Share the Road

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  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Though, failing to indicate the pedestrians near the road would be a fail in the hazard assessment part of the driving test (maybe a contribution to a fail).

    It shouldn't be an excuse, but I've heard several times "It wasn't my fault, I was doing under the speed limit" when a child has been hit.

    But since you can be held as blameless for driving onto the pavement and running over and killing four year olds: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3158989/delivery-driver-cleared-death-four-year-old-he-knocked-down-wirral/ or riding into the back of cyclists and killing them https://www.cyclinguk.org/blog/duncandollimore/mason-verdict I don't expect to see drivers being held accountable for their actions any time soon.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Though, failing to indicate the pedestrians near the road would be a fail in the hazard assessment part of the driving test (maybe a contribution to a fail).

    It shouldn't be an excuse, but I've heard several times "It wasn't my fault, I was doing under the speed limit" when a child has been hit.
    As the rest of my post (that you chose not to quote) indicates, I agree that failing to observe potential hazards is not an excuse. The importance of observation and identification of potential hazards is part of the driving test for a very good reason.

    And, in relation to one of the stories just recounted. A stopped bus is a potential hazard - you can get people suddenly crossing the road to catch it, people just got off wanting to cross the road, and of course the bus will also at some point pull out and you should be prepared to give way. As with any potential hazard the driver should prepare - check if there's anyone behind in case you need to brake hard (the driver behind, of course, should also be aware of the hazard and be ready to brake should the car in front need to), see if there's oncoming traffic in case you need to swerve, ease off the accelerator and be ready to brake etc. Far too often though, the response of drivers to a stopped bus is "get past as fast as possible in case it pulls off and I'm stuck behind it".

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Though, failing to indicate the pedestrians near the road would be a fail in the hazard assessment part of the driving test (maybe a contribution to a fail).

    It shouldn't be an excuse, but I've heard several times "It wasn't my fault, I was doing under the speed limit" when a child has been hit.
    As the rest of my post (that you chose not to quote) indicates, I agree that failing to observe potential hazards is not an excuse. The importance of observation and identification of potential hazards is part of the driving test for a very good reason.

    And, in relation to one of the stories just recounted. A stopped bus is a potential hazard - you can get people suddenly crossing the road to catch it, people just got off wanting to cross the road, and of course the bus will also at some point pull out and you should be prepared to give way. As with any potential hazard the driver should prepare - check if there's anyone behind in case you need to brake hard (the driver behind, of course, should also be aware of the hazard and be ready to brake should the car in front need to), see if there's oncoming traffic in case you need to swerve, ease off the accelerator and be ready to brake etc. Far too often though, the response of drivers to a stopped bus is "get past as fast as possible in case it pulls off and I'm stuck behind it".

    Pax, I agree with you, I was just cutting off there for brevity.

  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    IIRC, it's illegal to pass a stopped school bus in the US.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    IIRC, it's illegal to pass a stopped school bus in the US.

    It wasn’t a school bus. There are very few school buses in the U.K.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    No, I appreciate that. But there are some rules from other jurisdictions that we may want to adopt.
  • Everyone on the road needs to drive/cycle/walk/skateboard/pogo sensibly and responsibly. Many don't but no government who want to be re-elected is going to put in reasonable deterrent laws.
  • In a sensible world, if something is essential but unlikely to be popular (eg: cut urban speed limit to 20mph) then you would have cross-party consensus. If all the parties have that in their manifesto then it's not going to be a substantial vote loser.

    But that requires intelligent politics. So no chance of that.
  • Education, like helmets, are ways of avoiding actually doing something to fix infrastructure. These are ways of blaming individuals.
  • Doc Tor wrote: »
    No, I appreciate that. But there are some rules from other jurisdictions that we may want to adopt.

    In the US, one doesn't pass school buses that are letting kids on or off (school buses come equipped with flashing red lights and stop signs to help remind you) because one expects small children who have just returned home from school and are excited to see their parents to act erratically, run across the street without looking, and so on.

    It's inconvenient if you happen to be driving at school-bus-time, but there's a predictable risk of some child doing something stupid, so this is a reasonable precaution. Similarly, one would slow down on seeing children playing with a ball in a garden, because if the ball goes in the street, someone's probably going to run into the street after it.

    We do not stop for normal buses that are letting passengers off. In the normal case, we assume that people are either responsible competent people, or are traveling under the supervision of a responsible competent person, and so will not run out into traffic willy-nilly.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    No, I appreciate that. But there are some rules from other jurisdictions that we may want to adopt.

    In the US, one doesn't pass school buses that are letting kids on or off (school buses come equipped with flashing red lights and stop signs to help remind you) because one expects small children who have just returned home from school and are excited to see their parents to act erratically, run across the street without looking, and so on.

    It's inconvenient if you happen to be driving at school-bus-time, but there's a predictable risk of some child doing something stupid, so this is a reasonable precaution. Similarly, one would slow down on seeing children playing with a ball in a garden, because if the ball goes in the street, someone's probably going to run into the street after it.

    We do not stop for normal buses that are letting passengers off. In the normal case, we assume that people are either responsible competent people, or are traveling under the supervision of a responsible competent person, and so will not run out into traffic willy-nilly.

    And if they do, then splat. That's the problem, right there. If we can stop because of the possibility of children doing something daft, we can stop because of the possibility of adults doing so. Rather than assuming they won't.

    There is an acceptable level of road deaths. Zero. We might never reach it, but we should never consider any number an acceptable trade-off.

  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Boogie wrote: »
    ...I’m very much in favour of more regulation. I’d have speed cameras absolutely everywhere - and huge fines. But more education is needed too for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

    Amen - and fewer distractions.


  • KarlLB wrote: »
    There is an acceptable level of road deaths. Zero. We might never reach it, but we should never consider any number an acceptable trade-off.

    If you follow your argument, you impose a walking-pace speed limit on all cars everywhere. That'll bring the death rate down.

    But we don't do that, because we do accept that although we should strive for zero deaths, there are some prices that aren't worth paying, and the small gains to be had from, for example, reducing the motorway speed limit to 5mph aren't worth it.

    I rather suspect that the increased congestion that would be caused by city buses all acting as traffic barriers would be quite dramatic.

    Children and adults are different. We need to take more precautions around children. This is not usually a controversial statement, but apparently you think it is.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited April 2018
    KarlLB wrote: »
    There is an acceptable level of road deaths. Zero. We might never reach it, but we should never consider any number an acceptable trade-off.

    If you follow your argument, you impose a walking-pace speed limit on all cars everywhere. That'll bring the death rate down.

    But we don't do that, because we do accept that although we should strive for zero deaths, there are some prices that aren't worth paying, and the small gains to be had from, for example, reducing the motorway speed limit to 5mph aren't worth it.

    I rather suspect that the increased congestion that would be caused by city buses all acting as traffic barriers would be quite dramatic.

    Children and adults are different. We need to take more precautions around children. This is not usually a controversial statement, but apparently you think it is.

    No, but I think we assume too much about how adults behave. Is it too much to overtake a bus slowly enough not to kill someone who doesn't look properly? If cars cannot be driven safely in certain environments then that is a strong case for excluding them from those places. Otherwise we are, indeed, saying that killing a few thousand people, as we do each year, is indeed worth it for the benefits.
  • We also have signs near old peoples' homes to alert car drivers to the likelihood of an elderly someone slowly crossing the road. That's equally possible near bus stops.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    @KarlLB said -
    I think we assume too much about how adults behave. Is it too much to overtake a bus slowly enough not to kill someone who doesn't look properly? If cars cannot be driven safely in certain environments then that is a strong case for excluding them from those places. Otherwise we are, indeed, saying that killing a few thousand people, as we do each year, is indeed worth it for the benefits.

    Which is exactly what my husband was doing and why the girl wasn’t killed and only broke her leg. But so many people won’t drive like this, and get impatient with people who do.

    Which is why I advocate mandatory (slow) speed limits and cameras on all roads. When our motorways have ‘smart cameras’ driving is much more relaxed and safe and, guess what? journey times are no different.

    The idiot who sped past me impatiently is invariably next to me at the next traffic lights - it saved her no time at all.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Boogie wrote: »
    @KarlLB said -
    I think we assume too much about how adults behave. Is it too much to overtake a bus slowly enough not to kill someone who doesn't look properly? If cars cannot be driven safely in certain environments then that is a strong case for excluding them from those places. Otherwise we are, indeed, saying that killing a few thousand people, as we do each year, is indeed worth it for the benefits.

    Which is exactly what my husband was doing and why the girl wasn’t killed and only broke her leg. But so many people won’t drive like this, and get impatient with people who do.

    Which is why I advocate mandatory (slow) speed limits and cameras on all roads. When our motorways have ‘smart cameras’ driving is much more relaxed and safe and, guess what? journey times are no different.

    The idiot who sped past me impatiently is invariably next to me at the next traffic lights - it saved her no time at all.

    Impatience is a major - possibly the main - problem. It underlies the way road users - including cyclists - can endanger other road users. Cyclists have a couple of abbreviations we commonly use - MGIF (must get in front) and MOTC Must Overtake The Cyclist. Humans do seem to hate being held up for a second; you see it in the way that spending ten seconds behind a cyclist at 15mph is "cyclists clogging up the roads and holding everyone up", when anyone with half a functioning brain can see it's congestion - overwhelmingly motor vehicles - that really affects journey times. It's in us all; the disproportionate irritation when someone does 55 on a 60 road - you have to go miles before that actually makes any real difference, but the irritation starts to burn within seconds. We have to learn not to act on it. Light turned amber as I approached, that's 30 seconds out of my life if I stop; I'll live. But it's fighting our instincts.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Is it too much to overtake a bus slowly enough not to kill someone who doesn't look properly?
    Where I live some bus routes are on streets with speed limits of 45 mph, which is plenty fast enough to kill someone. In Irvine, California, there are bus routes on 55-mph streets. No one slows down to 20 to pass busses at bus stops on those streets; given how much traffic the streets are designed to carry it really would impede traffic if they did.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited April 2018
    Ruth wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Is it too much to overtake a bus slowly enough not to kill someone who doesn't look properly?
    Where I live some bus routes are on streets with speed limits of 45 mph, which is plenty fast enough to kill someone. In Irvine, California, there are bus routes on 55-mph streets. No one slows down to 20 to pass busses at bus stops on those streets; given how much traffic the streets are designed to carry it really would impede traffic if they did.

    So instead we risk killing people. Surely we can do better than this? Why mix high speed through traffic with stop-start bus routes? Must be Hell for cyclists and pedestrians trying to cross.
  • Leorning CnihtLeorning Cniht Shipmate
    edited April 2018
    KarlLB wrote: »
    No, but I think we assume too much about how adults behave. Is it too much to overtake a bus slowly enough not to kill someone who doesn't look properly? If cars cannot be driven safely in certain environments then that is a strong case for excluding them from those places.

    Consider some generic main road. In the UK, some random A road - not a dual carriageway with barriers in the median. In the absence of congestion or poor weather, cars are probably doing 50 or 60 mph on that road. They are mere feet away from cars doing 50-60 mph in the opposite direction.

    If someone does something stupid (swerves to avoid a cat, for example) at the wrong time then you have a 100-120 mph collision. That kills people.

    And yet we still do it, and trust that the drivers coming the other way aren't going to be stupid.
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Humans do seem to hate being held up for a second; you see it in the way that spending ten seconds behind a cyclist at 15mph is "cyclists clogging up the roads and holding everyone up", when anyone with half a functioning brain can see it's congestion - overwhelmingly motor vehicles - that really affects journey times.

    My journey home from work usually takes between 20 and 25 minutes. This week, it has been 40 minutes every day. They are in the process of resurfacing a road that my route home crosses, which means that instead of moving off smartly when the lights at this junction turn green, the cars inch delicately forward, bump down onto the cross street that has been stripped, but not yet resurfaced, move slowly across the street, and bump back up onto good road. Then, they can accelerate back to the speed limit (45 mph on that road).

    This single slowing-down seems to reduce the throughput of the junction, and hence of the road as a whole, by about a factor of 2. Without traffic, I'd be home 30 seconds later than I otherwise would. With traffic, it's a different story. The traffic flow is within the normal capacity of the road, so there are not usually holdups. Break this one junction, and you have lowered the capacity of the road to below the traffic flow, and you generate big tailbacks.

    It seems to me that your desire for people to wait for buses would have the same effect on the capacity of the road.

    (In a big city, one would like the bus stop to be separated from the main carriageway by a barrier, and to have a sensible pedestrian crossing adjacent to it. In smaller towns you generally have to make do with some paint markings on the road. If you're lucky, perhaps the bus stop gets a layby.)
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    So your proposals for reducing road deaths are what? Or we accept the current carnage as the inevitable price of our lifestyle?
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    So your proposals for reducing road deaths are what? Or we accept the current carnage as the inevitable price of our lifestyle?

    Well, I think I mentioned upthread that self-driving cars are pretty close. Major factors in road accidents are drunkenness, excess speed (aka the impatient idiot mentioned here), and distraction (text messaging, changing the CD, whatever). Also human stupidity (swerving at the last minute because you just recognized the turning that you want to take.) If the car does the driving, it's not going to suffer from any of those problems.

    (It is also worth pointing out that the "current carnage" has been improving since the 70s, if we're talking about deaths per million people, or forever if we're talking about deaths per mile travelled. Although I don't think the rate of pedestrians & cyclists killed by cars has improved at the same rate - a lot of those gains are from cars being safer for the occupants, people wearing seatbelts and so on.)

  • KarlLB wrote: »
    So your proposals for reducing road deaths are what? Or we accept the current carnage as the inevitable price of our lifestyle?

    It seems (and this is an observation on UK society, not my personal preference - what does _that_ matter?) that we accept it. We get all fussy about things which aren't anything like as unsafe - stranger danger, BSE, RF radiation from phone masts, MMR vaccine - and get on with dying on the roads, in somewhat lower numbers than we used to.

    Well, attitudes on drink-driving came round a lot, and on smoking a bit, so maybe we'll change. Maybe the cost of oil (and battery range, after that) will eventually slow us up a bit. I noticed people going slower when fuel costs went high in 2011-12.

  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Ruth wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Is it too much to overtake a bus slowly enough not to kill someone who doesn't look properly?
    Where I live some bus routes are on streets with speed limits of 45 mph, which is plenty fast enough to kill someone. In Irvine, California, there are bus routes on 55-mph streets. No one slows down to 20 to pass busses at bus stops on those streets; given how much traffic the streets are designed to carry it really would impede traffic if they did.

    So instead we risk killing people. Surely we can do better than this? Why mix high speed through traffic with stop-start bus routes? Must be Hell for cyclists and pedestrians trying to cross.

    The busses have pull-outs on fast roads, and they travel at the same speed as the cars. Bus routes are on major boulevards because they are through streets and it makes a lot more sense to put them there instead of little side streets that don't go very far!

    It's fine for pedestrians wanting to cross - you cross at the corner when the light turns green, and you're always near a corner when you get off the bus because that's where bus stops are.

    Busses don't create so many problems for cyclists in SoCal as just the fact that the streets weren't planned with cyclists in mind. It's not the drivers so much as the urban planning that's at fault. Cities are putting in more bike lanes and paths and on slow-moving streets encouraging cyclists to ride right in the traffic lanes, but it's a poor substitute for the massive redesign we need.

    I will cheer that redesign, too, as it will mean cyclists can stop scaring the hell out of me on the sidewalk, and cycling would feel safe enough for more people to do it. Including me.

    Much has been made here of how lethal cars are if they hit you, and that's indisputable. But I can't remember the last close call I had with a car when walking, while I have them with cyclists and skateboarders all the time. I don't think my right knee will ever be the same after the fall I took a year ago getting out of the way of a skateboarder.
  • There's skateboarding which in my definition means people doing tricks and recreationally using boards. Long boards are for transportation and tend to roll much like a bicycle would. These are different things. in my city both long and skate boards are not allowed in some areas. It is a small group who use them, without any likelihood for separated infrastructure for commuting by long board.

    One of the questions which comes to my mind re the human error and autonomous self-driving cars is that they autonomous cars may well reduce the general injury and death statistic. But what if the deaths are drastically reduced but who is killed is mostly peds and cyclists. before anyone says this is worry about something that isn't happening, the info I've seen is that this is precisely what is likely because cars can communicate with each other and peds and bicyclists are not as easily detected. or what if the deaths are mostly children who even less detectable?
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Here's an article on the latest menace to pedestrians: ride-share electric scooters.

  • And here's the latest humorous take on things from Jay Foreman:
    Why drivers should want cycle lanes
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DNNIB_PdaA
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    So your proposals for reducing road deaths are what?

    Segregated infrastructure. Cars can't kill pedestrians or cyclists if they're not in the same place to start with.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    So your proposals for reducing road deaths are what?

    Segregated infrastructure. Cars can't kill pedestrians or cyclists if they're not in the same place to start with.
    So, practically how's that achieved?

    Take pedestrians and motor vehicles as a starting point. They're already segregated, with sidewalks/pavements and other walkways where vehicles are not permitted. The points where these two transport modes share the same space are where pedestrians wish to cross the road (sticking to urban areas, of course in rural areas there will be roads which are also used by pedestrians). The problems are that pedestrians do not always used designated crossing places (because they're inconvenient), so does your plan for segregation include adding more designated crossing places where they are convenient for pedestrians or forcing pedestrians to go out of their way to cross at existing designated crossings? And, the other problem is that drivers do not always stop at crossings to let pedestrians cross, does your plan include greater monitoring of crossings to catch and prosecute drivers who fail to let pedestrians cross safely?

    Or, do you intend a major infrastructure improvement programme? Perhaps emulate large parts of Tokyo where there are extensive pedestrianised areas produced by a combination of elevated and subterranean pedestrian areas (more like plazas and shopping malls than the dingy, narrow underpasses and footbridges of the UK), and/or elevated or buried road/rail? I'd be quite in favour of that actually, it makes the city so much easier and more pleasant to get around compared to always being at street level adjacent to motor vehicles.
  • Or, do you intend a major infrastructure improvement programme? Perhaps emulate large parts of Tokyo where there are extensive pedestrianised areas produced by a combination of elevated and subterranean pedestrian areas (more like plazas and shopping malls than the dingy, narrow underpasses and footbridges of the UK), and/or elevated or buried road/rail? I'd be quite in favour of that actually, it makes the city so much easier and more pleasant to get around compared to always being at street level adjacent to motor vehicles.

    That's the idea, yes.
  • I really wonder about segregating modes of transport because observation and experience shows that just as cars, cycles and pedestrians use the road so they all use sidewalks/pavements: It's no surprise that cyclists use pavements as roads are often dangerous but there are areas in Newport where it is quite usual for cars to be parked up on the pavement too. I've yet to see anyone ticketed for this but if they didn't traffic wouldn't move.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    sionisais wrote: »
    I really wonder about segregating modes of transport because observation and experience shows that just as cars, cycles and pedestrians use the road so they all use sidewalks/pavements: It's no surprise that cyclists use pavements as roads are often dangerous but there are areas in Newport where it is quite usual for cars to be parked up on the pavement too. I've yet to see anyone ticketed for this but if they didn't traffic wouldn't move.
    sionisais wrote: »
    I really wonder about segregating modes of transport because observation and experience shows that just as cars, cycles and pedestrians use the road so they all use sidewalks/pavements: It's no surprise that cyclists use pavements as roads are often dangerous but there are areas in Newport where it is quite usual for cars to be parked up on the pavement too. I've yet to see anyone ticketed for this but if they didn't traffic wouldn't move.

    Your last paragraph says it all - Too Many Cars. It doesn't help when people, as they often do round here, have a driveway but park on the road or pavement instead, essentially because they're bone idle. Make parking on the road when a legal parking space (eg your driveway) is available illegal and you'd improve things a lot.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    And here's the latest humorous take on things from Jay Foreman:
    Why drivers should want cycle lanes ...
    Well, he has a sense of humor. That's a big plus!


  • Or, do you intend a major infrastructure improvement programme? Perhaps emulate large parts of Tokyo where there are extensive pedestrianised areas produced by a combination of elevated and subterranean pedestrian areas (more like plazas and shopping malls than the dingy, narrow underpasses and footbridges of the UK), and/or elevated or buried road/rail? I'd be quite in favour of that actually, it makes the city so much easier and more pleasant to get around compared to always being at street level adjacent to motor vehicles.

    That's the idea, yes.

    Though, the problem is that that solution can only work for a very small minority of roads, a few parts of the centre of London, probably some bits of other large cities. It would do nothing to segregate pedestrians and motor traffic along roads in the vast majority of our urban areas.
  • Luther would have said, This is most certainly true.
  • There is a cycling argument for riding two abreast on some roads - where there is not enough room for cars / vans to pass giving enough space for the cyclist on the road too. Then cyclists are advised to ride further into the middle of the road and/or ride two abreast to stop being overtaken too close and pushed into the hedge/verge/drain covers/whatever is at the edge of the road. Under the UK Highway Code, Rule 66, the Rule instructs that:
    never ride more than two abreast, and ride in single file on narrow or busy roads and when riding round bends

    According to the UK Highway Code Rules 212 - 213
    Rule 212
    When passing motorcyclists and cyclists, give them plenty of room (see Rules 162 to 167). If they look over their shoulder it could mean that they intend to pull out, turn right or change direction. Give them time and space to do so.

    Rule 213
    Motorcyclists and cyclists may suddenly need to avoid uneven road surfaces and obstacles such as drain covers or oily, wet or icy patches on the road. Give them plenty of room and pay particular attention to any sudden change of direction they may have to make.

    One of my nearest misses was being passed by a lorry on a narrow lane, pushed into the side of the road and hitting an ice covered drain cover, which pitched me across the road into the path of another car. There were reasons I ride wide on that section.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited April 2018
    Overtaking a cyclist means pulling into another lane whether they are riding alone or two abreast, so requires the same conditions - no oncoming traffic on a single carriageway or a free overtaking lane on a dual. If you regularly find yourself thinking "I could get past if there was just one" you're probably habitually passing too close.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Overtaking a cyclist means pulling into another lane whether they are riding alone or two abreast, so requires the same conditions - no oncoming traffic on a single carriageway or a free overtaking lane on a dual. If you regularly find yourself thinking "I could get past if there was just one" you're probably habitually passing too close.

    Yes, always pass a bike as if it were the width of a car.
  • The law in Queensland is that drivers must leave a 1m gap when passing a bike in a 60kph or lower zone, and 1.5m in a higher than 60kph zone. Drivers may cross a double white line to pass a bike, if it is safe to do so.
    Riding 2 abreast does not show gratitude to the legislators who have tried to make cycling safer with this rule, nor does it endear recreational cyclists (they're all recreational where I live) to drivers who are on the road for mundane purposes like getting to work or to the nearest shop almost 20km away.
  • In many ways "pass as though it was a car occupying that lane" is simpler than legislating a particular distance between car and bike, especially if that's a variable distance dependent upon speed limit. Though, I can see how lawyers would prefer a clearly defined number there. Riding two abreast where that means there's not enough room to pass with a 1.0/1.5m gap (eg when the outer most rider is close to the centre line) is a problem when you specify a minimum distance to pass, it's not when you're more qualitative - two cyclists abreast do take up the space of a car (sort of) and so don't pose a bigger difficulty to pass.

    The problem, of course, isn't the law though. It's the enforcement of the law. How many drivers get caught and prosecuted for passing a cyclist too close - however that's defined? More significantly, how many of them get prosecuted even if they have done no harm to the cyclists? I saw something on TV last year sometime, with community support officers on their bikes kitted out with cameras, and then those drivers who passed them too close pulled over by regular police further down the road - but, I'm pretty sure that was to issue a warning and a reminder of how much space they should give rather than issue on the spot fines and penalty points on their license.
  • which means legislation, enforcement and strategies to promote attitudinal change in the community.

    SOLVED IT :smiley:
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited April 2018
    The law in Queensland is that drivers must leave a 1m gap when passing a bike in a 60kph or lower zone, and 1.5m in a higher than 60kph zone. Drivers may cross a double white line to pass a bike, if it is safe to do so.
    Riding 2 abreast does not show gratitude to the legislators who have tried to make cycling safer with this rule, nor does it endear recreational cyclists (they're all recreational where I live) to drivers who are on the road for mundane purposes like getting to work or to the nearest shop almost 20km away.

    Why? It doesn't slow them down as they need to use another lane to pass anyway. Passing two-abreast cyclists just means moving the steering wheel a bit more.
  • One metre is not enough space says this cyclist and driver.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    The Rogue wrote: »
    One metre is not enough space says this cyclist and driver.

    And this one agrees. The problem with these distances is they leave drivers wondering if they can squeeze past within the lane. No, you can't. You will need to change lanes or use the opposite lane, just as when overtaking another car. That might mean waiting for a gap in oncoming or overtaking traffic, just like when overtaking another car.
  • Give the lawyers a break, they need the work arguing a case in the courts. If presented with a photograph from a traffic camera (or elsewhere) they can't argue was the driver all the way over to the next lane or not, they can argue "was that 1.05m or 0.95m?".
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Why? It doesn't slow them down as they need to use another lane to pass anyway. Passing two-abreast cyclists just means moving the steering wheel a bit more.

    You make an assumption about the width of the lanes.

    On a standard UK road, I'd agree with you that there's never space for a bike and a car to occupy the same lane. Bikes and Motorbikes do it when they "filter" in traffic, of course, but that's at very slow speeds, where you don't need the same clearances.

    On typical residential roads in these parts, I can pass a parked car and remain in the lane. I can do the same passing a cyclist. If I were to pass two cyclists side by side, I'd want to leave the same clearance around the outside cyclist as I would around a single cyclist, which would put me clearly into the other lane.

    In other words, I leave significantly more space between me and a cyclist than I do between me and a car, because the cyclist is able and likely to make much more erratic trajectory changes. To pass a single cyclist in the "normal cycling position" requires a car to be in the same place that it would be to pass a car. To pass two cyclists side-by-side requires the car to be 6 feet further across.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited April 2018
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Why? It doesn't slow them down as they need to use another lane to pass anyway. Passing two-abreast cyclists just means moving the steering wheel a bit more.

    You make an assumption about the width of the lanes.

    On a standard UK road, I'd agree with you that there's never space for a bike and a car to occupy the same lane. Bikes and Motorbikes do it when they "filter" in traffic, of course, but that's at very slow speeds, where you don't need the same clearances.

    On typical residential roads in these parts, I can pass a parked car and remain in the lane. I can do the same passing a cyclist. If I were to pass two cyclists side by side, I'd want to leave the same clearance around the outside cyclist as I would around a single cyclist, which would put me clearly into the other lane.

    In other words, I leave significantly more space between me and a cyclist than I do between me and a car, because the cyclist is able and likely to make much more erratic trajectory changes. To pass a single cyclist in the "normal cycling position" requires a car to be in the same place that it would be to pass a car. To pass two cyclists side-by-side requires the car to be 6 feet further across.

    Only if there's six feet between the two cyclists which would be unusual. I'd be willing to bet you lose about ten seconds to this phenomenon per week, like most of the things motorists complain about concerning cyclists. Compare that with the hours lost to being stuck behind queues of drivers taking up whole lanes because they've got an empty passenger seat, and it's clear we've got a perception problem here.
  • On typical residential roads in these parts, I can pass a parked car and remain in the lane. I can do the same passing a cyclist.
    Either you're driving a very narrow car, or there's far too much land under concrete. If we assume a car width of 2m (admittedly probably slightly wider than average) and 50cm passing space then to remain in your lane while passing a car the lane needs to be at least 4.5m wide. That's significantly wider than any road lane I've ever seen. It's wider than some roads around here, roads which are supposed to accommodate cars going in both directions, though most two-way roads will be closer to 6m wide.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Only if there's six feet between the two cyclists which would be unusual. I'd be willing to bet you lose about ten seconds to this phenomenon per week, like most of the things motorists complain about concerning cyclists. Compare that with the hours lost to being stuck behind queues of drivers taking up whole lanes because they've got an empty passenger seat, and it's clear we've got a perception problem here.

    When I see cyclists riding two abreast, I typically see them between 4 and 6 feet apart. The cycling clubs, who do the lycra peleton thing, ride closer together. There's also a significant difference in the behaviour of these two groups. The cycle club peletons are typically moving at speed. Individual pairs of riders who are riding abreast are typically riding slowly, not holding a stable road position, and talking to each other. Less often, it's a parent riding on the outside of a child, to try to shield the child from idiot car drivers.

    I often see groups of 2-3 cyclists who seem to be travelling somewhere together, but they ride one behind the other.

    I don't lose much time to this phenomenon because it's rare that I see two cyclists riding side-by-side. People just typically don't do it here. I've probably lost more time in the last year to teens doing stupid teen things (riding around the subdivisions on a wheeled office chair holding on to the back of their friend's truck, and other stupid things that kids who think they're immortal do.)

    But the frequency with which something happens doesn't affect whether it is courteous behaviour or not. It affects whether town planners should expend effort trying to manage it, but not whether individual people should do it.

    On typical residential roads in these parts, I can pass a parked car and remain in the lane. I can do the same passing a cyclist.
    Either you're driving a very narrow car, or there's far too much land under concrete.

    Most residential streets around here are built to accommodate traffic flow with cars parked on the street. People visit other people, so there will usually be a clump of cars by one home. The roads are designed with this in mind. (And I suppose in US terms, I do have a narrow car, which is to say that in UK terms it's a normal car.)

    Too much concrete? Perhaps, but then again, I don't get stuck behind queues of drivers on residential streets. It is, I think, the correct amount of concrete if you build a road system to meet your needs without worrying about how much space it takes up (which is pretty much the approach taken in US suburbia). And of course, once the roads are where they are, they're hard to move (you're not going to change the spacing between houses, you're unlikely to move the sewers and utilities, and making the road 6 feet narrower and replacing it with 6 feet of grass isn't going to attract public support.

  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited April 2018
    These are residential streets - shouldn't these be exactly where people without tons of motorised metal should be able to be a bit more casual and less disciplined? I dream of that being normal and expected. It'd require less expectation that you can travel fast on them, but that's a good thing.

    I find your last sentence sad. Isn't a bit of greenery desirable? Unfortunately there are enough verges around here destroyed by parking for me to know that there are enough orcs amongst us to destroy any dream of a pleasant environment :(
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