Police training and riding primary

Ste T.

Veteran
I had a very interesting conversation with a PCSO yesterday. I was riding through a local town with loads of parked cars and narrow streets, and was getting the usual comments and filthy looks for riding in the primary and staying out of the door zone, when I spotted two PCSOs on bikes coming out of a park so I stopped for a chat.
I asked them what their training was on the subject of riding primary and her answer was that they get two days training so that the can go out on the bikes but the passing of parked cars wasn't covered. She then went on
"It's an awkward one that isn't it? You see, if you ride far enough out so that the door won't hit you, you'd be too far out and holding up the traffic. Thats why I ride next to the cars and if they open the door they are in the wrong.
So there you have it.:biggrin:
 
I hope you pointed out that hitting an opening car door may leave her bleeding or worse and in no position to be able to apportion blame? <sigh>
 

thomas

the tank engine
Location
Woking/Norwich
lol. Surely she should realise that if she rode correctly, more motorists would respect other cyclists for doing so too...she's in Uniform, so anyone who starts beeping or whatever is a muppet.
 

TWBNK

Well-Known Member
Location
Wirral
Last year I went on a three day public safety cycling course, the instructor trains both police and ambulance service staff. To be honest from what I could gather he really liked taking the ambulance courses because the ambulance staff are keen to go on the cycles and there is a lot of interest every time the training comes up.

For the police and PCSO's it seems to be more of a chore. Here is a bike, here is a course, we've fulfilled our training obligations. Now go out and do your stuff.
 

gaz

Cycle Camera TV
Location
South Croydon
The door zone is a strange topic. I've got countless recordings of people happily cycling in it. And most of them will never have an issue! The question to put to people who either know nothing about it or question it, is how far does a car door open?
The answer is further than you think. And if you have no time to break your options after that can lead to death.

Personally I will stick to riding in a strong position for my saftey!
 

summerdays

Cycling in the sun
Location
Bristol
On some narrow roads you can't ride out of the door zone completely ... but I have an instinctive reaction to that click that the door handle makes ... as well as watching out for the cars that are likely to open a door (engine running/ones that have just pulled in to stop/have someone in them).
 

Davidc

Guru
Location
Somerset UK
When forced into the door zone it's essential to keep looking into the parked vehicles. Dark and tinted glass doesn't help though and vans are difficult. Their door mirrors help.

Any with a person in them, or with no visibility, and I move out.

I gave up worrying about the occasional abusive &/or hooting driver a long time ago.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
summerdays said:
On some narrow roads you can't ride out of the door zone completely ... but I have an instinctive reaction to that click that the door handle makes ... as well as watching out for the cars that are likely to open a door (engine running/ones that have just pulled in to stop/have someone in them).[/QUOTE]

IMO thats the way it should be, continuous risk assessment (for want of a better word)
Consider the hundreds of miles of parked cars you pass every year. If you adopt the door zone position for every single car, you'd spend half your life in the middle of the road.
Observation observation observation.
If there's someone in the car, you take a safer position. If the car is empty (as 99.9% of cars are)...there's precious little danger.
I say that based on my local circumstances...parked cars with a cycle lane maybe 3 or 4 foot wide on the drivers side. If you adopt a safe door zone position for every car....it takes you completely out of the cycle lane and into the traffic.
 

StuartG

slower but further
Location
SE London
What do they do in those two days training?

I had only two hours (free) training care of my local authority. Although I knew and sometimes practice primary - the instructor spent most of his time encouraging me to do more. If you look at Cyclecraft - door zones & primary are key there too. I'm gobsmacked it is not covered in two days.

Maybe we should campaign for a free copy of CC to every uniform police/PCSO with a short written test a couple of weeks later. Money? I'm sure the CTC/LCC and many others would stump up a few bob for that!
 

Gibbyent

New Member
Location
Norwich
gbb said:
IMO thats the way it should be, continuous risk assessment (for want of a better word)
Consider the hundreds of miles of parked cars you pass every year. If you adopt the door zone position for every single car, you'd spend half your life in the middle of the road.
Observation observation observation.
If there's someone in the car, you take a safer position. If the car is empty (as 99.9% of cars are)...there's precious little danger.
I say that based on my local circumstances...parked cars with a cycle lane maybe 3 or 4 foot wide on the drivers side. If you adopt a safe door zone position for every car....it takes you completely out of the cycle lane and into the traffic.
I agree in principle, I did get caught out once, the driver was getting something from the passenger footwell so it looked like the car was empty. He obviously found what he was looking for sat straight up and opened the door. Fortunately I was far enough out to swerve round the door. Did give me a shock though and I tend to ride a bit further out now even if the car looks empty.
 

trsleigh

Well-Known Member
Location
Ealing
gbb said:
If you adopt a safe door zone position for every car....it takes you completely out of the cycle lane and into the traffic.
In these circumstances I regard the cycle lane as if it were cross hatched & plastered with no cycling signs.
In other words I treat it as a cycling safety exclusion zone.

I was doored once about twenty five years ago and so I do not want it to happen again.
 

BentMikey

Rider of Seolferwulf
Location
South London
I think it's complete madness to cycle within the door zone and try to rely on your observation. Just don't ride in the door zone unless you're doing 5mph or less.
 

Vikeonabike

CC Neighbourhood Police Constable
StuartG said:
What do they do in those two days training?

I haven't persuaded my constabulary to stump up for EMS training as yet. However There are plenty of points covered that don't make it into Cyclecraft. Using the bike as a Self defence tool. Fast dismounts into a run where you then have to "Safely" apprehend an offender. Apprehension of offender whilst on the bike. Obstacle clearance such as stairs (up and down). Setting up a road block with your bike to protect injured party / crime scene. The original American version is a 5 day basic course and involves shooting from the bike.
Loads of stuff to be covered, wish CAMBRIDGESHIRE CONSTABULARY weren't so disinterested!
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
Gibbyent said:
I agree in principle, I did get caught out once, the driver was getting something from the passenger footwell so it looked like the car was empty. He obviously found what he was looking for sat straight up and opened the door. Fortunately I was far enough out to swerve round the door. Did give me a shock though and I tend to ride a bit further out now even if the car looks empty.
There's no doubt you can very very occasionally (maybe the once in 20 years for me) get caught out.
Plusses and minuses. Ride in the road (out of the cycle lane and the door zone) and you come into closer contact with traffic..most of the time, increasing your chances enormously of interference from cars. Thats the minus.
Ride closer to cars that are 99.9 % empty...once in a blue moon you get caught out. Another minus.
Weighing the two together...i choose observation.

trsleigh said:
In these circumstances I regard the cycle lane as if it were cross hatched & plastered with no cycling signs.
In other words I treat it as a cycling safety exclusion zone.

I was doored once about twenty five years ago and so I do not want it to happen again.
As above.


BentMikey said:
I think it's complete madness to cycle within the door zone and try to rely on your observation. Just don't ride in the door zone unless you're doing 5mph or less.
As above.

Its weighing risk. If you're observant, you can (i can) deal with it.
Nothings 100%. Spend most of the time observing, and maybe once in a blue moon get (nearly) caught by a door.....or spend most of your time in the road..and most of the time playing with the traffic. Risk reduction.
 

StuartG

slower but further
Location
SE London
Vikeonabike said:
The original American version is a 5 day basic course and involves shooting from the bike.
Fascinating. Must take some skill handling the recoil. And as for difficulty to get an accurate shot while moving, balancing ... the possible 'collateral' damage would seem frightening!
 
Top Bottom