Police advice?

Davidsw8

Senior Member
Location
London
If you're bored by RLJ'ing, ASZ's, Roadsafe, police-criticism etc, this one is going to send you in to a deep deep coma, so be warned.

Last night on my way home, I stop at the lights in the ASZ on Steedman Street waiting to cross Walworth Road. I noticed the mini that was previously at a stop behind me begins to edge forward whilst the lights were still red so I moved forward a bit to create a bit of space and he just keeps moving. He then switches his indicator on to left (bearing in mind I haven't indicated any intention and it's pretty obvious I'll be going straight over) and as soon as the lights change, he overtakes and cuts me up to go left.

So, I sent the clip below off to Roadsafe and got an unusally swift response back:

"Thank you for your submission to Road Safe - London concerning the incident detailed below. All relevant checks have been completed and a decision has been made. In the course of dealing with your information we can direct others to any material that has been openly posted in order to raise road user awareness and to promote safety.

On this occasion we will contact the registered keeper and advise them of the indiscretion captured on the footage. We would be unable to refer the matter for prosecution as it appears in your footage that you have crossed the stop line whilst the light shows RED. We have to look at footage with an evidential eye and with regards to defence arguments that are likely to be given. One would be - Why is my client being prosecuted and the informant isn't when they crossed the line in the same video, there was plenty of room for them to stay where they were as my client passed. This is persecuting the motorist.

If you see a motorist doing this again hold your nearside position with a view of stepping and lifting your cycle to the pavement. You are a vulnerable road user and this defensive move is more valuable than being in hospital knowing you were in the right, when you committed to your right of way. Many a motorcyclist has already learnt this lesson previously at their expense."​

Whilst, it's great that the guy will get a letter (however anodyne, it's still a letter from the police) and it's exactly the result I wanted, I was more than a little peeved at what this PC had to say, so I wrote a response:

"I appreciate your swift response and my aim in submitting this incident to you was only that you advise the motorist of his dangerous behaviour. I would only pursue prosecution had he collided with me and I would do this directly with the local police station not via Roadsafe.

However, even though I appreciate you are playing devils' advocate, I am dissappointed with your assertion that I had crossed the line on RED. When I was stopped at the light, my front wheel was just behind the line, in fact I am careful to ensure this is the case every time I am waiting at lights. As you can see from the clip, I only move forward when I notice the driver behind me moving forward and Im doing this for my own safety. Last year, I was hit and sustained significant damage to my cycle while in a stationary position waiting to go onto a roundabout so I was sure not to be hit again.

I was actually to the left of the lane and even though he was in the wrong to overtake me, he had more than enough room to do so. I really am not the type of cyclist to risk anyones' safety, especially my own, to make a point. In fact, remaining where I was while the car behind me moved forward and their indication was showing their intention to cross my path, would have placed me in direct danger.

Would a court seriously entertain the idea that a cyclist should remain behind the line when they are placed in direct danger from a motorist behind? This defence is fundamentally erroneous but if true, deeply disturbing.

I appreciate your support in that you will inform this driver of his potentially dangerous actions but I feel more education is clearly required from the top-down if further incidents are to be prevented."​

I think the advice given was pretty crummy to be honest and I know it's offered with the best of intentions but I feel it's an extremely weak stance and more really needs to be done to enforce the existing laws. Also, if I was deemed to have broken the law as well, I would seriously be happy to be given the opporunity to stand up in court and face this idiot motorist and a magistrate to explain myself. I'd rather us BOTH be given a fine, than for the police to do nothing and for another driver to think it's ok to drive like that.

(Excuse the grumblings and bad language in the clip):

View: http://youtu.be/QcrplwHMkuw


Please awaken from your boredom induced coma now :thumbsup:
 
So they advise motorcyclists to dismount and get on the pavement too?
 

Rohloff_Brompton_Rider

Formerly just_fixed
Tbh, and I mean this in the nicest way and maybe the video doesn't show it correctly....but, the car was well to your right and if you'd stayed where you were and not set off - it would have been a non incident. Tbh I agree with the coppers letter.
 
OP
Davidsw8

Davidsw8

Senior Member
Location
London
Tbh, and I mean this in the nicest way and maybe the video doesn't show it correctly....but, the car was well to your right and if you'd stayed where you were and not set off - it would have been a non incident. Tbh I agree with the coppers letter.
Maybe it's the fisheye lens distorting it... He was right behind me.

Even if I had stayed put, he would still have gone over his line on a red with a cyclist in front of him; I mean it's not death and destruction but I'd hardly call it a non-incident and the copper is writing a letter to said motorist so doesn't look like he deems it a non-incident either...
 
OP
Davidsw8

Davidsw8

Senior Member
Location
London
I'm sure I've read advice from the police somewhere that if a lorry pulls up tightly behind you and you're not happy that the driver knows you are there, then you should pull forward untill you can make eye contact. Anyone else remember this?
It wouldn't surprise me that this kind of advice depends mostly on the person giving it rather than it being black or white. I think another PC would have told me to get a life and another would be asking if I want to press charges...
 
It's a TS10 offence, but the evidence from Johnny Law is that they felt it was "too harsh" to prosecute. In Three years in London a grand total of twelve drivers were prosecuted for the offence. Laughable.
 

Maylian

Über Member
Location
Bristol
Personally I would have been central in the lane which would prevent them pulling forward and should indicate the intention to go straight ahead. Although reading your reply letter I see this has resulted in injury before.

Them writing the driver a letter would be enough of a result for me, don't see it as them not doing anything.
 
OP
Davidsw8

Davidsw8

Senior Member
Location
London
Personally I would have been central in the lane which would prevent them pulling forward and should indicate the intention to go straight ahead. Although reading your reply letter I see this has resulted in injury before.

Them writing the driver a letter would be enough of a result for me, don't see it as them not doing anything.
You could be right about my position, I wasn't hugging the kerb but I wasn't very central either (still doesn't excuse the edging forward and even if I was gonna go left, you don't overtake on a corner like that surely?). I have tried being central there before but I've found that one of my fellow cyclists will get in between me and the kerb and as we both go straight on, I've found myself with a cyclist to my left and all manner of motor vehicles up my rear end - more assertion is required by myself I think.
 
Driver was encroaching into safety zone put there for cyclists.

Cyclist was encroaching into safety zone put there for pedestrians.

The car driver is an idiot and should have been fined as they started the incident and can cause the most harm.

Cyclist should be in primary, if you hug the kerb, expect to be overtaken.
 

Rooster1

I was right about that saddle
LF05 XOE, your driving was WRONG!
Can you actually see the wheel over the white line ? I must have missed it,
What a load of poppy cock
 

Hip Priest

Veteran
Incredibly impatient from the driver. I didn't have a problem with the letter until he went into the whole 'better to be safe than in the right' spiel.
 
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