Accident: Bethnal Green road - who's responsible?

Howard

Senior Member
So I was cycling down bethnal green road this morning and witnessed a car-cycle accident at close quarters.

I'm cycling east to west at around 8:50am. As usual the traffic going east to west is stationary so I start filtering on the right at around 18mph. The west east direction is empty of traffic so I drift over the central line into the oncomming lane to overtake a cyclist (full carbon road bike) who is also filtering on the right.

I'm now about a meter behind him and a meter to his right, I notice that on my left there is a car trying to turn right into the west east lane through a gap in the stationary traffic about 15 meters in front of us.

Realising the driver was going to pull out accross us I start slowing heavily (disc brakes - awesome). The other cyclist hasn't clocked the driver and is only able to brake slightly before hammering it into the side of the car as it pulls out. He manages to get the bike sideways before hitting the car so he rolls over the bonet. I stop.

The cyclist seems ok and remarkably gets back on his bike and cycles off after quickly speaking to the driver and his passenger. I follow him for a bit after snapping the registration plate. The cyclist doesn't acknowledge my presence and jumps a light further down bethnal green road where I stop. That was that.

But it left me thinking - who was at fault here? Driver for not seeing the cyclists, or cyclist for not seeing the car? Or both?
 

4F

Active member of Helmets Are Sh*t Lobby
Location
Suffolk.
If you were filtering on the wrong side of the road then I would say the cyclist was at fault.

If you were filtering on your side of the road then the car driver was at fault.

However at the end of the day, just like you did, you need to keep your wits about you when filtering for just this type of incident as it will not matter who was right or who was wrong if you end up 6 foot under.
 

mark barker

New Member
Location
Swindon, Wilts
Sounds like neither of them were paying a great deal of attention, but personally I'd put a bit more blame on the cyclist, overtaking on the approach to a junction is stupid!
 
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Howard

Howard

Senior Member
Sounds like neither of them were paying a great deal of attention, but personally I'd put a bit more blame on the cyclist, overtaking on the approach to a junction is stupid!
It was just a side road. I wouldn't say what he (we!) were doing was plain stupid - it's a move that has its own risks but if you keep your eyes out...
 

Lizban

New Member
It was just a side road. I wouldn't say what he (we!) were doing was plain stupid - it's a move that has its own risks but if you keep your eyes out...
I'm grumpy this morning so forgive me if that comes accross.

But come on you admit that you had to break heavily and the other cyclist hits the car yet you still don't think that the riding style was stupid?
 

Alan Whicker

Senior Member
What speed was the other cyclist going? BGR is a blinkin' nightmare at the best of times, especially when the market's on. Narrow-ish, loads of side roads, buses, peds, scooter kidz. I treat it like I do Fenchurch street - pootle along like an elderly nun.
 
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Howard

Howard

Senior Member
I'm grumpy this morning so forgive me if that comes accross.

But come on you admit that you had to break heavily and the other cyclist hits the car yet you still don't think that the riding style was stupid?
Out of interest what do you think was stupid? Was it the speed, road position etc?

I don't think it's stupid - I wouldn't do it if I did. I think it carries its own risks, and you need to be aware of them if you want to do it - as with all overtaking & filtering manourvres. Have you never overtaken traffic on the RHS? Or filtered into a junction? When reduced, it's the same move.
 
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Howard

Howard

Senior Member
What speed was the other cyclist going? BGR is a blinkin' nightmare at the best of times, especially when the market's on. Narrow-ish, loads of side roads, buses, peds, scooter kidz. I treat it like I do Fenchurch street - pootle along like an elderly nun.
Probably about 16mph. Agreed BGR is a nightmare, much prefer hackney road.
 
I'm grumpy this morning so forgive me if that comes accross.

But come on you admit that you had to break heavily and the other cyclist hits the car yet you still don't think that the riding style was stupid?
You could ride at 2mph past junctions and have car pull out on you at the last second.

Exactly how fast is too fast past a junction?


I'd blame the other cyclist for not being aware enough, and then the car there after for possibly not looking (I would assume they're only looking left at this point).
 

martint235

Dog on a bike
Location
Welling
I'll put my point of view in two ways:

1. If you're on your side of the road, then you have right of way over a driver turning right from your left assuming traffic flow on your road normally has the right of way. This is regardless of traffic being stationary or not. It is also the drivers' responsibility (both the one turning right and the driver he is passing in front of) to be aware of cyclists. The driver on your left has the opportunity, having used his mirrors and seen cyclists, to either alert the other driver or to block his route into your path.

2. Now to the common sense, if you're filtering through traffic and there is a side road it is common sense to take extra care in case a driver pulls out of the side road or turns right across your path into the side road.

So based on that I would say that legally both drivers share the blame however the cyclist sounds like a bit of a muppet and if he also RLJs .........
 

Lizban

New Member
Out of interest what do you think was stupid? Was it the speed, road position etc?

I don't think it's stupid - I wouldn't do it if I did. I think it carries its own risks, and you need to be aware of them if you want to do it - as with all overtaking & filtering manourvres. Have you never overtaken traffic on the RHS? Or filtered into a junction? When reduced, it's the same move.
The speed approaching a junction, the wrong sideness of the road.

How oftern when stuck in traffic do you see cars 'jerk' out nornally without looking and do a u turn? to thecar driver the danger is coming towards them not from behind

If you feel it was safe great carry on - too me there was a very good example (i.e the knocked off cyclist) of why it was silly
 

small fish

Well-Known Member
Location
Manchester
I'd say that bottom line, the driver was at fault. They crossed a Give Way line before pulling out of a side road and crossing a major road and failed to observe/give way to the cyclist(s).
That said, the cyclist contributed significantly by riding too fast for the road conditions and/or failing to observe the potential hazard.
 

Lizban

New Member
You could ride at 2mph past junctions and have car pull out on you at the last second.

Exactly how fast is too fast past a junction?


I'd blame the other cyclist for not being aware enough, and then the car there after for possibly not looking (I would assume they're only looking left at this point).

The speed depends on the conditions somtimes 1mph is too fast other times 30+ is fine But as a rule ont eh wrong side of the road whilst overtaking traffic that is nose to tail and there is a side road the temptation for the car turning right is high therefore the risk to bike is high tehrefore speed should be lower
 
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Howard

Howard

Senior Member
The speed depends on the conditions somtimes 1mph is too fast other times 30+ is fine But as a rule ont eh wrong side of the road whilst overtaking traffic that is nose to tail and there is a junction the temptation for the car turning right is high therefore the risk to bike is high tehrefore speed should be lower
Problem is there was no junction - just a side road (maybe that doesn't matter though), and the cyclist who ended up on the floor was still within the boundries of the east-west lane. ironic that what I was doing was on the face of it riskier yet I was fine.
 

Lizban

New Member
Problem is there was no junction - just a side road (maybe that doesn't matter though), and the cyclist who ended up on the floor was still within the boundries of the east-west lane. ironic that what I was doing was on the face of it riskier yet I was fine.

Changed junction to side road in my post - meaning is unaffected.

You were 'saved' by your road sense and spotting the car turning right, I'm glad yuo are ok and that hte other cyclist doesn't seem badly hurt.

Was it the cyclsit fault or the drivers fault - probally a bit of both leaning towards the driver (i.e 65/35) BUT the cyclist could have avoided it.
 
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