Reporting Bad Drivers

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by iwf, 3 Dec 2007.

  1. iwf

    iwf New Member

    Being new to this whole commuting by bike stuff I've been reading these pages avidly.

    Bad and abusive behavior by drivers sounds like assault to me. Even accepting no actual physical violence happens (which would be battery) I wonder whether we should simply report it to the police every time it happens.

    I'm thinking of a standard letter to the local nick with details of the license plate number, then a campaign via CTC or LCC to get the blues to take notice.

    even though I havent even taken my first ride I'm thinking of getting a video camera, or having a still camera with me to photograph the car and driver.

    or am I just being naive?
  2. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    :ohmy:Poor attitude.:biggrin:
    If you look for trouble you will certainly find it;)
    Just relax, get to know your route, learn where there may be dangers from other road users and develop techniques for avoiding an incident when someone errs. Avoid incidents through your skill and give yourself a virtual pat on the back when you emerge unscathed. If you suffer injury, it is little comfort to see the other guy in court and get a piffling fine.
    You are going to/from work, it's not meant to be a race.:biggrin:

    Oh! and read that book by John whatsisname, someone else will be along shortly to give you the details.:biggrin:
  3. Chuffy

    Chuffy Veteran

    Wot Snorri said, especially about looking for trouble.
    I get very little aggro on the road (and I'm not a 7' tall tattooed biker) because, I suspect, I don't look for it, I don't assume that drivers are malicious or stupid, until proven otherwise and I'm a very confident cyclist. That said, it's worth carrying a notepad and pen in case of incidents. The plod round here can and will knock on someone's door if you report them for a near miss. Even better is when they knock on the employer's door. There's one bus driver round here who must be wishing he'd apologised for cutting me up instead of telling me to "piss off". His clean disciplinary record now has a nasty smudge on it.:biggrin:

    But, assume you have as much right to be on the road as anyone else and be as considerate as you would want everyone else to be. You'll be fine.:biggrin:
  4. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Guildford / London
    I take a slightly different view from these two guys - get a camera, something like the ATC2000, attatch to your handlebars and forget about it, you never know when it may come in handy - see the "bollo shaped dent in a volvo" thread.

    Where I do totally agree with the other two is - relax and enjoy the ride mate, seriously not worth raising your blood pressure over idiots, and if you do find it raised just pop along here, grab a cup of tea and vent it,let it go.

    Some newbies, much like yourself may be put off by what they read in this board, because so much of it is to do with dodgy drivers, however you must remember that we all keep doing this day in day out because it is Bloody Good Fun - if it was really as bad as all that we would be caged-up ourselves :biggrin: :biggrin:

    Cyclecraft by John Franklin is the book you should strongly consider reading. Also ask questions here, 'tis a friendly bunch.
  5. gambatte

    gambatte Middle of the pack...

    S Yorks
    Concentrate on your riding, be confident, stay away from the gutter.

    Consider joining CTC for the insurance and access to legal advice.

    (Took me a few months to do the last bit - Yorkshiremen don't like parting with money. Copper wire, invented in a tug of war over a penny, betwen a Tyke and a Scot. :biggrin:)
  6. dondare

    dondare Über Member

    Bullying is unpleasant wherever you find it. In real life, cyclists are not really at a much greater risk than anyone else.
  7. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    I was the victim of appalling behaviour by a lorry today, basically riding along probably about 17mph in primary position because i was on a bendy bit with double white lines down the middle, and a lorry behind starts honking. I just stayed in primary and he honks a couple more times. When it straightens out and widens up i move over into secondary, and he overtakes and cuts in deliberately sharply to 'teach me a lesson', I had to brake and move really close to the kerb to avoid being taken out - I could tell it was a deliberate act of aggression 'cos when he pulled in his wheels got to about 3 inches from the kerb :biggrin: :biggrin:
    Didn't spoil the ride though, I felt more dismayed than angry or endangered. But didn't stop me from when I got home reporting it to the police. I got a call from a very understanding pc in the neighbouring constabulary who says he will endeavour to go and VISIT the company tomorrow afternoon to speak to the boss and/or driver. Let's hope he will be as good as his word, I'm not taking that sort of bullying without doing something about it.
  8. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    When this sort of thing happens, take the registration number, and remember details:
    * what sort of vehicle
    * exact time, place
    * registration number (most important)
    and also get it clear in your head the description of the incident, but then don't dwell on it, and don't 'steam' about it for the rest of the ride, just relax - but then when you get home report it to the police. When you do, be calm, cool, and insistent - you may encounter desk operators who don't really want to bother, but make it clear you're not going till they file the complaint - it won't necessarily be them that deals with it. Explain that you understand that a prosecution is unlikely to be possible without evidence, but that you would like the driver spoken to because you felt intimidated, and make sure you get an incident number. Hopefully then they will go and have a word with them. Assuming they do (which I've no reason to believe they wouldn't), then it's probably enough to shock them into having a think about their driving in future.

    Obviously if you feel like having a camera, then you've got evidence, then all the better.

    But only report if it's really bad, if you go reporting every little minor infringement of less than perfect lane discipline they'll start to raise their eyebrows when they see you coming.
  9. gambatte

    gambatte Middle of the pack...

    S Yorks
    Sorry to hear that Bonj, I hate bullies.
    Anyone local you want to name and shame Bonj?
  10. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    didn't have a company name on. But the feds will be able to find out the holder of the operator's license from the reg.
    but it was here
    and he turned left up mill rd.
  11. Bollo

    Bollo Failed Tech Bro

    What everyone else said. Although I've had my first ever knock recently, this is the exception rather than the rule. Treat other road users with a bit of respect while asserting your right to be on the road and you'll be suprised how pleasant and considerate the vast majority of people will be.

    I originally bought an ATC2000 camera to capture some school-run nonsense around my littl'n's school and to protect myself from potential prosecution if one of the sixth-form lemmings I have to pass each day ended up impaled on my handlebars. It's a useful tool, but not the answer. The best thing to do is never engage in banter with the nutters, advice I could do with re-reading now and again.
  12. BentMikey

    BentMikey Rider of Seolferwulf

    South London
    Well done for reporting it Bonj, thank you very much!

    As for the OP, yes, cycle commuting is great fun and I very rarely have incidents worth talking about compared to the number of miles I do. Cyclecraft recommended here too.
  13. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK
    And another recommendation for Cyclecraft here. I'm starting to worry that I lead a rather charmed existance - yes the odd car passes too close, and I once had a discussion with an old man over whether I ought to be skimming along an inch from parked cars just so he could get by (he seemed to think I should - nevermind, I wasted way more than the 2 seconds he saved by shaving past me at the the top of the road when I caught up with him to have a chat, and his wife looked very embarassed).

    Like Jacomus says, if it was that bad, we wouldn't do it. That said, an ability to remember (or to swiftly note down) reg numbers is useful - and the camera is a bit like a talisman - the day you leave it behind is the day you get something worth filming...:biggrin:
  14. JamesAC

    JamesAC Senior Member

    * Read and put into practice John Franklin's book
    * Share your experiences with this group - I've found it very theraputic on the one or two occasions I've had an unpleasant experience (whilst cycling!!)
    * Keep it up!

    I've been commuting by bike for several years now in east London. I've had one "incident" that was partly my fault (I cycled up the inside of a line of traffic approaching a traffic light, and got my rear wheel mangled when the driver in front of me turned left without signalling) and one that wasn't (a guy shunted me half way across a junction when I stopped at the "give way" sign) and he didn't. I wouldn't give up cycle commuting for all the tea in Tescos. When I have to get the 'bus for some reason, I dread the experience, waiting for ages at some drafty, fdamp, filthy 'bus stop, with a load of chavs, and then being cooped up in an overheated 'bus with people coughing and sneezing all over me.

    Cycling to work is, for me, quicker, pleasanter and healthier.

    I hope you find it so, too.
  15. squeaker

    squeaker Über Member

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