Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => On The Road => Topic started by: 2_Flat_Erics on June 02, 2010, 08:59:27 pm

Title: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: 2_Flat_Erics on June 02, 2010, 08:59:27 pm
This morning I was riding from Southend to Pitsea via the A13. I was fully loaded with both rear panniers on. My normal experience is that most people tend to give a lot more room when overtaking a loaded bike, but not this morning.

Just after the lights in Hadleigh a First Bus overtook me and only missed hitting me by a couple of inches.

Video is here First bus number 40778 (http://www.youtube.com/user/2FlatErics#p/u/1/Jhl_dVCNaEg)

I could not get the Reg number off the video but the bus number is clear.

I have emailed a complaint to the bus company. Lets hope that they show the video to the driver and he learns a lesson about leaving enough room when overtaking.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: tonycollinet on June 02, 2010, 09:08:24 pm
Dammit that was close.

Hope you get a positive response.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: 2_Flat_Erics on June 02, 2010, 09:47:59 pm
Just got an auto responder confirming receipt of my email.. I had to laugh at the first line of their email signature.

"Follow the Injury Prevention Principles.  IF YOU CANNOT DO IT SAFELY, DON'T
DO IT."

Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: clarion on June 02, 2010, 09:58:36 pm
That was ridiculous.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: citoyen on June 02, 2010, 11:11:04 pm
Bus driver is a moron. That was an idiotic manoeuvre.

I must say, though, that I would have been riding further out into the lane in that situation, specifically to discourage manoeuvres like that - when you look down at your front wheel, you appear to be no more than a few inches from the white lines. It looks like the lane is pretty narrow as it doglegs through the junction, so you need to properly own it by occupying the middle of the lane, make it clear that there's only room for one vehicle at a time, even if one of those vehicles is a bike.

This is not meant as a criticism - the bus driver is the one in the wrong here, not you - but give them an inch...

Anyway, fingers crossed for an apology at the very least.

d.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: asterix on June 03, 2010, 07:07:47 am
Excellent evidence.  A picture of your loaded bike would also have been interesting.  I guess the bus driver wanted to catch up his mate - buses like to travel in clumps.

Hope the driver gets his comeuppance and learns from it.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: Regulator on June 03, 2010, 09:50:36 am
That's not just a stupid manoeuvre - but criminally stupid.

I'd report it to the police as careless driving.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: clarion on June 03, 2010, 09:51:38 am
And they will do what?
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: Hot Flatus on June 03, 2010, 09:56:33 am
Happened to me a couple of years ago. I phoned the depot and spoke to the manager in a rational and non ranty way. I asked him to seek the opinion of another bus driver who was following me and must have seen it.

Got a letter later saying that the driver had been spoken to and that he would be given some retraining.

It's worth doing
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: Regulator on June 03, 2010, 09:57:42 am
And they will do what?

This is Essex Police rather than the Met.  Essex are (sometimes) OK - and tend to be quite hot on driving offences.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: alexb on June 03, 2010, 10:05:19 am
I think it's worth filming your self riding through a couple of cones set at various spacings and then photographing the width between yourself and the cones. This would allow you to calibrate the camera's viewpoint and give a proper indication of just how close a pass actually was.
The camera angle often makes a close pass apear less close than it actually was, this would allow you to put numbers to the images.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: 2_Flat_Erics on June 03, 2010, 11:18:55 am
Bus driver is a moron. That was an idiotic manoeuvre.

I must say, though, that I would have been riding further out into the lane in that situation, specifically to discourage manoeuvres like that - when you look down at your front wheel, you appear to be no more than a few inches from the white lines. It looks like the lane is pretty narrow as it doglegs through the junction, so you need to properly own it by occupying the middle of the lane, make it clear that there's only room for one vehicle at a time, even if one of those vehicles is a bike.

This is not meant as a criticism - the bus driver is the one in the wrong here, not you - but give them an inch...

Anyway, fingers crossed for an apology at the very least.

d.


Thanks for the comments Citizen Smudge, I do agree with them. Im still gaining experience in how best to ride in traffic, im learning more and gaining confidence all the time.

It does sometimes seem though that it does not matter where you position yourself on the road someone will still try and squeeze past.

typical case in point is R653 FHJ squeezing past just before pinch point (http://www.youtube.com/user/2FlatErics#p/a/u/0/r0b7Cz0G_7A)

This was on the same morning as the bus vid about 20 mins earlier. The vid makes it look like I'm further left than I am, I rode across the white arrow on the road.

But like you say, give them an inch..... and they will take the Pi$$.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: 2_Flat_Erics on June 03, 2010, 11:25:49 am
I think it's worth filming your self riding through a couple of cones set at various spacings and then photographing the width between yourself and the cones. This would allow you to calibrate the camera's viewpoint and give a proper indication of just how close a pass actually was.
The camera angle often makes a close pass apear less close than it actually was, this would allow you to put numbers to the images.

Good idea Alex.

I have found on a few occasions when I get home and look at footage of what I thought was close on the road appeard less so on the video. I think the cam is also mounted slightly wonkey as the video tends to make it look like im riding further to the left than I actually am. A little bit of tinkering with cam postition is neaded... oh and find some road works to steal a couple of cones  ;)
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: Ham on June 03, 2010, 02:50:52 pm
typical case in point is R653 FHJ squeezing past just before pinch point

Simple question, did you (a) indicate with a signal, and (b) look back just before the manoeuvre? You changed your position on the road: Mirror(or look) Signal (and look) Manoeuvre becomes even more essential on a bike than in a car.

It doesn't excuse the bad driving in the slightest, but the correct cycling technique may increase your chances of survival in a less than perfect world.

You may be interested in Cycle Training UK http://www.cycletraining.co.uk/ (http://www.cycletraining.co.uk/) which  provides training for all, and even better it is mostly free, funded by local authority. And if your LA doesn't  then TFL are doing it for free at the moment, too ( https://cyclechallenge.tfl.gov.uk/support.php (https://cyclechallenge.tfl.gov.uk/support.php) ) And before you pooh-pooh it and say you know too much to have training, I consider myself a safe rider with 40 years experience, and one of the longest commutes (26 miles each way, East-West London) and I've just done it and learned from it. (I will write about it on my cycling Blog soon)
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: Biggsy on June 03, 2010, 03:14:19 pm
A left signal at that point could easily have been confused for a signal to turn into the side road, and would have encouraged overtaking even more.  I hope no training course advises signalling for every change of road position regardless of circumstances.  EDIT: This is in referrence to the first video, just before the close pass.

The only thing I might have done differently was not to move so far over to the left at that point, especially to avoid getting close to the car waiting to pull out from the left.

Anyway, it's good to have got the bus number, and I hope the driver is tracked down.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: Ham on June 03, 2010, 04:05:41 pm
Yeah, good luck with getting the driver educated.

My comment was more on the second video you post, where you pull out to the right.

On the main video, you are pulling in to the left at the time. Given that there is a left turn there, the road narrows past the junction and there is a "merge from the left" from the bus lane,  I would suggest that staying in the centre riding straight at least until past the second junction would avoid the possibility that either the bus driver or the car think you are turning left.  or try to overtake without realising how little space you have. Again, looking at the width of the lane in between the first and second junction, there is yet more reason for staying in the middle of the inside lane.

The common feature between the two videos is that in both you are changing your position in the road, and in both drivers have made dangerous moves in situations you may have been able to avoid. Again, please don't think this is either condoning the poor driving or criticising your riding, just pointing out that there  alternative riding techniques that may be safer.

(oops - just noticed that I was replying to biggsy - doh)

Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: Biggsy on June 03, 2010, 05:00:52 pm
Sorry, I was only referring to the first video and haven't seen the second.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: 2_Flat_Erics on June 03, 2010, 06:32:13 pm
Yeah, good luck with getting the driver educated.

My comment was more on the second video you post, where you pull out to the right.

On the main video, you are pulling in to the left at the time. Given that there is a left turn there, the road narrows past the junction and there is a "merge from the left" from the bus lane,  I would suggest that staying in the centre riding straight at least until past the second junction would avoid the possibility that either the bus driver or the car think you are turning left.  or try to overtake without realising how little space you have. Again, looking at the width of the lane in between the first and second junction, there is yet more reason for staying in the middle of the inside lane.

The common feature between the two videos is that in both you are changing your position in the road, and in both drivers have made dangerous moves in situations you may have been able to avoid. Again, please don't think this is either condoning the poor driving or criticising your riding, just pointing out that there  alternative riding techniques that may be safer.

(oops - just noticed that I was replying to biggsy - doh)



Constructive comments like this are always welcome. It's helpfull to have other peoples viewpoints. I think we can all be blinkered at times and not see things that others see as obvious.

Since I have had the cam there have been a couple of occasions when I have returned home, looked at the video, and seen something in a totally different light. Either I have seen something that I should not have done or seen a way in which a conflict could have been avoided in the first place. I think that my cycling and road sense in general have improved as a result but im still a long way from perfect and still learning.

With hindsight I could certainly have taken a more assertive line through the junction with the bus. This would have forced the driver to stay behind me until he could merge into the other lane. We all live and learn and I certainly treat these incidents as learning experiences.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: Jacomus on June 04, 2010, 12:20:06 am

      YouTube
            - Kanal von 2FlatErics
    (http://www.youtube.com/user/2FlatErics#p/a/u/2/oPUYiIgkMUk)

Ho-lee-crap

Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: DrMekon on June 04, 2010, 07:00:19 am

      YouTube
            - Kanal von 2FlatErics
    (http://www.youtube.com/user/2FlatErics#p/a/u/2/oPUYiIgkMUk)

Ho-lee-crap



Indeed. I would be making the turn and having words for that one.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: Wendy on June 04, 2010, 08:18:45 am
LOL Biggsy, I don't think Ham is suggesting a left signal, but a right one.  That would be very appropriate here, because it would almost certainly alter the bus driver's actions.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: Biggsy on June 04, 2010, 08:47:52 am
I misunderstood which video Ham was referring to.

Yes, right signals do disuade close overtakes.  I'll be getting an artificial arm to have permanently sticking out :)
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: Wendy on June 04, 2010, 08:58:06 am
I think the suggestion applies well to both overtakes - the bus, and the R reg red car too.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: Biggsy on June 04, 2010, 09:26:18 am
A right signal would not have been correct for the first situation as the cyclist was moving left and not intending to move right.  Perhaps it would have helped despite that, but are you seriously suggesting that cyclists signal right even when they have no intention of moving right?

Sad if that's what it's come to, and ultimately it won't work if everyone did that as motorists would cotton on.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: Wendy on June 04, 2010, 09:30:12 am
Oh, I mean a right signal before where he goes through the narrowing, just after letting the bus go in front, not where he moves left as the lanes move also.  I assume that's where Ham meant too.  It's not a right signal to change lanes, but to hold the middle of that lane, and it'll continue to affect most drivers for a little while afterwards, most likely until past the junction where the other bus passes too close.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: citoyen on June 04, 2010, 09:33:02 am

      YouTube
            - Kanal von 2FlatErics
    (http://www.youtube.com/user/2FlatErics#p/a/u/2/oPUYiIgkMUk)

Ho-lee-crap

What a cock.

I've had that stunt pulled on me before, by a boy racer twunt in a chavmobile with a ridiculous pearlescent paintjob. The road was even narrower, and due to oncoming traffic, the right-turner had to come to a total halt, hence I also had to come to a total halt. And I was extremely thankful for my good brakes and even better reactions.

I didn't go after him, but since he was turning into a residential cul-de-sac, I assumed that was where he lived, so I thought I'd go back later, after dark, and take it out on his stupid car. Fortunately, I calmed down enough to think better of it before I had a chance to go through with it.

Oh, and when it happened, due to the narrowness of the road, I was trying to discourage overtaking by keeping well out from the kerb. So it goes to show, I suppose, that some twunts just won't get the message whatever you do.  ::-)

d.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: 2_Flat_Erics on June 15, 2010, 04:10:07 pm
Just had an email from the bus company.

Starts off with all the usual standard blurb about them being serious about safety and driver being dealt with etc etc. But then they ask if they can have an original copy of the video to use in their training at the depot. Looks like the depot manager is taking it very seriously.

All in all I think it's a decent result.

Quote
Thank you very much indeed for your email regarding the problems you’ve experienced with a First Eastern England driver.

I was really concerned to hear about your unsatisfactory experience with First Eastern England and am very sorry that you experienced poor driving standard from a First driver on the 02 June 2010.

All of our drivers, prior to going on the road, are assessed in terms of their driving competence and will spend time with a 'driving buddy' to familiarise with routes and ticketing enquiries. In addition to this, all drivers are constantly monitored to ensure their performance is in line with the high standards we set ourselves. Any drivers who fall below this standard will be re-trained and assessed in the driving school by our dedicated team of driving specialists.

The driver concerned was identified with the assistance of your feedback and appropriate action is being taken with a view to preventing any recurrence of this nature. Safety is of absolute paramount importance at First East England – our number 1 priority. Please be assured that we operate a very strong safe driving policy and record, whilst all our drivers are fully aware of the rules and regulations governing the area mentioned.  Those who do not abide with these are putting their licence at risk, which ultimately could cost their job.

Recently, we’ve implemented a 'Drive Green' initiative that highlights the vehicle's movements (e.g. braking and acceleration). Staff Managers and Operational Managers review these reports regularly and any appropriate action is then taken against drivers who fail this system.

We also analyse and actively discuss every incident relating to safety at a monthly meeting involving our Board of Directors so that we can ascertain the circumstances and ensure that our plans and processes are sufficiently robust to help prevent similar incidents occurring in the future.

Having viewed the video, the Depot Operations Manager has asked if it would be possible to provide a hard copy of the video so it can be used as a training tool for all other drivers at the Depot. if this is possible, please could you send a copy to the following address:

First Eastern England
Hadliegh Depot
35 London Road
Hadleigh
ESSEX
SS7 2QL

On behalf of First, I thank you again for your comments and bringing these problems to my attention. I apologise that you have not found your recent experiences of First to be as positive as they should be.

Yours sincerely
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: clarion on June 15, 2010, 04:17:37 pm
Yes, that's a result.  Well done.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: citoyen on June 15, 2010, 06:03:04 pm
Excellent response, very encouraging. Congratulations to the bus company for their attitude.  :thumbsup:

d.
Title: Re: Stupidly close pass by Bus.
Post by: Domestique on June 15, 2010, 08:05:34 pm
It is good news. 
I hate the idea of having to carry a camera on the bike, but I am now starting to think its way to go  :-\