikes that decide to ride into the back of you. Whilst sitting in stationary traffic recently my husband heard a screech of breaks. A cyclist rode straight into the back of his car, head butted the rear window, composed himself and then rode away as quick as he could before my husband could see if he was OK. Luckily the car isn't a lowish one or the cyclist would have flown straight over and landed on the bonnet. So now we have scratches down the back of the car and a cracked rear light thanks to an incompetent cyclist that can't obey road rules, and this Mr Avison wants to lay the blame at car drivers. fact
  • Score: 11

1:36pm Thu 30 Jan 14

tizwaz says...

PROOFREADER wrote:
Some cyclists ride in the dark without lights and wearing dark clothing therefore not making themselves easily visible. If they are hit then surely
they at least partly to blame.
entirely to blame you should of said
[quote][p][bold]PROOFREADER[/bold] wrote: Some cyclists ride in the dark without lights and wearing dark clothing therefore not making themselves easily visible. If they are hit then surely they at least partly to blame.[/p][/quote]entirely to blame you should of said tizwaz
  • Score: 6

1:48pm Thu 30 Jan 14

TheCaptain says...

Scoot wrote:
Couldn't agree more with the other 'posters' on this. Firstly it should be made an offence for a cyclist to ride on a road when a perfectly suitable cycle path has been provided at the expense of all council tax payers. If there isn't a cycle path cyclists should be forced to 1. have working lights on their bikes and 2. wear a high viz jacket so they can be seen.
The real trouble makers who cause problems are the 'club' cyclists and the groups who seem to think that because they are all 'lycrad' up with their 'team sky' tops on they can ride en masse as if they are the peloton of the tour de france or use roads (near to the community stadium) as if it is their own velodrome. The police should prosecute the cyclists under rule 66 of the highway code when they ride more than 2 abreast on a main road and without due care and attention or consideration for other road users. Finally cyclists should face the same levels of prosecution when they break (the majority ignore) other parts of the road traffic act.
I saw such a group on Mersea Road avoid traffic lights for road works by cycling on masse at speed onto the pavement regardless of any pedestrians. Nice.
[quote][p][bold]Scoot[/bold] wrote: Couldn't agree more with the other 'posters' on this. Firstly it should be made an offence for a cyclist to ride on a road when a perfectly suitable cycle path has been provided at the expense of all council tax payers. If there isn't a cycle path cyclists should be forced to 1. have working lights on their bikes and 2. wear a high viz jacket so they can be seen. The real trouble makers who cause problems are the 'club' cyclists and the groups who seem to think that because they are all 'lycrad' up with their 'team sky' tops on they can ride en masse as if they are the peloton of the tour de france or use roads (near to the community stadium) as if it is their own velodrome. The police should prosecute the cyclists under rule 66 of the highway code when they ride more than 2 abreast on a main road and without due care and attention or consideration for other road users. Finally cyclists should face the same levels of prosecution when they break (the majority ignore) other parts of the road traffic act.[/p][/quote]I saw such a group on Mersea Road avoid traffic lights for road works by cycling on masse at speed onto the pavement regardless of any pedestrians. Nice. TheCaptain
  • Score: 6

2:27pm Thu 30 Jan 14

stevedawson says...

People on here might think the guilt lies with the motorist in all cases is uter drivell.it might be as far as the police are concerned, but the insurance companys hold the motorist at fault.
People on here might think the guilt lies with the motorist in all cases is uter drivell.it might be as far as the police are concerned, but the insurance companys hold the motorist at fault. stevedawson
  • Score: -1

8:24pm Thu 30 Jan 14

colchester300yrs says...

Mr Avison said: “The most vulnerable road user should be protected.”

I say: "The most idiotic should be prosecuted"

I once witnessed a cyclist going head over heels after bouncing off a car. He did not brake or stop at a roundabout. His excuse for this was "I wear special shoes and cannot put my foot down to stop" - well the law requires him to stop, therefore he is utterly at fault, and such appliances should be banned. He was also wearing dark glasses (in low light) and earphones, listening to music - not acceptable in traffic.

I also know of one cycling club in Essex who frequently arranges long distance rides with several stops at rural pubs. By the time they're finished, they've all had beer - whilst using the road.

Now for a point of law - Under various acts of parliament, some dating back a few years at least - a road is a public "right of way", and the public are only allowed to use said rights of way to "pass and re-pass". This is open to interpretation, but is widely held to mean that you may use the roads to go from A to B. Therefore cyclists who are using the road for recreation or entertainment, as some of them do, are not lawfully using the road.

Similarly, all car insurance contains a clause that you may not use the car for time trials or racing on the public road, yet cyclists do this all the time. It should be stopped. The roads are not playgrounds - by law.

Furthermore, in this country, you can lawfully be partially sighted, ignorant of all road rules and incapable of reading a road sign, and ride a bicycle on the A12.

What is required is for cyclists to be separated from motor vehicles, banned from riding on some rural roads, especially at night, trained, insured etc. The car driver (and every other road user) is already subject to all of this.

At the end of the day a lycra clad person versus 2 tons of car or 40 tons of truck is going to lose.

But of course, they think otherwise, and as they club together, rest assured that any prosecution would be publicised to wild claims of discrimination and political incorrectness, so the police won't do so (if there were any about to catch them anyway).
Mr Avison said: “The most vulnerable road user should be protected.” I say: "The most idiotic should be prosecuted" I once witnessed a cyclist going head over heels after bouncing off a car. He did not brake or stop at a roundabout. His excuse for this was "I wear special shoes and cannot put my foot down to stop" - well the law requires him to stop, therefore he is utterly at fault, and such appliances should be banned. He was also wearing dark glasses (in low light) and earphones, listening to music - not acceptable in traffic. I also know of one cycling club in Essex who frequently arranges long distance rides with several stops at rural pubs. By the time they're finished, they've all had beer - whilst using the road. Now for a point of law - Under various acts of parliament, some dating back a few years at least - a road is a public "right of way", and the public are only allowed to use said rights of way to "pass and re-pass". This is open to interpretation, but is widely held to mean that you may use the roads to go from A to B. Therefore cyclists who are using the road for recreation or entertainment, as some of them do, are not lawfully using the road. Similarly, all car insurance contains a clause that you may not use the car for time trials or racing on the public road, yet cyclists do this all the time. It should be stopped. The roads are not playgrounds - by law. Furthermore, in this country, you can lawfully be partially sighted, ignorant of all road rules and incapable of reading a road sign, and ride a bicycle on the A12. What is required is for cyclists to be separated from motor vehicles, banned from riding on some rural roads, especially at night, trained, insured etc. The car driver (and every other road user) is already subject to all of this. At the end of the day a lycra clad person versus 2 tons of car or 40 tons of truck is going to lose. But of course, they think otherwise, and as they club together, rest assured that any prosecution would be publicised to wild claims of discrimination and political incorrectness, so the police won't do so (if there were any about to catch them anyway). colchester300yrs
  • Score: 7

8:26pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Boris says...

The police should set up frequent roadblocks to stop cyclists and test whether their brakes work, whether they have a working bell, and most importantly whether they have working lights. Then they should fine those who are out of order.
Unfortunately they don't seem to be interested in cyclists, but they should be.
The police should set up frequent roadblocks to stop cyclists and test whether their brakes work, whether they have a working bell, and most importantly whether they have working lights. Then they should fine those who are out of order. Unfortunately they don't seem to be interested in cyclists, but they should be. Boris
  • Score: 4

10:43pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Harry-Brown says...

Boris wrote:
The police should set up frequent roadblocks to stop cyclists and test whether their brakes work, whether they have a working bell, and most importantly whether they have working lights. Then they should fine those who are out of order.
Unfortunately they don't seem to be interested in cyclists, but they should be.
thats complete rubbish
im on the side of the biker powered or pedals.
you hit a bike your done until proved otherwise.
car drivers are like 2 ton bombs from the war unguided
with women behind them they are nuclear devices.
the amount of crashes i see with birds driving cars is nuts!
they sit there crying their eyes out or pretending they have whiplash
and wait for a bone wagon and the cops to turn up
you look at the next smash up in the morning and see who's driving
and count how many of them are puffing ciggies at the wheel
for bikers of all kinds they got no chance while they are on the phone
or doing the make up or maybe playing with themselves.
ive been knocked off me bike more times than i can think
hence im senile.
[quote][p][bold]Boris[/bold] wrote: The police should set up frequent roadblocks to stop cyclists and test whether their brakes work, whether they have a working bell, and most importantly whether they have working lights. Then they should fine those who are out of order. Unfortunately they don't seem to be interested in cyclists, but they should be.[/p][/quote]thats complete rubbish im on the side of the biker powered or pedals. you hit a bike your done until proved otherwise. car drivers are like 2 ton bombs from the war unguided with women behind them they are nuclear devices. the amount of crashes i see with birds driving cars is nuts! they sit there crying their eyes out or pretending they have whiplash and wait for a bone wagon and the cops to turn up you look at the next smash up in the morning and see who's driving and count how many of them are puffing ciggies at the wheel for bikers of all kinds they got no chance while they are on the phone or doing the make up or maybe playing with themselves. ive been knocked off me bike more times than i can think hence im senile. Harry-Brown
  • Score: -17

10:47pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Misty4 says...

I was in Clacton a few weeks ago when I saw two rough-looking men on a bike (not a tandem - an ordinary bike) near the library. Suddenly, without any warning at all, the man who was at the front turned sharply into the path of a car. He didn't even look around. The car driver braked and missed them by a whisker. If he had hit them - two men on one bike who turn suddenly without any warning at all into the path of a car - how could it possibly have been the driver's fault?
I was in Clacton a few weeks ago when I saw two rough-looking men on a bike (not a tandem - an ordinary bike) near the library. Suddenly, without any warning at all, the man who was at the front turned sharply into the path of a car. He didn't even look around. The car driver braked and missed them by a whisker. If he had hit them - two men on one bike who turn suddenly without any warning at all into the path of a car - how could it possibly have been the driver's fault? Misty4
  • Score: 5

11:16pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Dark_Wolf says...

Oh what a bunch of whiners we have here! Obviously you took the bait of this misleading news article to heart & then add yet more drivel.
Presumed liability isnt new, its in other Countries & it does not mean to blame. If you are asked to give a breath test, its presumed you might have been drinking. Dont mean you have or any guilt of doing so.
As for 'road' tax, I be happy to pay it when you drivers do! It was abolished in 1937, do your research! Try ipayroadtax.com
Insurance, more cyclists do have insurance than you think! need to for the cost of the high spec bikes & lawyers when knocked off.
Cycling Tests & MOT's, yeah that really has worked for drivers hasnt it? what you seem to forget is most cyclists have full driving or riding licenses.
You may have seen cyclists doing wrong, bet you dont notice the ones that are law abiding or if you have you probably whinged they holding you up & then you pass to close & thus are law breakers yourself! I have many clips on video of drivers, cyclists & pedestrians all doing wrong as do many other cyclists. This holier than thou attitude of drivers is a joke, I bet none of you keep to the speed limit or kept to every law on the road?
As for dark clothing, perhaps you like pedestrians all to be in hi-viz to? Not that it matters, I wore hi-viz for 2yrs & still drivers fail to see the bright yellow jacket! Perhaps looking properly when driving be more useful? I will now wear my dark Proviz cycling jacket thanks & be more visible with it than any hi-viz.
Cycle lanes, make us use them? Sure when they are the correct width, how would you like to drive in a lane narrower than your car? Perhaps you should support #space4cycling to get a road system like they have in the Netherlands so we all have places to use on the roads. oh & Netherlands have liabilty laws & it does work!

So before you moan, do your research & keep an eye out! I am a law abiding non-lycra cyclist who's happy to share the road. If you cant share nicely as per your driving license requirement, perhaps it is you who shouldnt be on the road!
Oh what a bunch of whiners we have here! Obviously you took the bait of this misleading news article to heart & then add yet more drivel. Presumed liability isnt new, its in other Countries & it does not mean to blame. If you are asked to give a breath test, its presumed you might have been drinking. Dont mean you have or any guilt of doing so. As for 'road' tax, I be happy to pay it when you drivers do! It was abolished in 1937, do your research! Try ipayroadtax.com Insurance, more cyclists do have insurance than you think! need to for the cost of the high spec bikes & lawyers when knocked off. Cycling Tests & MOT's, yeah that really has worked for drivers hasnt it? what you seem to forget is most cyclists have full driving or riding licenses. You may have seen cyclists doing wrong, bet you dont notice the ones that are law abiding or if you have you probably whinged they holding you up & then you pass to close & thus are law breakers yourself! I have many clips on video of drivers, cyclists & pedestrians all doing wrong as do many other cyclists. This holier than thou attitude of drivers is a joke, I bet none of you keep to the speed limit or kept to every law on the road? As for dark clothing, perhaps you like pedestrians all to be in hi-viz to? Not that it matters, I wore hi-viz for 2yrs & still drivers fail to see the bright yellow jacket! Perhaps looking properly when driving be more useful? I will now wear my dark Proviz cycling jacket thanks & be more visible with it than any hi-viz. Cycle lanes, make us use them? Sure when they are the correct width, how would you like to drive in a lane narrower than your car? Perhaps you should support #space4cycling to get a road system like they have in the Netherlands so we all have places to use on the roads. oh & Netherlands have liabilty laws & it does work! So before you moan, do your research & keep an eye out! I am a law abiding non-lycra cyclist who's happy to share the road. If you cant share nicely as per your driving license requirement, perhaps it is you who shouldnt be on the road! Dark_Wolf
  • Score: -12

8:50am Fri 31 Jan 14

Say It As It Is OK? says...

Dark_Wolf wrote:
Oh what a bunch of whiners we have here! Obviously you took the bait of this misleading news article to heart & then add yet more drivel.
Presumed liability isnt new, its in other Countries & it does not mean to blame. If you are asked to give a breath test, its presumed you might have been drinking. Dont mean you have or any guilt of doing so.
As for 'road' tax, I be happy to pay it when you drivers do! It was abolished in 1937, do your research! Try ipayroadtax.com
Insurance, more cyclists do have insurance than you think! need to for the cost of the high spec bikes & lawyers when knocked off.
Cycling Tests & MOT's, yeah that really has worked for drivers hasnt it? what you seem to forget is most cyclists have full driving or riding licenses.
You may have seen cyclists doing wrong, bet you dont notice the ones that are law abiding or if you have you probably whinged they holding you up & then you pass to close & thus are law breakers yourself! I have many clips on video of drivers, cyclists & pedestrians all doing wrong as do many other cyclists. This holier than thou attitude of drivers is a joke, I bet none of you keep to the speed limit or kept to every law on the road?
As for dark clothing, perhaps you like pedestrians all to be in hi-viz to? Not that it matters, I wore hi-viz for 2yrs & still drivers fail to see the bright yellow jacket! Perhaps looking properly when driving be more useful? I will now wear my dark Proviz cycling jacket thanks & be more visible with it than any hi-viz.
Cycle lanes, make us use them? Sure when they are the correct width, how would you like to drive in a lane narrower than your car? Perhaps you should support #space4cycling to get a road system like they have in the Netherlands so we all have places to use on the roads. oh & Netherlands have liabilty laws & it does work!

So before you moan, do your research & keep an eye out! I am a law abiding non-lycra cyclist who's happy to share the road. If you cant share nicely as per your driving license requirement, perhaps it is you who shouldnt be on the road!
Fully agree with your comments regarding Road Tax but while there are both cyclists and motorists hell bent on blaming the other with then the issues raised will never get resolved. However your stance is confrontational and does no good for your cause.The fact is in a collision the cyclist is always going to come off worse and as an infrequent cyclist myself and a motorist I always err on the side of caution. Lets hope all cyclists and motorists do the same.
[quote][p][bold]Dark_Wolf[/bold] wrote: Oh what a bunch of whiners we have here! Obviously you took the bait of this misleading news article to heart & then add yet more drivel. Presumed liability isnt new, its in other Countries & it does not mean to blame. If you are asked to give a breath test, its presumed you might have been drinking. Dont mean you have or any guilt of doing so. As for 'road' tax, I be happy to pay it when you drivers do! It was abolished in 1937, do your research! Try ipayroadtax.com Insurance, more cyclists do have insurance than you think! need to for the cost of the high spec bikes & lawyers when knocked off. Cycling Tests & MOT's, yeah that really has worked for drivers hasnt it? what you seem to forget is most cyclists have full driving or riding licenses. You may have seen cyclists doing wrong, bet you dont notice the ones that are law abiding or if you have you probably whinged they holding you up & then you pass to close & thus are law breakers yourself! I have many clips on video of drivers, cyclists & pedestrians all doing wrong as do many other cyclists. This holier than thou attitude of drivers is a joke, I bet none of you keep to the speed limit or kept to every law on the road? As for dark clothing, perhaps you like pedestrians all to be in hi-viz to? Not that it matters, I wore hi-viz for 2yrs & still drivers fail to see the bright yellow jacket! Perhaps looking properly when driving be more useful? I will now wear my dark Proviz cycling jacket thanks & be more visible with it than any hi-viz. Cycle lanes, make us use them? Sure when they are the correct width, how would you like to drive in a lane narrower than your car? Perhaps you should support #space4cycling to get a road system like they have in the Netherlands so we all have places to use on the roads. oh & Netherlands have liabilty laws & it does work! So before you moan, do your research & keep an eye out! I am a law abiding non-lycra cyclist who's happy to share the road. If you cant share nicely as per your driving license requirement, perhaps it is you who shouldnt be on the road![/p][/quote]Fully agree with your comments regarding Road Tax but while there are both cyclists and motorists hell bent on blaming the other with then the issues raised will never get resolved. However your stance is confrontational and does no good for your cause.The fact is in a collision the cyclist is always going to come off worse and as an infrequent cyclist myself and a motorist I always err on the side of caution. Lets hope all cyclists and motorists do the same. Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 4

8:59am Fri 31 Jan 14

Brooks Forbutox says...

Let's stop trolling and ranting and get this into perspective:

1 Cyclists, drivers and pedestrians all need to act within the law and observe the rules of the Highway Code.
2 There are bad cyclists and bad drivers, probably in equal proportion.
3 People choose to ride bikes for faster shorter journeys, personal health or environmental reasons. They have the right to be on the road.
4 Cyclists need road justice (http://www.roadjust
ice.org.uk); too many are being killed and injured, with drivers getting just a slap on the wrist. The "share the road" culture has all but failed.
5 How many motorists on a jury think "there but for the grace of God go I" before finding in favour of a driver in a case involving a defence of "Sorry mate I didn't see you" ... or the other excuses trotted out all too frequently?
6 The government should insist on better training. Motorists should undergo five-yearly tests. Bikeability cycle training should be more widely available for adults as well as children.
7 Strict liability is important but only a small part of the solution. We need sustainable safety (see below)
8 Strict liability applies to civil law, not criminal law. A driver would be held to be financially responsible ** unless they can show (not prove) the cyclist/pedestrian was being reckless**. The test for recklessness would not apply in collisions with child cyclists or pedestrians aged ten and under.
9 Drivers choose to take a ton of metal on to the road; they should accept the extra responsibility that this implies.
10 It's the heavy/fast car/van/truck that does most of the damage, not the push bike.
11 At the moment we have the ridiculous situation where a cyclist or pedestrian is seriously injured, possibly hospitalised or off work for several months, and then they have to jump through hoops to get financial compensation.
12 Strict liability applies to traffic collisions all over continental Europe and also some states in the US.
13 It's seen as a way to protect the weaker party and already applied in Britain with accidents at work and trading standards, so it's not a foreign concept. Moreover, it also applies to rear-end shunts between cars.
14 We need strict liability — but we need a culture of sustainable safety more. This would apply to all road users and is the "principle of design that makes roads easy to use, self explanatory and safe by default"*, minimising the chances of crashes.
15 Sustainable safety would include a network of 20mph roads; roads at more than 20mph should have separate high-quality cycle routes suitable for all cyclists. Cycles and pedestrians on bike routes should have priority over minor junctions and improved provision at traffic-light controlled junctions
16 Finally, let's dispense with the old arguments: "road tax" was scrapped by Winston Churchill, and it's been car tax since then (not all drivers pay car tax); money for roads comes from general taxation like the council tax. Most cyclists pay these taxes and many also drive, so they pay car tax too. Many cyclists have personal liability insurance through their home insurance or membership of a cycling group.

* http://www.aviewfrom
thecyclepath.com/201
2/01/campaign-for-su
stainable-safety-not
.html
Let's stop trolling and ranting and get this into perspective: 1 Cyclists, drivers and pedestrians all need to act within the law and observe the rules of the Highway Code. 2 There are bad cyclists and bad drivers, probably in equal proportion. 3 People choose to ride bikes for faster shorter journeys, personal health or environmental reasons. They have the right to be on the road. 4 Cyclists need road justice (http://www.roadjust ice.org.uk); too many are being killed and injured, with drivers getting just a slap on the wrist. The "share the road" culture has all but failed. 5 How many motorists on a jury think "there but for the grace of God go I" before finding in favour of a driver in a case involving a defence of "Sorry mate I didn't see you" ... or the other excuses trotted out all too frequently? 6 The government should insist on better training. Motorists should undergo five-yearly tests. Bikeability cycle training should be more widely available for adults as well as children. 7 Strict liability is important but only a small part of the solution. We need sustainable safety (see below) 8 Strict liability applies to civil law, not criminal law. A driver would be held to be financially responsible ** unless they can show (not prove) the cyclist/pedestrian was being reckless**. The test for recklessness would not apply in collisions with child cyclists or pedestrians aged ten and under. 9 Drivers choose to take a ton of metal on to the road; they should accept the extra responsibility that this implies. 10 It's the heavy/fast car/van/truck that does most of the damage, not the push bike. 11 At the moment we have the ridiculous situation where a cyclist or pedestrian is seriously injured, possibly hospitalised or off work for several months, and then they have to jump through hoops to get financial compensation. 12 Strict liability applies to traffic collisions all over continental Europe and also some states in the US. 13 It's seen as a way to protect the weaker party and already applied in Britain with accidents at work and trading standards, so it's not a foreign concept. Moreover, it also applies to rear-end shunts between cars. 14 We need strict liability — but we need a culture of sustainable safety more. This would apply to all road users and is the "principle of design that makes roads easy to use, self explanatory and safe by default"*, minimising the chances of crashes. 15 Sustainable safety would include a network of 20mph roads; roads at more than 20mph should have separate high-quality cycle routes suitable for all cyclists. Cycles and pedestrians on bike routes should have priority over minor junctions and improved provision at traffic-light controlled junctions 16 Finally, let's dispense with the old arguments: "road tax" was scrapped by Winston Churchill, and it's been car tax since then (not all drivers pay car tax); money for roads comes from general taxation like the council tax. Most cyclists pay these taxes and many also drive, so they pay car tax too. Many cyclists have personal liability insurance through their home insurance or membership of a cycling group. * http://www.aviewfrom thecyclepath.com/201 2/01/campaign-for-su stainable-safety-not .html Brooks Forbutox
  • Score: -3

9:34am Fri 31 Jan 14

Scoot says...

@ Dark Wolf & Brooks - How many cars do you see ignoring red lights compared to Bikes ? How many cars do you see at night without lights compared to bikes ? How many cars do you see undertaking at vast speed without slowing down when they can see slower moving vehicles who are already indicating to turn left ?
Yes there are law abiding cyclists but they appear to be in the MINORITY as opposed to a MAJORITY of car drivers.
@ Dark Wolf & Brooks - How many cars do you see ignoring red lights compared to Bikes ? How many cars do you see at night without lights compared to bikes ? How many cars do you see undertaking at vast speed without slowing down when they can see slower moving vehicles who are already indicating to turn left ? Yes there are law abiding cyclists but they appear to be in the MINORITY as opposed to a MAJORITY of car drivers. Scoot
  • Score: 8

10:14am Fri 31 Jan 14

Jess Jephcott says...

The onus is on car drivers to watch out for all road users, especially vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists. Speed kills. Too many car drivers, if not every car driver, exceeds the speed limits imposed by law. Just because it was a car driver's right of way is no justification to kill somebody. The smug comments I read here from car drivers are so depressing. I'm allright Jack.
The onus is on car drivers to watch out for all road users, especially vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists. Speed kills. Too many car drivers, if not every car driver, exceeds the speed limits imposed by law. Just because it was a car driver's right of way is no justification to kill somebody. The smug comments I read here from car drivers are so depressing. I'm allright Jack. Jess Jephcott
  • Score: -4

11:38am Fri 31 Jan 14

Catchedicam says...

Jess Jephcott wrote:
The onus is on car drivers to watch out for all road users, especially vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists. Speed kills. Too many car drivers, if not every car driver, exceeds the speed limits imposed by law. Just because it was a car driver's right of way is no justification to kill somebody. The smug comments I read here from car drivers are so depressing. I'm allright Jack.
Quite right Jess, that car drives need to be aware, when we drive we are aware of the expected regimented rules of the road, what we fail to be aware of are the totally unexpected, i.e. cyclists flying up on the blindside out from an adjacent line of cars and then cutting sharply in front of the car. I nearly got one in springfield road Chelmsford last year doing just that. By the time it registered that he was there it was almost too late, I instinctively braked and narrowly missed him, the car two cars behind me was less fortunate and hit the car behind me.

All road users have a responsibility to each other and driving or riding like an idiot increases the likelihood of being involved in an accident, if you are a cyclist or motorcyclist then the chances are you will come off worst. Many years on a motorbike taught me that defensive riding was the way to go if you wanted a reasonable chance of living past your 20's.
[quote][p][bold]Jess Jephcott[/bold] wrote: The onus is on car drivers to watch out for all road users, especially vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists. Speed kills. Too many car drivers, if not every car driver, exceeds the speed limits imposed by law. Just because it was a car driver's right of way is no justification to kill somebody. The smug comments I read here from car drivers are so depressing. I'm allright Jack.[/p][/quote]Quite right Jess, that car drives need to be aware, when we drive we are aware of the expected regimented rules of the road, what we fail to be aware of are the totally unexpected, i.e. cyclists flying up on the blindside out from an adjacent line of cars and then cutting sharply in front of the car. I nearly got one in springfield road Chelmsford last year doing just that. By the time it registered that he was there it was almost too late, I instinctively braked and narrowly missed him, the car two cars behind me was less fortunate and hit the car behind me. All road users have a responsibility to each other and driving or riding like an idiot increases the likelihood of being involved in an accident, if you are a cyclist or motorcyclist then the chances are you will come off worst. Many years on a motorbike taught me that defensive riding was the way to go if you wanted a reasonable chance of living past your 20's. Catchedicam
  • Score: 3

12:05pm Fri 31 Jan 14

romantic says...

colchester300yrs wrote:
Mr Avison said: “The most vulnerable road user should be protected.”

I say: "The most idiotic should be prosecuted"

I once witnessed a cyclist going head over heels after bouncing off a car. He did not brake or stop at a roundabout. His excuse for this was "I wear special shoes and cannot put my foot down to stop" - well the law requires him to stop, therefore he is utterly at fault, and such appliances should be banned. He was also wearing dark glasses (in low light) and earphones, listening to music - not acceptable in traffic.

I also know of one cycling club in Essex who frequently arranges long distance rides with several stops at rural pubs. By the time they're finished, they've all had beer - whilst using the road.

Now for a point of law - Under various acts of parliament, some dating back a few years at least - a road is a public "right of way", and the public are only allowed to use said rights of way to "pass and re-pass". This is open to interpretation, but is widely held to mean that you may use the roads to go from A to B. Therefore cyclists who are using the road for recreation or entertainment, as some of them do, are not lawfully using the road.

Similarly, all car insurance contains a clause that you may not use the car for time trials or racing on the public road, yet cyclists do this all the time. It should be stopped. The roads are not playgrounds - by law.

Furthermore, in this country, you can lawfully be partially sighted, ignorant of all road rules and incapable of reading a road sign, and ride a bicycle on the A12.

What is required is for cyclists to be separated from motor vehicles, banned from riding on some rural roads, especially at night, trained, insured etc. The car driver (and every other road user) is already subject to all of this.

At the end of the day a lycra clad person versus 2 tons of car or 40 tons of truck is going to lose.

But of course, they think otherwise, and as they club together, rest assured that any prosecution would be publicised to wild claims of discrimination and political incorrectness, so the police won't do so (if there were any about to catch them anyway).
I can't disagree that some cyclists ride in a stupid way. I cycle every day, and I am one of those who waits at traffic lights and follows signs. Having been knocked off in the past, I always view every driver as potentially an idiot with a 2-ton metal shield. Of course, when I am a driver, I am also potentially that idiot. I agree that "The most idiotic should be prosecuted", if only for their own safety, because they will come off worse in a collision with a car. I see too many people, many of them frankly old enough to know better, flying along the pavement, oblivious to anybody stepping out of their door, or cars emerging from a driveway.

I would be intrigued to know the laws you refer to regarding rights of way. If a cyclist cannot use the road for "recreation or entertainment", surely this would apply to motorists too! Look at a road map of the country from the past, and you will see that most roads were there long before the motorised vehicle was invented. My understanding of it is that many roads were improved greatly because of the new-fangled craze for cycling in the second half of the Victorian era, so in fact, the cars could be seen as the Johnny-come-Latelys.


Cyclists are permitted on all roads unless specifically banned (for example, on motorways and some dual carriageways). Why anybody would be insane enough to cycle on the A12 is beyond me, as there is normally either a path alongside or a parallel route. But legally, it is permitted. I would think there is a fair case for making it illegal. Having said that, the club cyclists do tend to use it at the quiet periods, for example on a Sunday morning, not in rush hour. I don't drive the A12 every day, but I don't think there are vast numbers of cyclists on there at other times.

As a cyclist, I would love nothing more than to be separated from the road! Colchester has a pretty good cycle path network. It is possible to get to most places without being on the main roads, and that suits me just fine. If I am on a busy road and there is a path next to it, I will use it if there are no pedestrians. Legally, that is wrong, but I consider it is safer for me and the motorist, who would otherwise be trying to overtake. There are some roads where it is just road, no footpath, and no real alternative route. For example, if I cycle to Brightlingsea, there is no avoiding being on the main road with fast traffic passing by. Such stretches of road are not relaxing to cycle, believe me. In an ideal world, every major route would have a separated cycle path next to it, but the logistics of that are impossible in many places.

Cyclists do have to think about visibility. If you are a driver, a cyclist without any lights on, no hi-vis etc is almost invisible until the last second. It is the responsibility of the cyclist to have brakes which work, tyres pumped up etc. But I don't agree that there can be a blanket ban on bikes using roads at night. Everyone who uses the roads has a responsibility to be aware of other users. Like it or not, a car will damage a cyclist far more than the other way around, so the onus is on the driver a bit more. But it is also the case that cyclists have to think: What if I was a driver? Would I be seen? Could they stop? It is wrong to make it automatically the drivers fault, but drivers do have to make sure they really are aware of not just what they see right now, but what might be around the corner.

As a cyclist and motorist, I see plenty of drivers who are "partially sighted, ignorant of all road rules and incapable of reading a road sign". They are also legally on the A12. Both sides have to give a bit in this debate, as it seems to be a topic which polarises opinions.
[quote][p][bold]colchester300yrs[/bold] wrote: Mr Avison said: “The most vulnerable road user should be protected.” I say: "The most idiotic should be prosecuted" I once witnessed a cyclist going head over heels after bouncing off a car. He did not brake or stop at a roundabout. His excuse for this was "I wear special shoes and cannot put my foot down to stop" - well the law requires him to stop, therefore he is utterly at fault, and such appliances should be banned. He was also wearing dark glasses (in low light) and earphones, listening to music - not acceptable in traffic. I also know of one cycling club in Essex who frequently arranges long distance rides with several stops at rural pubs. By the time they're finished, they've all had beer - whilst using the road. Now for a point of law - Under various acts of parliament, some dating back a few years at least - a road is a public "right of way", and the public are only allowed to use said rights of way to "pass and re-pass". This is open to interpretation, but is widely held to mean that you may use the roads to go from A to B. Therefore cyclists who are using the road for recreation or entertainment, as some of them do, are not lawfully using the road. Similarly, all car insurance contains a clause that you may not use the car for time trials or racing on the public road, yet cyclists do this all the time. It should be stopped. The roads are not playgrounds - by law. Furthermore, in this country, you can lawfully be partially sighted, ignorant of all road rules and incapable of reading a road sign, and ride a bicycle on the A12. What is required is for cyclists to be separated from motor vehicles, banned from riding on some rural roads, especially at night, trained, insured etc. The car driver (and every other road user) is already subject to all of this. At the end of the day a lycra clad person versus 2 tons of car or 40 tons of truck is going to lose. But of course, they think otherwise, and as they club together, rest assured that any prosecution would be publicised to wild claims of discrimination and political incorrectness, so the police won't do so (if there were any about to catch them anyway).[/p][/quote]I can't disagree that some cyclists ride in a stupid way. I cycle every day, and I am one of those who waits at traffic lights and follows signs. Having been knocked off in the past, I always view every driver as potentially an idiot with a 2-ton metal shield. Of course, when I am a driver, I am also potentially that idiot. I agree that "The most idiotic should be prosecuted", if only for their own safety, because they will come off worse in a collision with a car. I see too many people, many of them frankly old enough to know better, flying along the pavement, oblivious to anybody stepping out of their door, or cars emerging from a driveway. I would be intrigued to know the laws you refer to regarding rights of way. If a cyclist cannot use the road for "recreation or entertainment", surely this would apply to motorists too! Look at a road map of the country from the past, and you will see that most roads were there long before the motorised vehicle was invented. My understanding of it is that many roads were improved greatly because of the new-fangled craze for cycling in the second half of the Victorian era, so in fact, the cars could be seen as the Johnny-come-Latelys. Cyclists are permitted on all roads unless specifically banned (for example, on motorways and some dual carriageways). Why anybody would be insane enough to cycle on the A12 is beyond me, as there is normally either a path alongside or a parallel route. But legally, it is permitted. I would think there is a fair case for making it illegal. Having said that, the club cyclists do tend to use it at the quiet periods, for example on a Sunday morning, not in rush hour. I don't drive the A12 every day, but I don't think there are vast numbers of cyclists on there at other times. As a cyclist, I would love nothing more than to be separated from the road! Colchester has a pretty good cycle path network. It is possible to get to most places without being on the main roads, and that suits me just fine. If I am on a busy road and there is a path next to it, I will use it if there are no pedestrians. Legally, that is wrong, but I consider it is safer for me and the motorist, who would otherwise be trying to overtake. There are some roads where it is just road, no footpath, and no real alternative route. For example, if I cycle to Brightlingsea, there is no avoiding being on the main road with fast traffic passing by. Such stretches of road are not relaxing to cycle, believe me. In an ideal world, every major route would have a separated cycle path next to it, but the logistics of that are impossible in many places. Cyclists do have to think about visibility. If you are a driver, a cyclist without any lights on, no hi-vis etc is almost invisible until the last second. It is the responsibility of the cyclist to have brakes which work, tyres pumped up etc. But I don't agree that there can be a blanket ban on bikes using roads at night. Everyone who uses the roads has a responsibility to be aware of other users. Like it or not, a car will damage a cyclist far more than the other way around, so the onus is on the driver a bit more. But it is also the case that cyclists have to think: What if I was a driver? Would I be seen? Could they stop? It is wrong to make it automatically the drivers fault, but drivers do have to make sure they really are aware of not just what they see right now, but what might be around the corner. As a cyclist and motorist, I see plenty of drivers who are "partially sighted, ignorant of all road rules and incapable of reading a road sign". They are also legally on the A12. Both sides have to give a bit in this debate, as it seems to be a topic which polarises opinions. romantic
  • Score: 1

3:53pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Jess Jephcott says...

When I was at primary school in the early 60s we all took cycling proficiency tests which was an excellent start for being safe on the road. Do they still do that? In those heady days, cars were slower and fewer. Nowadays, there are a lot more cars, driving a lot faster, with drivers that have inbuilt distractions; radios, cigarettes to handle, mobile phones to answer, texts to send, screaming kids on the back seat, food to eat, drinks to drink, wrappers to remove, passengers to converse with, etc. Cyclists and motorcyclists have none of these but soon learn to ride defensively if they want to survive death by car driver. I would argue that any collision with a car is the responsibility of the car driver and nobody else. The people behind this story are right. Car drivers need a licence to drive their car on our roads. Cyclists, pedestrians and horses have an automatic right, which is as it should be.
When I was at primary school in the early 60s we all took cycling proficiency tests which was an excellent start for being safe on the road. Do they still do that? In those heady days, cars were slower and fewer. Nowadays, there are a lot more cars, driving a lot faster, with drivers that have inbuilt distractions; radios, cigarettes to handle, mobile phones to answer, texts to send, screaming kids on the back seat, food to eat, drinks to drink, wrappers to remove, passengers to converse with, etc. Cyclists and motorcyclists have none of these but soon learn to ride defensively if they want to survive death by car driver. I would argue that any collision with a car is the responsibility of the car driver and nobody else. The people behind this story are right. Car drivers need a licence to drive their car on our roads. Cyclists, pedestrians and horses have an automatic right, which is as it should be. Jess Jephcott
  • Score: -1

4:54pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Scoot says...

Jess there is something like the cycling proficiency test out there but it is difficult to find the staff and parents (who need to be CRB checked) to give up their time. As I understand it, the cycles also need to pass a safety check first before the instructors will let the kids join the class. This is all good but its not the kids that need teaching how to ride its the young adults (18-30 - mostly testosterone fuelled and lycra clad).
I have made comments earlier as a car driver, but as a pedestrian I nearly get knocked down on a daily basis by cyclists ignoring red lights. I then have to dodge them on pavements (that do not have cycle paths). I have to wait at a set of traffic lights to cross and I watch in horror at the cyclists riding for their life and not paying attention to cars turning left. a car driver would be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention if he did something similar !.
And as for motorcyclists don't get me started, suffice to say, wheely pulling whilst overtaking, and wheely pulling whilst undertaking, complete ignorance of speed limits by the vast majority is just a starter...
Jess there is something like the cycling proficiency test out there but it is difficult to find the staff and parents (who need to be CRB checked) to give up their time. As I understand it, the cycles also need to pass a safety check first before the instructors will let the kids join the class. This is all good but its not the kids that need teaching how to ride its the young adults (18-30 - mostly testosterone fuelled and lycra clad). I have made comments earlier as a car driver, but as a pedestrian I nearly get knocked down on a daily basis by cyclists ignoring red lights. I then have to dodge them on pavements (that do not have cycle paths). I have to wait at a set of traffic lights to cross and I watch in horror at the cyclists riding for their life and not paying attention to cars turning left. a car driver would be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention if he did something similar !. And as for motorcyclists don't get me started, suffice to say, wheely pulling whilst overtaking, and wheely pulling whilst undertaking, complete ignorance of speed limits by the vast majority is just a starter... Scoot
  • Score: 0

8:07pm Fri 31 Jan 14

colchester300yrs says...

"I was in Clacton a few weeks ago when I saw two rough-looking men on a bike (not a tandem - an ordinary bike) near the library. Suddenly, without any warning at all, the man who was at the front turned sharply into the path of a car. He didn't even look around. The car driver braked and missed them by a whisker. If he had hit them - two men on one bike who turn suddenly without any warning at all into the path of a car - how could it possibly have been the driver's fault?"

Possibly trying to get injured to utilise the benefits of the compensation culture to aid their benefits? It happens - believe me, and this proposal will increase such things.

" Car drivers need a licence to drive their car on our roads. Cyclists, pedestrians and horses have an automatic right, which is as it should be."

Actually in law, cyclists do NOT have a right. If they did, then they would be allowed to ride on public footpaths. The only right in law is to pass and re-pass, which is then modified by other laws, namely the road traffic act etc. In fact most of the laws pertaining to cyclists also apply to a horse and cart, as in Victorian times they were considered the same.
The "pass and re-pass" principle (which is enshrined in common law) has been widely interpreted to mean "travel from A to B", so use of the roads for entertainment and recreation and specifically racing is unlawful.

" If a cyclist cannot use the road for "recreation or entertainment", surely this would apply to motorists too! "

It does. Any road traffic act vehicle insurance policy specifically forbids the use of the vehicle for racing or time trials, which is what most cycling clubs get up to.

"As a cyclist and motorist, I see plenty of drivers who are "partially sighted, ignorant of all road rules and incapable of reading a road sign". They are also legally on the A12."

So you may, but motor vehicle drivers in such a condition can be prosecuted for it, a cyclist cannot as there is no law mandating it.

And let's also remember that all the cyclists in this debate so far have had it in for car drivers. Lorries, motorcyclists and buses kill cyclists as well.

The fact is that cyclists have to realise that they are placing themselves in front of moving vehicles, moving possibly ten times faster than they are, weighing up to 40 tons, are totally unprotected and are an obstruction by virtue of their slow speed. They choose to put themselves in that position, and therefore must bear some responsibility for what may occur. Furthermore, the motorist has to place himself in danger by positioning himself on the other side of the road (in a collision course with oncoming traffic) to overtake. If the cyclist was not there, he would not have to do that. Therefore, in law, the cyclist is "vicariously liable".
Last year I was nearly exterminated (whilst driving) by a car coming the other way after that car had to swerve to my side of the road as a cyclist decided to leave riding on the grass verge and join the road - no signals, no looking, nothing. This cyclist was doing this on the road halfway between Colchester and tiptree - a rural road, and in the dark. Now if that had ended up in a head-on collision, that cyclist would very likely have escaped any injury, and rode off. Now what recourse does the motorist have, as the cyclist was entirely liable? On such roads, cycling should be banned, at least during peak traffic periods.

Furthermore what recourse in law did my late grandmother have when she was knocked down and killed in 1997 whilst crossing a road on a pelican crossing by a cyclist who just rode off and was never caught? Because believe me, bicycles, moving at speed, can seriously injure and kill pedestrians just as well as cars.

What is required is a complete overhaul of the laws regarding cycling, requiring insurance, registration and training. On certain roads they may be given priority, but banned from a lot more others.

In the course of this, of course, remember that the UK economy relies on motorised road transport for the delivery of goods and the conveyance of workers, and that HAS to take priority over any recreational use.
"I was in Clacton a few weeks ago when I saw two rough-looking men on a bike (not a tandem - an ordinary bike) near the library. Suddenly, without any warning at all, the man who was at the front turned sharply into the path of a car. He didn't even look around. The car driver braked and missed them by a whisker. If he had hit them - two men on one bike who turn suddenly without any warning at all into the path of a car - how could it possibly have been the driver's fault?" Possibly trying to get injured to utilise the benefits of the compensation culture to aid their benefits? It happens - believe me, and this proposal will increase such things. " Car drivers need a licence to drive their car on our roads. Cyclists, pedestrians and horses have an automatic right, which is as it should be." Actually in law, cyclists do NOT have a right. If they did, then they would be allowed to ride on public footpaths. The only right in law is to pass and re-pass, which is then modified by other laws, namely the road traffic act etc. In fact most of the laws pertaining to cyclists also apply to a horse and cart, as in Victorian times they were considered the same. The "pass and re-pass" principle (which is enshrined in common law) has been widely interpreted to mean "travel from A to B", so use of the roads for entertainment and recreation and specifically racing is unlawful. " If a cyclist cannot use the road for "recreation or entertainment", surely this would apply to motorists too! " It does. Any road traffic act vehicle insurance policy specifically forbids the use of the vehicle for racing or time trials, which is what most cycling clubs get up to. "As a cyclist and motorist, I see plenty of drivers who are "partially sighted, ignorant of all road rules and incapable of reading a road sign". They are also legally on the A12." So you may, but motor vehicle drivers in such a condition can be prosecuted for it, a cyclist cannot as there is no law mandating it. And let's also remember that all the cyclists in this debate so far have had it in for car drivers. Lorries, motorcyclists and buses kill cyclists as well. The fact is that cyclists have to realise that they are placing themselves in front of moving vehicles, moving possibly ten times faster than they are, weighing up to 40 tons, are totally unprotected and are an obstruction by virtue of their slow speed. They choose to put themselves in that position, and therefore must bear some responsibility for what may occur. Furthermore, the motorist has to place himself in danger by positioning himself on the other side of the road (in a collision course with oncoming traffic) to overtake. If the cyclist was not there, he would not have to do that. Therefore, in law, the cyclist is "vicariously liable". Last year I was nearly exterminated (whilst driving) by a car coming the other way after that car had to swerve to my side of the road as a cyclist decided to leave riding on the grass verge and join the road - no signals, no looking, nothing. This cyclist was doing this on the road halfway between Colchester and tiptree - a rural road, and in the dark. Now if that had ended up in a head-on collision, that cyclist would very likely have escaped any injury, and rode off. Now what recourse does the motorist have, as the cyclist was entirely liable? On such roads, cycling should be banned, at least during peak traffic periods. Furthermore what recourse in law did my late grandmother have when she was knocked down and killed in 1997 whilst crossing a road on a pelican crossing by a cyclist who just rode off and was never caught? Because believe me, bicycles, moving at speed, can seriously injure and kill pedestrians just as well as cars. What is required is a complete overhaul of the laws regarding cycling, requiring insurance, registration and training. On certain roads they may be given priority, but banned from a lot more others. In the course of this, of course, remember that the UK economy relies on motorised road transport for the delivery of goods and the conveyance of workers, and that HAS to take priority over any recreational use. colchester300yrs
  • Score: 0

2:04am Sat 1 Feb 14

Dark_Wolf says...

Say It As It Is OK? wrote:
Dark_Wolf wrote:
Oh what a bunch of whiners we have here! Obviously you took the bait of this misleading news article to heart & then add yet more drivel.
Presumed liability isnt new, its in other Countries & it does not mean to blame. If you are asked to give a breath test, its presumed you might have been drinking. Dont mean you have or any guilt of doing so.
As for 'road' tax, I be happy to pay it when you drivers do! It was abolished in 1937, do your research! Try ipayroadtax.com
Insurance, more cyclists do have insurance than you think! need to for the cost of the high spec bikes & lawyers when knocked off.
Cycling Tests & MOT's, yeah that really has worked for drivers hasnt it? what you seem to forget is most cyclists have full driving or riding licenses.
You may have seen cyclists doing wrong, bet you dont notice the ones that are law abiding or if you have you probably whinged they holding you up & then you pass to close & thus are law breakers yourself! I have many clips on video of drivers, cyclists & pedestrians all doing wrong as do many other cyclists. This holier than thou attitude of drivers is a joke, I bet none of you keep to the speed limit or kept to every law on the road?
As for dark clothing, perhaps you like pedestrians all to be in hi-viz to? Not that it matters, I wore hi-viz for 2yrs & still drivers fail to see the bright yellow jacket! Perhaps looking properly when driving be more useful? I will now wear my dark Proviz cycling jacket thanks & be more visible with it than any hi-viz.
Cycle lanes, make us use them? Sure when they are the correct width, how would you like to drive in a lane narrower than your car? Perhaps you should support #space4cycling to get a road system like they have in the Netherlands so we all have places to use on the roads. oh & Netherlands have liabilty laws & it does work!

So before you moan, do your research & keep an eye out! I am a law abiding non-lycra cyclist who's happy to share the road. If you cant share nicely as per your driving license requirement, perhaps it is you who shouldnt be on the road!
Fully agree with your comments regarding Road Tax but while there are both cyclists and motorists hell bent on blaming the other with then the issues raised will never get resolved. However your stance is confrontational and does no good for your cause.The fact is in a collision the cyclist is always going to come off worse and as an infrequent cyclist myself and a motorist I always err on the side of caution. Lets hope all cyclists and motorists do the same.
I always err on the side of caution, have done for many yrs on cycles & motorbikes. How else have I racked up over a decade of NCB on insurances despite the contempt & hatred on the roads by drivers who just dont anything on the road with 2 wheels. My videos also prove I show a **** sight more respect to drivers than I get & those I do get respect from then gets a thanks from me.
[quote][p][bold]Say It As It Is OK?[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dark_Wolf[/bold] wrote: Oh what a bunch of whiners we have here! Obviously you took the bait of this misleading news article to heart & then add yet more drivel. Presumed liability isnt new, its in other Countries & it does not mean to blame. If you are asked to give a breath test, its presumed you might have been drinking. Dont mean you have or any guilt of doing so. As for 'road' tax, I be happy to pay it when you drivers do! It was abolished in 1937, do your research! Try ipayroadtax.com Insurance, more cyclists do have insurance than you think! need to for the cost of the high spec bikes & lawyers when knocked off. Cycling Tests & MOT's, yeah that really has worked for drivers hasnt it? what you seem to forget is most cyclists have full driving or riding licenses. You may have seen cyclists doing wrong, bet you dont notice the ones that are law abiding or if you have you probably whinged they holding you up & then you pass to close & thus are law breakers yourself! I have many clips on video of drivers, cyclists & pedestrians all doing wrong as do many other cyclists. This holier than thou attitude of drivers is a joke, I bet none of you keep to the speed limit or kept to every law on the road? As for dark clothing, perhaps you like pedestrians all to be in hi-viz to? Not that it matters, I wore hi-viz for 2yrs & still drivers fail to see the bright yellow jacket! Perhaps looking properly when driving be more useful? I will now wear my dark Proviz cycling jacket thanks & be more visible with it than any hi-viz. Cycle lanes, make us use them? Sure when they are the correct width, how would you like to drive in a lane narrower than your car? Perhaps you should support #space4cycling to get a road system like they have in the Netherlands so we all have places to use on the roads. oh & Netherlands have liabilty laws & it does work! So before you moan, do your research & keep an eye out! I am a law abiding non-lycra cyclist who's happy to share the road. If you cant share nicely as per your driving license requirement, perhaps it is you who shouldnt be on the road![/p][/quote]Fully agree with your comments regarding Road Tax but while there are both cyclists and motorists hell bent on blaming the other with then the issues raised will never get resolved. However your stance is confrontational and does no good for your cause.The fact is in a collision the cyclist is always going to come off worse and as an infrequent cyclist myself and a motorist I always err on the side of caution. Lets hope all cyclists and motorists do the same.[/p][/quote]I always err on the side of caution, have done for many yrs on cycles & motorbikes. How else have I racked up over a decade of NCB on insurances despite the contempt & hatred on the roads by drivers who just dont anything on the road with 2 wheels. My videos also prove I show a **** sight more respect to drivers than I get & those I do get respect from then gets a thanks from me. Dark_Wolf
  • Score: 0

2:05am Sat 1 Feb 14

Dark_Wolf says...

Brooks Forbutox wrote:
Let's stop trolling and ranting and get this into perspective:

1 Cyclists, drivers and pedestrians all need to act within the law and observe the rules of the Highway Code.
2 There are bad cyclists and bad drivers, probably in equal proportion.
3 People choose to ride bikes for faster shorter journeys, personal health or environmental reasons. They have the right to be on the road.
4 Cyclists need road justice (http://www.roadjust

ice.org.uk); too many are being killed and injured, with drivers getting just a slap on the wrist. The "share the road" culture has all but failed.
5 How many motorists on a jury think "there but for the grace of God go I" before finding in favour of a driver in a case involving a defence of "Sorry mate I didn't see you" ... or the other excuses trotted out all too frequently?
6 The government should insist on better training. Motorists should undergo five-yearly tests. Bikeability cycle training should be more widely available for adults as well as children.
7 Strict liability is important but only a small part of the solution. We need sustainable safety (see below)
8 Strict liability applies to civil law, not criminal law. A driver would be held to be financially responsible ** unless they can show (not prove) the cyclist/pedestrian was being reckless**. The test for recklessness would not apply in collisions with child cyclists or pedestrians aged ten and under.
9 Drivers choose to take a ton of metal on to the road; they should accept the extra responsibility that this implies.
10 It's the heavy/fast car/van/truck that does most of the damage, not the push bike.
11 At the moment we have the ridiculous situation where a cyclist or pedestrian is seriously injured, possibly hospitalised or off work for several months, and then they have to jump through hoops to get financial compensation.
12 Strict liability applies to traffic collisions all over continental Europe and also some states in the US.
13 It's seen as a way to protect the weaker party and already applied in Britain with accidents at work and trading standards, so it's not a foreign concept. Moreover, it also applies to rear-end shunts between cars.
14 We need strict liability — but we need a culture of sustainable safety more. This would apply to all road users and is the "principle of design that makes roads easy to use, self explanatory and safe by default"*, minimising the chances of crashes.
15 Sustainable safety would include a network of 20mph roads; roads at more than 20mph should have separate high-quality cycle routes suitable for all cyclists. Cycles and pedestrians on bike routes should have priority over minor junctions and improved provision at traffic-light controlled junctions
16 Finally, let's dispense with the old arguments: "road tax" was scrapped by Winston Churchill, and it's been car tax since then (not all drivers pay car tax); money for roads comes from general taxation like the council tax. Most cyclists pay these taxes and many also drive, so they pay car tax too. Many cyclists have personal liability insurance through their home insurance or membership of a cycling group.

* http://www.aviewfrom

thecyclepath.com/201

2/01/campaign-for-su

stainable-safety-not

.html
It seems like my comment, yours is not wanted by the typical bigoted drivers commenting on here.
[quote][p][bold]Brooks Forbutox[/bold] wrote: Let's stop trolling and ranting and get this into perspective: 1 Cyclists, drivers and pedestrians all need to act within the law and observe the rules of the Highway Code. 2 There are bad cyclists and bad drivers, probably in equal proportion. 3 People choose to ride bikes for faster shorter journeys, personal health or environmental reasons. They have the right to be on the road. 4 Cyclists need road justice (http://www.roadjust ice.org.uk); too many are being killed and injured, with drivers getting just a slap on the wrist. The "share the road" culture has all but failed. 5 How many motorists on a jury think "there but for the grace of God go I" before finding in favour of a driver in a case involving a defence of "Sorry mate I didn't see you" ... or the other excuses trotted out all too frequently? 6 The government should insist on better training. Motorists should undergo five-yearly tests. Bikeability cycle training should be more widely available for adults as well as children. 7 Strict liability is important but only a small part of the solution. We need sustainable safety (see below) 8 Strict liability applies to civil law, not criminal law. A driver would be held to be financially responsible ** unless they can show (not prove) the cyclist/pedestrian was being reckless**. The test for recklessness would not apply in collisions with child cyclists or pedestrians aged ten and under. 9 Drivers choose to take a ton of metal on to the road; they should accept the extra responsibility that this implies. 10 It's the heavy/fast car/van/truck that does most of the damage, not the push bike. 11 At the moment we have the ridiculous situation where a cyclist or pedestrian is seriously injured, possibly hospitalised or off work for several months, and then they have to jump through hoops to get financial compensation. 12 Strict liability applies to traffic collisions all over continental Europe and also some states in the US. 13 It's seen as a way to protect the weaker party and already applied in Britain with accidents at work and trading standards, so it's not a foreign concept. Moreover, it also applies to rear-end shunts between cars. 14 We need strict liability — but we need a culture of sustainable safety more. This would apply to all road users and is the "principle of design that makes roads easy to use, self explanatory and safe by default"*, minimising the chances of crashes. 15 Sustainable safety would include a network of 20mph roads; roads at more than 20mph should have separate high-quality cycle routes suitable for all cyclists. Cycles and pedestrians on bike routes should have priority over minor junctions and improved provision at traffic-light controlled junctions 16 Finally, let's dispense with the old arguments: "road tax" was scrapped by Winston Churchill, and it's been car tax since then (not all drivers pay car tax); money for roads comes from general taxation like the council tax. Most cyclists pay these taxes and many also drive, so they pay car tax too. Many cyclists have personal liability insurance through their home insurance or membership of a cycling group. * http://www.aviewfrom thecyclepath.com/201 2/01/campaign-for-su stainable-safety-not .html[/p][/quote]It seems like my comment, yours is not wanted by the typical bigoted drivers commenting on here. Dark_Wolf
  • Score: -1

2:11am Sat 1 Feb 14

Dark_Wolf says...

romantic wrote:
colchester300yrs wrote:
Mr Avison said: “The most vulnerable road user should be protected.”

I say: "The most idiotic should be prosecuted"

I once witnessed a cyclist going head over heels after bouncing off a car. He did not brake or stop at a roundabout. His excuse for this was "I wear special shoes and cannot put my foot down to stop" - well the law requires him to stop, therefore he is utterly at fault, and such appliances should be banned. He was also wearing dark glasses (in low light) and earphones, listening to music - not acceptable in traffic.

I also know of one cycling club in Essex who frequently arranges long distance rides with several stops at rural pubs. By the time they're finished, they've all had beer - whilst using the road.

Now for a point of law - Under various acts of parliament, some dating back a few years at least - a road is a public "right of way", and the public are only allowed to use said rights of way to "pass and re-pass". This is open to interpretation, but is widely held to mean that you may use the roads to go from A to B. Therefore cyclists who are using the road for recreation or entertainment, as some of them do, are not lawfully using the road.

Similarly, all car insurance contains a clause that you may not use the car for time trials or racing on the public road, yet cyclists do this all the time. It should be stopped. The roads are not playgrounds - by law.

Furthermore, in this country, you can lawfully be partially sighted, ignorant of all road rules and incapable of reading a road sign, and ride a bicycle on the A12.

What is required is for cyclists to be separated from motor vehicles, banned from riding on some rural roads, especially at night, trained, insured etc. The car driver (and every other road user) is already subject to all of this.

At the end of the day a lycra clad person versus 2 tons of car or 40 tons of truck is going to lose.

But of course, they think otherwise, and as they club together, rest assured that any prosecution would be publicised to wild claims of discrimination and political incorrectness, so the police won't do so (if there were any about to catch them anyway).
I can't disagree that some cyclists ride in a stupid way. I cycle every day, and I am one of those who waits at traffic lights and follows signs. Having been knocked off in the past, I always view every driver as potentially an idiot with a 2-ton metal shield. Of course, when I am a driver, I am also potentially that idiot. I agree that "The most idiotic should be prosecuted", if only for their own safety, because they will come off worse in a collision with a car. I see too many people, many of them frankly old enough to know better, flying along the pavement, oblivious to anybody stepping out of their door, or cars emerging from a driveway.

I would be intrigued to know the laws you refer to regarding rights of way. If a cyclist cannot use the road for "recreation or entertainment", surely this would apply to motorists too! Look at a road map of the country from the past, and you will see that most roads were there long before the motorised vehicle was invented. My understanding of it is that many roads were improved greatly because of the new-fangled craze for cycling in the second half of the Victorian era, so in fact, the cars could be seen as the Johnny-come-Latelys.



Cyclists are permitted on all roads unless specifically banned (for example, on motorways and some dual carriageways). Why anybody would be insane enough to cycle on the A12 is beyond me, as there is normally either a path alongside or a parallel route. But legally, it is permitted. I would think there is a fair case for making it illegal. Having said that, the club cyclists do tend to use it at the quiet periods, for example on a Sunday morning, not in rush hour. I don't drive the A12 every day, but I don't think there are vast numbers of cyclists on there at other times.

As a cyclist, I would love nothing more than to be separated from the road! Colchester has a pretty good cycle path network. It is possible to get to most places without being on the main roads, and that suits me just fine. If I am on a busy road and there is a path next to it, I will use it if there are no pedestrians. Legally, that is wrong, but I consider it is safer for me and the motorist, who would otherwise be trying to overtake. There are some roads where it is just road, no footpath, and no real alternative route. For example, if I cycle to Brightlingsea, there is no avoiding being on the main road with fast traffic passing by. Such stretches of road are not relaxing to cycle, believe me. In an ideal world, every major route would have a separated cycle path next to it, but the logistics of that are impossible in many places.

Cyclists do have to think about visibility. If you are a driver, a cyclist without any lights on, no hi-vis etc is almost invisible until the last second. It is the responsibility of the cyclist to have brakes which work, tyres pumped up etc. But I don't agree that there can be a blanket ban on bikes using roads at night. Everyone who uses the roads has a responsibility to be aware of other users. Like it or not, a car will damage a cyclist far more than the other way around, so the onus is on the driver a bit more. But it is also the case that cyclists have to think: What if I was a driver? Would I be seen? Could they stop? It is wrong to make it automatically the drivers fault, but drivers do have to make sure they really are aware of not just what they see right now, but what might be around the corner.

As a cyclist and motorist, I see plenty of drivers who are "partially sighted, ignorant of all road rules and incapable of reading a road sign". They are also legally on the A12. Both sides have to give a bit in this debate, as it seems to be a topic which polarises opinions.
Well said, I have cycled along parts of the A12, there are segregated paths along sections of it & its a great way to go. Just a shame the segregated path goes the whole length of the A12, just be cool to get on at Colchester & head all the way to Chelmsford on 1 direct road.
[quote][p][bold]romantic[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]colchester300yrs[/bold] wrote: Mr Avison said: “The most vulnerable road user should be protected.” I say: "The most idiotic should be prosecuted" I once witnessed a cyclist going head over heels after bouncing off a car. He did not brake or stop at a roundabout. His excuse for this was "I wear special shoes and cannot put my foot down to stop" - well the law requires him to stop, therefore he is utterly at fault, and such appliances should be banned. He was also wearing dark glasses (in low light) and earphones, listening to music - not acceptable in traffic. I also know of one cycling club in Essex who frequently arranges long distance rides with several stops at rural pubs. By the time they're finished, they've all had beer - whilst using the road. Now for a point of law - Under various acts of parliament, some dating back a few years at least - a road is a public "right of way", and the public are only allowed to use said rights of way to "pass and re-pass". This is open to interpretation, but is widely held to mean that you may use the roads to go from A to B. Therefore cyclists who are using the road for recreation or entertainment, as some of them do, are not lawfully using the road. Similarly, all car insurance contains a clause that you may not use the car for time trials or racing on the public road, yet cyclists do this all the time. It should be stopped. The roads are not playgrounds - by law. Furthermore, in this country, you can lawfully be partially sighted, ignorant of all road rules and incapable of reading a road sign, and ride a bicycle on the A12. What is required is for cyclists to be separated from motor vehicles, banned from riding on some rural roads, especially at night, trained, insured etc. The car driver (and every other road user) is already subject to all of this. At the end of the day a lycra clad person versus 2 tons of car or 40 tons of truck is going to lose. But of course, they think otherwise, and as they club together, rest assured that any prosecution would be publicised to wild claims of discrimination and political incorrectness, so the police won't do so (if there were any about to catch them anyway).[/p][/quote]I can't disagree that some cyclists ride in a stupid way. I cycle every day, and I am one of those who waits at traffic lights and follows signs. Having been knocked off in the past, I always view every driver as potentially an idiot with a 2-ton metal shield. Of course, when I am a driver, I am also potentially that idiot. I agree that "The most idiotic should be prosecuted", if only for their own safety, because they will come off worse in a collision with a car. I see too many people, many of them frankly old enough to know better, flying along the pavement, oblivious to anybody stepping out of their door, or cars emerging from a driveway. I would be intrigued to know the laws you refer to regarding rights of way. If a cyclist cannot use the road for "recreation or entertainment", surely this would apply to motorists too! Look at a road map of the country from the past, and you will see that most roads were there long before the motorised vehicle was invented. My understanding of it is that many roads were improved greatly because of the new-fangled craze for cycling in the second half of the Victorian era, so in fact, the cars could be seen as the Johnny-come-Latelys. Cyclists are permitted on all roads unless specifically banned (for example, on motorways and some dual carriageways). Why anybody would be insane enough to cycle on the A12 is beyond me, as there is normally either a path alongside or a parallel route. But legally, it is permitted. I would think there is a fair case for making it illegal. Having said that, the club cyclists do tend to use it at the quiet periods, for example on a Sunday morning, not in rush hour. I don't drive the A12 every day, but I don't think there are vast numbers of cyclists on there at other times. As a cyclist, I would love nothing more than to be separated from the road! Colchester has a pretty good cycle path network. It is possible to get to most places without being on the main roads, and that suits me just fine. If I am on a busy road and there is a path next to it, I will use it if there are no pedestrians. Legally, that is wrong, but I consider it is safer for me and the motorist, who would otherwise be trying to overtake. There are some roads where it is just road, no footpath, and no real alternative route. For example, if I cycle to Brightlingsea, there is no avoiding being on the main road with fast traffic passing by. Such stretches of road are not relaxing to cycle, believe me. In an ideal world, every major route would have a separated cycle path next to it, but the logistics of that are impossible in many places. Cyclists do have to think about visibility. If you are a driver, a cyclist without any lights on, no hi-vis etc is almost invisible until the last second. It is the responsibility of the cyclist to have brakes which work, tyres pumped up etc. But I don't agree that there can be a blanket ban on bikes using roads at night. Everyone who uses the roads has a responsibility to be aware of other users. Like it or not, a car will damage a cyclist far more than the other way around, so the onus is on the driver a bit more. But it is also the case that cyclists have to think: What if I was a driver? Would I be seen? Could they stop? It is wrong to make it automatically the drivers fault, but drivers do have to make sure they really are aware of not just what they see right now, but what might be around the corner. As a cyclist and motorist, I see plenty of drivers who are "partially sighted, ignorant of all road rules and incapable of reading a road sign". They are also legally on the A12. Both sides have to give a bit in this debate, as it seems to be a topic which polarises opinions.[/p][/quote]Well said, I have cycled along parts of the A12, there are segregated paths along sections of it & its a great way to go. Just a shame the segregated path goes the whole length of the A12, just be cool to get on at Colchester & head all the way to Chelmsford on 1 direct road. Dark_Wolf
  • Score: -1

2:15am Sat 1 Feb 14

Dark_Wolf says...

Jess Jephcott wrote:
When I was at primary school in the early 60s we all took cycling proficiency tests which was an excellent start for being safe on the road. Do they still do that? In those heady days, cars were slower and fewer. Nowadays, there are a lot more cars, driving a lot faster, with drivers that have inbuilt distractions; radios, cigarettes to handle, mobile phones to answer, texts to send, screaming kids on the back seat, food to eat, drinks to drink, wrappers to remove, passengers to converse with, etc. Cyclists and motorcyclists have none of these but soon learn to ride defensively if they want to survive death by car driver. I would argue that any collision with a car is the responsibility of the car driver and nobody else. The people behind this story are right. Car drivers need a licence to drive their car on our roads. Cyclists, pedestrians and horses have an automatic right, which is as it should be.
The latest training available to cyclists is Bikeability & is far better & more in depth to the old cycling proficiency. There is a campaign to make this a compulsory course in all schools to help educate children on road sense, cycling etc.
[quote][p][bold]Jess Jephcott[/bold] wrote: When I was at primary school in the early 60s we all took cycling proficiency tests which was an excellent start for being safe on the road. Do they still do that? In those heady days, cars were slower and fewer. Nowadays, there are a lot more cars, driving a lot faster, with drivers that have inbuilt distractions; radios, cigarettes to handle, mobile phones to answer, texts to send, screaming kids on the back seat, food to eat, drinks to drink, wrappers to remove, passengers to converse with, etc. Cyclists and motorcyclists have none of these but soon learn to ride defensively if they want to survive death by car driver. I would argue that any collision with a car is the responsibility of the car driver and nobody else. The people behind this story are right. Car drivers need a licence to drive their car on our roads. Cyclists, pedestrians and horses have an automatic right, which is as it should be.[/p][/quote]The latest training available to cyclists is Bikeability & is far better & more in depth to the old cycling proficiency. There is a campaign to make this a compulsory course in all schools to help educate children on road sense, cycling etc. Dark_Wolf
  • Score: 0

2:25am Sat 1 Feb 14

Dark_Wolf says...

Scoot wrote:
@ Dark Wolf & Brooks - How many cars do you see ignoring red lights compared to Bikes ? How many cars do you see at night without lights compared to bikes ? How many cars do you see undertaking at vast speed without slowing down when they can see slower moving vehicles who are already indicating to turn left ?
Yes there are law abiding cyclists but they appear to be in the MINORITY as opposed to a MAJORITY of car drivers.
Actually tonight I had seen 1 car jump a light & 2 cars driving w/o lights, 3 cyclists w/o lights tho TBH in this rain there wasnt many cyclists about. As for cars undertaking, I had a taxi try it with me today & had a few in the past few yrs. Statistics have already made it clear tho, over 2/3 of accidents are drivers fault, about 1/10 is cyclists & the rest is equal share of responsibility &/or just happens. And BTW in slow moving traffic, it is legal to cycle along either side of the traffic, its called filtering. I dont like doing it myself, thats my preference but it is legal.
[quote][p][bold]Scoot[/bold] wrote: @ Dark Wolf & Brooks - How many cars do you see ignoring red lights compared to Bikes ? How many cars do you see at night without lights compared to bikes ? How many cars do you see undertaking at vast speed without slowing down when they can see slower moving vehicles who are already indicating to turn left ? Yes there are law abiding cyclists but they appear to be in the MINORITY as opposed to a MAJORITY of car drivers.[/p][/quote]Actually tonight I had seen 1 car jump a light & 2 cars driving w/o lights, 3 cyclists w/o lights tho TBH in this rain there wasnt many cyclists about. As for cars undertaking, I had a taxi try it with me today & had a few in the past few yrs. Statistics have already made it clear tho, over 2/3 of accidents are drivers fault, about 1/10 is cyclists & the rest is equal share of responsibility &/or just happens. And BTW in slow moving traffic, it is legal to cycle along either side of the traffic, its called filtering. I dont like doing it myself, thats my preference but it is legal. Dark_Wolf
  • Score: -1

8:40am Sat 1 Feb 14

Catchedicam says...

Dark_Wolf wrote:
Scoot wrote:
@ Dark Wolf & Brooks - How many cars do you see ignoring red lights compared to Bikes ? How many cars do you see at night without lights compared to bikes ? How many cars do you see undertaking at vast speed without slowing down when they can see slower moving vehicles who are already indicating to turn left ?
Yes there are law abiding cyclists but they appear to be in the MINORITY as opposed to a MAJORITY of car drivers.
Actually tonight I had seen 1 car jump a light & 2 cars driving w/o lights, 3 cyclists w/o lights tho TBH in this rain there wasnt many cyclists about. As for cars undertaking, I had a taxi try it with me today & had a few in the past few yrs. Statistics have already made it clear tho, over 2/3 of accidents are drivers fault, about 1/10 is cyclists & the rest is equal share of responsibility &/or just happens. And BTW in slow moving traffic, it is legal to cycle along either side of the traffic, its called filtering. I dont like doing it myself, thats my preference but it is legal.
Whilst it may be legal (arguably) to overtake STATIONARY i.e. not moving, traffic on the left, it's still exceedingly stupid to do so, as evidenced by all those recently dead cyclists in London. Personally if in a line of traffic I always sit as close to the kerb as possible to stop this inane practice, more than happy for a cyclist/motorcyclist to overtake on the right, and indeed will move over to allow it when travelling slowly. By the way, taxi's have their own highway code, which allows then to do pretty much anything they like, or is that cyclists hmm?
[quote][p][bold]Dark_Wolf[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Scoot[/bold] wrote: @ Dark Wolf & Brooks - How many cars do you see ignoring red lights compared to Bikes ? How many cars do you see at night without lights compared to bikes ? How many cars do you see undertaking at vast speed without slowing down when they can see slower moving vehicles who are already indicating to turn left ? Yes there are law abiding cyclists but they appear to be in the MINORITY as opposed to a MAJORITY of car drivers.[/p][/quote]Actually tonight I had seen 1 car jump a light & 2 cars driving w/o lights, 3 cyclists w/o lights tho TBH in this rain there wasnt many cyclists about. As for cars undertaking, I had a taxi try it with me today & had a few in the past few yrs. Statistics have already made it clear tho, over 2/3 of accidents are drivers fault, about 1/10 is cyclists & the rest is equal share of responsibility &/or just happens. And BTW in slow moving traffic, it is legal to cycle along either side of the traffic, its called filtering. I dont like doing it myself, thats my preference but it is legal.[/p][/quote]Whilst it may be legal (arguably) to overtake STATIONARY i.e. not moving, traffic on the left, it's still exceedingly stupid to do so, as evidenced by all those recently dead cyclists in London. Personally if in a line of traffic I always sit as close to the kerb as possible to stop this inane practice, more than happy for a cyclist/motorcyclist to overtake on the right, and indeed will move over to allow it when travelling slowly. By the way, taxi's have their own highway code, which allows then to do pretty much anything they like, or is that cyclists hmm? Catchedicam
  • Score: 2

2:06pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Harry-Brown says...

we need the new ROBOCOP on a motorbike with cannons and guns to promote law and order to tin box brigade into submission
what about gang loads of hells angels and greasers on Harley's and old triumph bonnie's with bike chains and maces
that will soon slow the white van man down a bit surely?
we need the new ROBOCOP on a motorbike with cannons and guns to promote law and order to tin box brigade into submission what about gang loads of hells angels and greasers on Harley's and old triumph bonnie's with bike chains and maces that will soon slow the white van man down a bit surely? Harry-Brown
  • Score: 3

1:00pm Mon 3 Feb 14

thecapedcrusader69 says...

What a bloody moron. Probably best to engage your brain before you speak next time Mr. Avison.
What a bloody moron. Probably best to engage your brain before you speak next time Mr. Avison. thecapedcrusader69
  • Score: 2

10:40am Tue 4 Feb 14

EdLoach says...

I drive, cycle and walk (driving more than the others combined, as evidenced by my waistline) and while I do see some cyclists doing daft things I see more motorists doing daft things (speeding, driving too close, using mobiles, using the wrong lanes at roundabouts, failing to manually cancel indicators relying on self-cancel which can be too late, stopping in advance stop line areas for cyclists at lights, queuing across the railway line leaving Frinton, etc). Similarly you see many pedestrians ignoring the highway code advice to wear hi-viz clothing after dark (rule 3). Every mode of transport has idiots, but cars are the most dangerous to other road users. The article in last Thursday's paper was more extensive than the article above and mentions the Netherlands law on strict liability has a "cyclist was not in error in some way" condition. It works there as they have better segregation between pedestrians, cyclists and other road users, so where collisions may occur are more likely to be the motor vehicles fault. We need improved infrastructure for bicycles in the UK, freeing pavements for pedestrians and (more) roads for motor vehicles. But not these rubbish badly maintained cycle tracks with "cyclist dismount" signs at intervals (a clear sign of a badly designed track), or bits of pavements with white lines painted down the middle (where pedestrians have been known to stray onto the 'wrong' side and still moan about bicycles...)
I drive, cycle and walk (driving more than the others combined, as evidenced by my waistline) and while I do see some cyclists doing daft things I see more motorists doing daft things (speeding, driving too close, using mobiles, using the wrong lanes at roundabouts, failing to manually cancel indicators relying on self-cancel which can be too late, stopping in advance stop line areas for cyclists at lights, queuing across the railway line leaving Frinton, etc). Similarly you see many pedestrians ignoring the highway code advice to wear hi-viz clothing after dark (rule 3). Every mode of transport has idiots, but cars are the most dangerous to other road users. The article in last Thursday's paper was more extensive than the article above and mentions the Netherlands law on strict liability has a "cyclist was not in error in some way" condition. It works there as they have better segregation between pedestrians, cyclists and other road users, so where collisions may occur are more likely to be the motor vehicles fault. We need improved infrastructure for bicycles in the UK, freeing pavements for pedestrians and (more) roads for motor vehicles. But not these rubbish badly maintained cycle tracks with "cyclist dismount" signs at intervals (a clear sign of a badly designed track), or bits of pavements with white lines painted down the middle (where pedestrians have been known to stray onto the 'wrong' side and still moan about bicycles...) EdLoach
  • Score: 2

7:10pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Jess says...

lol here we go! I don't even need to read anymore after the first few lines. What a bold load of crap! We have this problem here too- cyclists who feel over-entitled. Over here, we have so many who don't bother to follow the rules yet think they should be given the entire road. They cry and cry yet run stop signs, red lights, cycle 4 abreast instead of 2 and REFUSE to move despite long lines of traffic in back of them. Yes- I actually saw that once. I laid on my horn as I passed and they broke it down to two abreast so the traffic could get by. And yes, one yelled a snarky response as I went by.

I'm sure this is a touchy subject for you guys as it is over here. AND i'm sure a few of you will not like someone away from butting in. flame away- i don't care. untill cyclists start following the rules of the road and taking responsiblitiy for their own actions, they deserve nothing in my opnion. That goes for pedestrians too. After all, the roads were designed for cars and trucks. If you're going to ride your bike in traffic, you must be aware of the fact that you're taking a risk and NO ONE should be held accountable for your safety but yourself.
lol here we go! I don't even need to read anymore after the first few lines. What a bold load of crap! We have this problem here too- cyclists who feel over-entitled. Over here, we have so many who don't bother to follow the rules yet think they should be given the entire road. They cry and cry yet run stop signs, red lights, cycle 4 abreast instead of 2 and REFUSE to move despite long lines of traffic in back of them. Yes- I actually saw that once. I laid on my horn as I passed and they broke it down to two abreast so the traffic could get by. And yes, one yelled a snarky response as I went by. I'm sure this is a touchy subject for you guys as it is over here. AND i'm sure a few of you will not like someone away from butting in. flame away- i don't care. untill cyclists start following the rules of the road and taking responsiblitiy for their own actions, they deserve nothing in my opnion. That goes for pedestrians too. After all, the roads were designed for cars and trucks. If you're going to ride your bike in traffic, you must be aware of the fact that you're taking a risk and NO ONE should be held accountable for your safety but yourself. Jess
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Jess says...

ACTUALLY- there was just an article highlighting my point. remember the driver who hit the cyclist because he was in the dark, wearing all black and apparently drinking and drugging? Cyclists need to start taking responsibility. You can't blame one side of the other in all instances.

Sometimes, I think the gazette posts stuff like this to spark discussion on their site.
ACTUALLY- there was just an article highlighting my point. remember the driver who hit the cyclist because he was in the dark, wearing all black and apparently drinking and drugging? Cyclists need to start taking responsibility. You can't blame one side of the other in all instances. Sometimes, I think the gazette posts stuff like this to spark discussion on their site. Jess
  • Score: 1

7:28pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Brooks Forbutox says...

Sorry bud, but I have news for you. http://www.roadswere
notbuiltforcars.com/


I presume you're American. When your country has free-to-access healthcare, 4-5 weeks holiday a year for all workers and a lot fewer guns, feel free to come over here and preach. Until then...
Sorry bud, but I have news for you. http://www.roadswere notbuiltforcars.com/ I presume you're American. When your country has free-to-access healthcare, 4-5 weeks holiday a year for all workers and a lot fewer guns, feel free to come over here and preach. Until then... Brooks Forbutox
  • Score: -1

11:57am Wed 5 Feb 14

romantic says...

Jess wrote:
lol here we go! I don't even need to read anymore after the first few lines. What a bold load of crap! We have this problem here too- cyclists who feel over-entitled. Over here, we have so many who don't bother to follow the rules yet think they should be given the entire road. They cry and cry yet run stop signs, red lights, cycle 4 abreast instead of 2 and REFUSE to move despite long lines of traffic in back of them. Yes- I actually saw that once. I laid on my horn as I passed and they broke it down to two abreast so the traffic could get by. And yes, one yelled a snarky response as I went by.

I'm sure this is a touchy subject for you guys as it is over here. AND i'm sure a few of you will not like someone away from butting in. flame away- i don't care. untill cyclists start following the rules of the road and taking responsiblitiy for their own actions, they deserve nothing in my opnion. That goes for pedestrians too. After all, the roads were designed for cars and trucks. If you're going to ride your bike in traffic, you must be aware of the fact that you're taking a risk and NO ONE should be held accountable for your safety but yourself.
Jess, from Maine, I believe: you are not entirely wrong, but the point needs to be made that cars were not built for cars and trucks! Perhaps more so in the USA, but over here, if you look at a map from 1700 or 1800, you will see pretty much the same road pattern as now. (Obviously, I do not include motorways, bypasses etc). Roads were built for horse drawn traffic, and many were improved greatly during the cycling boom of the later 19th century. Cars and trucks are the late-comers!

I agree that riding 4 abreast is a stupid thing to do. The fact that you say it happened once suggests it is not a common thing.

Cyclists do definitely have to look after their own safety, and the best way to do this is to assume that every driver is a blind idiot. Sometimes, they are not. It certainly annoys drivers when cyclists skip red lights or ride on the pavements, but let's balance this out a bit. It annoys me, as a resident of Colchester, that there is almost always a hum of traffic. It annoys me that the town is sometimes almost gridlocked with cars belching out pollutants. It annoys me, as a cyclist, when drivers pass so close they almost knock you off - and then they stop 50 yards down the road because it's jammed. Those jams, by the way: not caused by bikes! When you're sitting for 20 mins to get down East Hill or Brook Street, it's other cars which cause the jam.

Of course, every driver will tell you that their journey is essential, but some of the surveys done suggest that a substantial number of those car journeys are less than a mile. Unless you're disabled or elderly, walking a mile should be nothing! All those kids that are driven a mile to school would be far healthier and more independent if they were to walk there.

The central thing of any collision automatically being the motorists' fault: that is clearly ridiculous. But at the same time, if some of those drivers were to swap their vehicles for bikes or walking, it would have an impact on traffic. In other parts of Europe, cycling is actively encouraged, and that needs to be replicated here.
[quote][p][bold]Jess[/bold] wrote: lol here we go! I don't even need to read anymore after the first few lines. What a bold load of crap! We have this problem here too- cyclists who feel over-entitled. Over here, we have so many who don't bother to follow the rules yet think they should be given the entire road. They cry and cry yet run stop signs, red lights, cycle 4 abreast instead of 2 and REFUSE to move despite long lines of traffic in back of them. Yes- I actually saw that once. I laid on my horn as I passed and they broke it down to two abreast so the traffic could get by. And yes, one yelled a snarky response as I went by. I'm sure this is a touchy subject for you guys as it is over here. AND i'm sure a few of you will not like someone away from butting in. flame away- i don't care. untill cyclists start following the rules of the road and taking responsiblitiy for their own actions, they deserve nothing in my opnion. That goes for pedestrians too. After all, the roads were designed for cars and trucks. If you're going to ride your bike in traffic, you must be aware of the fact that you're taking a risk and NO ONE should be held accountable for your safety but yourself.[/p][/quote]Jess, from Maine, I believe: you are not entirely wrong, but the point needs to be made that cars were not built for cars and trucks! Perhaps more so in the USA, but over here, if you look at a map from 1700 or 1800, you will see pretty much the same road pattern as now. (Obviously, I do not include motorways, bypasses etc). Roads were built for horse drawn traffic, and many were improved greatly during the cycling boom of the later 19th century. Cars and trucks are the late-comers! I agree that riding 4 abreast is a stupid thing to do. The fact that you say it happened once suggests it is not a common thing. Cyclists do definitely have to look after their own safety, and the best way to do this is to assume that every driver is a blind idiot. Sometimes, they are not. It certainly annoys drivers when cyclists skip red lights or ride on the pavements, but let's balance this out a bit. It annoys me, as a resident of Colchester, that there is almost always a hum of traffic. It annoys me that the town is sometimes almost gridlocked with cars belching out pollutants. It annoys me, as a cyclist, when drivers pass so close they almost knock you off - and then they stop 50 yards down the road because it's jammed. Those jams, by the way: not caused by bikes! When you're sitting for 20 mins to get down East Hill or Brook Street, it's other cars which cause the jam. Of course, every driver will tell you that their journey is essential, but some of the surveys done suggest that a substantial number of those car journeys are less than a mile. Unless you're disabled or elderly, walking a mile should be nothing! All those kids that are driven a mile to school would be far healthier and more independent if they were to walk there. The central thing of any collision automatically being the motorists' fault: that is clearly ridiculous. But at the same time, if some of those drivers were to swap their vehicles for bikes or walking, it would have an impact on traffic. In other parts of Europe, cycling is actively encouraged, and that needs to be replicated here. romantic
  • Score: 2

1:06pm Wed 5 Feb 14

YesIAm says...

Not all cyclists are idiots who break the rules of the road, and some of the behaviours quoted on hear are not breaking rules of the road (riding 2 abreast, riding 'defensibly' etc) and some of the rules that are being called for already exist (lights at night, reflectors, bells etc)
If you are a motorist and believe these you should not be on the road.

I actually think that it should be mandatory for cyclists to take a proficincy course (or test) to be on the road to ensure they do ride safely however I also think that motorists should be made to ride a bike as part of their test. Walk a mile in their shoes (or cycle in this case) you will soon see how many stupid drivers are out their that have no regard for other road users. Being a cyclist has certainly made me a better driver!
Not all cyclists are idiots who break the rules of the road, and some of the behaviours quoted on hear are not breaking rules of the road (riding 2 abreast, riding 'defensibly' etc) and some of the rules that are being called for already exist (lights at night, reflectors, bells etc) If you are a motorist and believe these you should not be on the road. I actually think that it should be mandatory for cyclists to take a proficincy course (or test) to be on the road to ensure they do ride safely however I also think that motorists should be made to ride a bike as part of their test. Walk a mile in their shoes (or cycle in this case) you will soon see how many stupid drivers are out their that have no regard for other road users. Being a cyclist has certainly made me a better driver! YesIAm
  • Score: 1

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