Author Topic: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?  (Read 2026 times)

You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« on: December 10, 2013, 09:27:10 pm »
What's my #1 gripe?

Other cyclists who seem to have confused the fact that it's sensible to try and avoid large vehicles with culpability if one of their drivers mashes you to deth.

http://mccraw.co.uk/cycling-wisdom-and-culpability/

red marley

Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2013, 10:25:10 am »
I agree with the main point of your blog that the responsibility for safety must lie with those most likely to be the cause of danger, and that much of the recent activity around cycling and safety has failed to do that.

I would take issue with your comparison with sexual assault though. It's always going to be an highly sensitive issue for many, and the comparison you make runs the danger of inadvertantly perpetuating a dangerous myth. Rape is a deliberate, wilful act of violence against individuals. HGV incidents involving cycling casualties may be many things - careless, negligent, incautious, complacent - but they are rarely, if ever, deliberate acts intentionally perpetrated to harm individuals. To compare the two risks suggesting that sexual assault can also happen 'by mistake' - a commonly used defence made by those who carry out the violence.

I realise to imply as such was never your intention, but there may be more sensitive ways of making the point.

Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2013, 01:23:27 pm »
I see the point you're making.  My view is that all road users make mistakes.  All the time cyclists and motor vehicles share the same space there will be incidents, and the vulnerable road user will come off worse.  Where society has got the balance wrong in my view is the low value it places on the consequences of making a mistake that results in serious injury or death on the roads.  That's the bit I think that needs to change.

Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2013, 01:39:46 pm »
I see the point you're making.  My view is that all road users make mistakes.  All the time cyclists and motor vehicles share the same space there will be incidents, and the vulnerable road user will come off worse.  Where society has got the balance wrong in my view is the low value it places on the consequences of making a mistake that results in serious injury or death on the roads.  That's the bit I think that needs to change.

I think it's this view that allows juries to let someone off. "Oh he made a mistake - it could happen to any of us" We need a social sea change where mistakes are seen as such BUT the end result of selfish antisocial driving is seen as the result of criminal negligence rather than a "mistake".
Reine de la Fauche


Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2013, 02:06:40 pm »
Not sure about the juries point - having served on a jury there are very clear directions given.  Inconsiderate, careless, dangerous driving are all different and get treated accordingly.

For the attitude of society to change there needs to be better behaviour on all sides - I see reckless cycling all the time and have been guilty of it myself.  Does that help the cause?  Nope.  Consequences of reckless cycling undoubtedly less on the motor vehicle driver when an incident occurs, but the motorists generally don't see it that way.

Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2013, 02:40:49 pm »
Not sure about the juries point - having served on a jury there are very clear directions given.  Inconsiderate, careless, dangerous driving are all different and get treated accordingly.

For the attitude of society to change there needs to be better behaviour on all sides - I see reckless cycling all the time and have been guilty of it myself.  Does that help the cause?  Nope.  Consequences of reckless cycling undoubtedly less on the motor vehicle driver when an incident occurs, but the motorists generally don't see it that way.

I've done jury service as well. I just think juries who are drivers are easily swayed by a good defence legal beagle. I don't think behaving better will make any difference, though I don't condone it. We are an "out group" and all get blamed for the sins of the few. Contrast this to the frequent misdemeanours of drivers e.g mobile phone abuse where the blame is placed on the culprit - not across the entire group.
Reine de la Fauche


Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2013, 03:25:35 pm »
There we differ.  I strongly believe better behaviour is needed all round.  A position that it's OK for cyclists to break the rules when it suits them but motorists need to be whiter than white is untenable and damaging.

Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2013, 04:11:58 pm »
I would take issue with your comparison with sexual assault though. It's always going to be an highly sensitive issue for many, and the comparison you make runs the danger of inadvertantly perpetuating a dangerous myth....

To compare the two risks suggesting that sexual assault can also happen 'by mistake' - a commonly used defence made by those who carry out the violence.

It's interesting that you take the comparison in quite the opposite direction.

My point was that if you are jumped by a rapist hiding behind a tree, the blame lies with the rapist even if the police have been handing out advice to vulnerable women. I'm suggesting that we should see cycling/HGV advice in the same way - that there's nothing wrong with it but it doesn't follow that the perpetrator gets let off the hook just because the government rolls out "watch out for HGV" stickers every so often.

If the reader believes that running over cyclists inadvertently is OK, they might conclude "accidentally" going out to a park at midnight with a knife looking for lone women is also OK? I'm not convinced this is really a risk of this particular article, although I understand what you're saying as a general point.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2013, 04:20:10 pm »
I'm not sure I want to perpetuate this side-track, but it seems to me that a lot of sexual assaults are 'accidental' because of the cultural acceptance of really vague definitions of consent (it's not usually rapists in bushes, it's drunk and/or abusive partners).  In a way that could be compared to a lot of traffic 'accidents' because of the cultural acceptance of really vague levels of care.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2013, 04:43:50 pm »
There we differ.  I strongly believe better behaviour is needed all round.  A position that it's OK for cyclists to break the rules when it suits them but motorists need to be whiter than white is untenable and damaging.
Dan,
We've recently spent 14 pages discussing this very point. It looks like you registered just as that debate finally fizzled out. PLEASE have a look before dredging it up again - it's been covered in some detail!
2 threads:
This one: https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=78081.msg1602359#msg1602359

And - probably more relevantly - the following. Here's the post I felt summed things up diplomatically yet succintly:
(click to show/hide)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2013, 05:12:44 pm »
There we differ.  I strongly believe better behaviour is needed all round.  A position that it's OK for cyclists to break the rules when it suits them but motorists need to be whiter than white is untenable and damaging.

Just to put a final word on this - simply asking truck drivers not to spin the wheel unless they've ensured their nearside is clear is not asking them to be superhuman or "whiter than white".

It's a simple, realistic, very achievable demand for the British public to make of the professional drivers in our streets.

We cannot excuse criminal negligence towards one dead person because someone else living in the UK broke a law and has the same skin colour as the deceased. Or rides the same bike.

Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2013, 10:27:33 pm »
There we differ.  I strongly believe better behaviour is needed all round.  A position that it's OK for cyclists to break the rules when it suits them but motorists need to be whiter than white is untenable and damaging.

I'm not sure if that's directed at my comment but if it is my position is clear. Blame me for my sins of omission and commision. I have no, none, zero responsibility for the sins of others. Why should I ? I do not condone their behaviour as I said earlier but in none of my other everyday activities am I deemed to be in the wrong simply because of that activity.
Reine de la Fauche


Martin

  • Give me bas relief
    • WWW
Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2013, 10:31:20 pm »
What's my #1 gripe?

Other cyclists who seem to have confused the fact that it's sensible to try and avoid large vehicles with culpability if one of their drivers mashes you to deth.

http://mccraw.co.uk/cycling-wisdom-and-culpability/

I think it's sensible to avoid large vehicles end of; does that make me some sort of weirdo? FWIW I don't give a shit about culpability I just want to stay alive  :)

Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2013, 11:17:40 pm »
So what you are saying is: if the woman I saw yesterday had got squashed she would not in any way have been responsible for her own demise. Even though she was squeezing down the side of a lorry at a set of traffic lights, in a gap too narrow to cycle down ( she had to scoot ) & which had railings to prevent her escape. ( the lights went green about 3 seconds after she got past the lorry.) The lorry driver would've been wholly to blame?

Martin

  • Give me bas relief
    • WWW
Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2013, 11:28:35 pm »
So what you are saying is: if the woman I saw yesterday had got squashed she would not in any way have been responsible for her own demise. Even though she was squeezing down the side of a lorry at a set of traffic lights, in a gap too narrow to cycle down ( she had to scoot ) & which had railings to prevent her escape. ( the lights went green about 3 seconds after she got past the lorry.) The lorry driver would've been wholly to blame?

to whom are you addressing that question? please quote where appropriate it looked like you were responding to my post

Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2013, 10:57:26 am »
So what you are saying is: if the woman I saw yesterday had got squashed she would not in any way have been responsible for her own demise. Even though she was squeezing down the side of a lorry at a set of traffic lights, in a gap too narrow to cycle down ( she had to scoot ) & which had railings to prevent her escape. ( the lights went green about 3 seconds after she got past the lorry.) The lorry driver would've been wholly to blame?

Say there are only ~100 lorry drivers who kill each year and 60,000,000 members of the public who are at risk. My argument is simple. Those tiny proportion of lorry drivers are 100% responsible if they fail to ensure their nearside is clear and kill a member of the public.

It doesn't matter how silly the victim is. We do not rely on sixty million members of the public catering to shit truck driving instead of getting the driver to check their nearside.

If you are operating heavy machinery with a huge death record on the public streets, you are absolutely and ultimately responsible for ensuring the nearside is clear.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't warn people of the dangers of shit truck drivers, quite the reverse. As I wrote in the OP, you can warn women of knife-wielding rapists hiding in a park without in any way suggesting they are responsible if they need to walk home instead of getting a cab. This woman you refer to was being very unwise, relying on the truck driver doing their job and checking their nearside when she could have kept her life in her own hands. However, the truck driver would have been wholly to blame.

Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2013, 12:17:55 pm »
Sorry, I don't agree.

One of the problems we have is that non-cyclists seem to feel that people on bikes are largely responsible for their own demise. In reality the reverse is true. Most incidents on the road are a combination of errors or lack of awareness by both parties.   In a lot of cases the bulk of those errors are made by the driver, hence they are responsible for the 'accident'. However, you don't help the situation by refusing to accept that, on those minority occasions when the cyclist has been stupidly reckless, the individual on the bike is to blame.  I'm not going to excuse someone being an idiot just because they happen to ride a bike. In response to your question I am perfectly happy to be blamed by other cyclists if my actions warranted it.

Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2013, 12:34:34 pm »
Up the nearside of large vehicles is exactly where a lot of cycle lanes are. If someone brings a twenty ton vehicle into the urban realm, where the driver knows there are lots of people on bikes, it's up to the driver to check.

Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2013, 01:05:51 pm »
Up the nearside of large vehicles is exactly where a lot of cycle lanes are. If someone brings a twenty ton vehicle into the urban realm, where the driver knows there are lots of people on bikes, it's up to the driver to check.

ALL vehicles in the urban realm - cyclists included -  need to comply with this if we're to reduce the carnage:

https://www.gov.uk/highway-code

Rules 72 and 73 are particularly relevant.  Most of the time cyclist's should be aware of the danger posed in the left turning HGV situation and take action accordingly.

Lack of knowledge and poor training of cyclists is a big factor in this I reckon.  How many schools are teaching the highway code w.r.t cycling as standard curriculum?  Not many.  They all should in my view.

Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2013, 02:04:32 pm »
but cyclists going up the inside of lorries isn't usually how fatalities occur. The two deaths at Bow were the lorries hitting the cyclist from behind, the Camden fatality was the lorry swinging out of its lane to turn left.  An awful lot of lorries overtake then swing left, the cyclist has done nothing wrong.

Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2013, 02:28:26 pm »
but cyclists going up the inside of lorries isn't usually how fatalities occur..............

I'd be happy if one fatality were saved from this cause by improved training of cyclists.   I did also say ALL road users need to stick by the rules. 

There are far too many vehicle drivers who don't take due care - and they're the ones capable of inflicting the serious damage.  Decent enforcement on all sides would help, but is not an easy thing to sell politically - as can be seen on the discussions on other threads about cylcists "suffering" from enforcement action.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2013, 03:45:06 pm »
I'd be happy if one fatality were saved from this cause by improved training of cyclists.

Then it becomes largely a box-ticking exercise. "Train" a few cyclists, save one life, job done. Never mind all the other deaths then, all the ones that are mainly caused by careless driving. Just concentrate on training the cyclists.

FFS.

Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2013, 09:23:24 pm »
No,
Lack of training of cyclists is part of the problem, cyclists being reckless is part of the problem, the culture of careless driving being acceptable is part of the problem etc etc

Lots of things need change to improve safety.  Taking action on the things that can be done, should be done as far as I'm concerned.

CrinklyLion

  • The one with devious, cake-pushing ways....
Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2013, 09:36:40 pm »
How many schools are teaching the highway code w.r.t cycling as standard curriculum?  Not many.  They all should in my view.

All of the 8 primary schools I have any involvement with deliver Bikeability (levels 1 and 2) to all pupils in upper KS2.  We were also given information about how to access further training, including parent and child training where a bikeability tutor would help families find appropriate cycling routes to school and ride that route with them, training the kids in how to ride and the parents in how to ride and supervise.  My son's PE lessons in the first term of secondary included a series of cycling lessons - on bikes provided by the school, so that no child would be excluded by reason of not have a bike to use and to ensure that all the bikes were adequately maintained.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: You could be next. Do you want other cyclists to blame you?
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2013, 10:20:30 pm »

Lack of training of cyclists is part of the problem, cyclists being reckless is part of the problem, the culture of careless driving being acceptable is part of the problem etc etc

You say that as if they're all an equal proportion of the problem. They aren't. Some things are a far, far greater part of the problem than others.

And some parts of the problem are so small as to be insignificant.