A welcome approach by WMP to cycle safety

Discussion in 'Advocacy and Cycling Safety' started by glasgowcyclist, 9 Sep 2016.

  1. glasgowcyclist

    glasgowcyclist Charming but somewhat feckless


    There is a section within the West Midlands Police that is specifically targetting cyclists' safety, and not in the usual way of lecturing riders on hats and yellow jackets or issuing tickets for riding on a pavement. No, these guys are bringing in a "New Dawn" of policing motorists who endanger the lives of cyclists.

    The blog is fairly long and shows a much enlightened approach to our safety. If you've been the victim of a close pass and go to your local police with evidence of it, don't be fobbed off with anything that doesn't meet the WMP approach. It ought to be adopted nationally.

    A couple of snippets:

    "A New Dawn

    Cycling is a fantastic thing, it’s benefits are well documented, traffic congestion is reduced, as is pollution, health and wellbeing are boosted for the participants and not forgetting the resultant benefits of less dependence on a stressed NHS. When it comes to playing our part in supporting cycling and cyclists it’s not a case of “why should we?” it’s a case of “why wouldn’t we?” Supporting cyclists and cycling is really a case of policing for the benefit of all, a prime case of policing for the greater good of the community."

    "Our time and effort, we have quickly realised, is better spent enforcing the law and prosecuting, thus creating a scenario whereby should someone not give a cyclist the time and space necessary or fail to see them completely they should expect to be prosecuted. In other words the carrot goes out the window and in comes the stick. Why some might ask? Well if drivers expect to be prosecuted for committing offences they suddenly stop committing them, unsurprising correlation I know but it’s the truth. "

  2. Apollonius

    Apollonius Über Member

    This blog was clearly written by someone who knew what he/she was talking about. As such, it can only be ignored.

    Seriously, this is such good stuff. Spread the word.
    Trickedem likes this.
  3. deptfordmarmoset

    deptfordmarmoset Full time tea drinker

    Armonmy Way
    I'd argue against the statement ''Don't look at the eyes.'' Though I'm a long time wheel watcher because I figured out a good while ago that the front wheels of a vehicle are often the best or, indeed, the only indication of where a driver is going, the eye contact bit is still important, IMO. Making eye contact doesn't make it safe but it does make things more human and can also give clues. I'd prefer the advice ''do both.''
  4. (I forgot to hit "post" after drafting this on another thread. Posting it here instead, even though the post lives on the other thread)

    I always to full eye contact with some acknowledgement. Eg. If I am in the cycle box in front of a HGV, I will turn, look up and wave. If he waves back, then that's good. On saturday I actually said to a driver parked on the footpath beside us and indicating to move out "you've seen us, right?" If someone is coming out of a sidestreet they might take a wave or an nod as me letting them in, so I keep the body language neutral at that time. But that being said, if you are watching someone eye's, you can often see their intentions, and unless you are 3 metres from them, the whole car will be very much in your field of view, so surely you would notice the wheels moving?
  5. Pat "5mph"

    Pat "5mph" A kilogrammicaly challenged woman Moderator

    I do that too, wave or smile.
    It is scary how many time I have turned, the driver is looking at something below the windscreen (mobile phone?), this both car and lorry drivers.
    John the Monkey and jefmcg like this.
  6. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    Excellent stuff. A shame the forum software only allows me to like it once.
    summerdays likes this.
  7. Drago

    Drago Guru

    Unfortunately, the final sentence is incorrect. Punishment and sentence is of little deterrent.
  8. Lpoolck

    Lpoolck Über Member

    Roxy641, Mrs M and dave r like this.
  9. Rickshaw Phil

    Rickshaw Phil Overconfidentii Vulgaris Moderator

    Nice to see that they are stating the intention of taking the issue seriously. I hope it works out in practice.:okay:
    raleighnut, hopless500 and Roxy641 like this.
  10. Roxy641

    Roxy641 Well-Known Member

    Makes a change from "We can't do anything without filmed evidence". But good on them if they are doing something proactive. :-)
    Lpoolck likes this.
  11. hopless500

    hopless500 Trundling along

    Hope they roll this out across the country.
    summerdays, Lpoolck, coffeejo and 2 others like this.
  12. .stu

    .stu Senior Member

    I live in this force's area and suffer dozens of close passes (1-2 feet at 45-50mph) every day. They have a lot of work to do. We need a national advertising campaign backed with high profile prosecutions to change drivers' attitudes.
    dave r, hopless500 and Roxy641 like this.
  13. Roxy641

    Roxy641 Well-Known Member

    I've often thought couldn't any car driver that is taking her/his test have to use a bicycle while they take the test. Or it could just be something
    as simple as asking them "How much space would you give a cyclist"?

    Not sure how workable it is, but in theory could it help?
    Stephenite likes this.
  14. stoatsngroats

    stoatsngroats Veteran

    South East
    I have just written to Sussex Police, to see if they have any plans to do similar locally. I have reently reported a close pass via our Operation Crackdown website, and note that an advisory letter has been sent to the registered owner, so this might indicate some support.
    Last edited: 10 Sep 2016
  15. benborp

    benborp Veteran

    further from Penge
    Eye contact is a complicated thing. For various reasons it quite often helps as a cyclist to momentarily establish eye contact and then deliberately break it.

    Take when motorists are waiting in a minor road at a junction as an example. In some cases it is used by drivers as a means of establishing a contract over priority - some will mistakenly perceive maintained eye contact as an approaching cyclist conceding that priority. Others use eye contact as an attempt to exert dominance. In both cases it pays to break eye contact before that driver gets the cue from the transaction that they should drive forward. Eye contact, shoulder check, wheels is a good routine. It's a bad sign if when checking for movement from the wheels you are not aware of the driver still looking at you in an attempt to re-establish eye contact.
    If this all sounds a bit too psychologically involved remember there are people that expend energy complicating the simple dynamic of passing in a corridor in order to prove something.
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