Road Danger Campaign

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by CotterPin, 25 Mar 2008.

  1. CotterPin

    CotterPin Senior Member

    Hi there,

    First of all apologies for the length of this post.

    There are two reasons for posting this:
    First - asking for a favour, although I know it is a bit of a long shot.
    Second - this is my response to some of the threads recently on dangerous driving - I thought some of you may be interested.

    I am posting it here rather than Campaign as that always seems a fairly quiet corner of this forum but, admin, do feel free to move if you think appropriate.

    Okay - the first of all the favour. I am looking to borrow someone's helmet camera for a day. Hey, as I said, bit of long shot. Who seriously would lend their expensive kit to some stranger on an internet forum...? :biggrin: However, if anyone does feel charitable... or indeed if anyone could put me in touch with someone who might be able to, please PM me. Your help is much appreciated.

    Secondly, the background to this. I am involved with the Islington group of the London Cycling Camapign and, like people on this forum, we spend a great deal of our time, grumbling about how bad the state of driving is these days and how much it puts us at risk. So I thought I would do something about it.

    I have persuaded our group to run a Road Danger Reduction Campaign (although I am still trying to think of a snappier title!) to highlight irresponsible motoring such as the examples frequently given on this forum. We then intend to present the information to our local borough commander and council asking them to take seriously the issues of dangerous driving.

    We have already had one evening's observation and you can view some of the results at

    The next stage of the campaign is Road Danger Watch Day. This will be on 1st April and is a bit like the RSPB's Bird Watch day except we are not looking for birds :biggrin:. I am hoping that LCC members in Islington will send me any examples of bad driving they observe that day. I then plan to put together a press release as phase one of our campaign.

    One thing I thought would be nice would be to include some helmet cam footage of a day on a bike in Islington which can be used to reinforce the message I am trying to put across. If anyone would care to entrust their kit to me for the day. Alternatively does anyone in this forum with their own helmat cam live in my neck of the woods and would be willing to help out?

    Finally, if anyone else on this forum lives or cycles through Islington - Tynan? Catwoman? - your experiences would be much appreciated as well. I would also appreciate any comments on the campaign itself. Magnatom - you have done some work with local bus operators which may be a part of our campaign so the benefit of your experience would be welcome.

    Apologies for the length of this post and thanks ever so much for reading this far - if you did! ;)

    Best wishes

  2. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran


    and no I don't, I'm E/W through Camden along Seven Sisters/Holloway Road

    best of luck it, cams are less than £100 now aren't they, so cheap that even a skinflint like me is thinking about getting one
  3. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Not being funny, but most of those cyclist's had pretty shite rear lights - i.e low on battery, poor position, as my rears are brighter than car lamps... there were a couple of close vehicles, but the road design is really narrow and poor.
  4. catwoman

    catwoman Well-Known Member

    North London.
    Yes, I have received your e-mails via ICAG and will be sending you any comments but I don't have a helmet cam. (Don't wear a helmet).
    On average I usually have at least one near-death experience per day so I should be able to contribute something. ;)
    And well done for taking the initiative locally.
  5. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    middle of Norfolk
    Also, please don't take this the wrong way, but some of that stuff can be reduced by the cyclists themselves being better positioned on the road, that is, out of the gutter. The guy cycling at 1.04 in: he's in the gutter, and this unintentionally suggests that drivers can pass without pulling out to do so. Cyclecraft (John Franklin) explains it well. Another example: the cyclist at 1:50 in is also in the gutter. Riding in the gutter is not good. I also agree with fossyant about the lighting of the cyclists: it comes across as poor.

    The above is given in good spirit, not in the sense of wanting to 'have a go' Honest.
  6. OP

    CotterPin Senior Member

    Hi Waffly and fossy, your points are well taken - most of those cyclists are not doing themselves any favours in terms of their road positioning and lights!

    There is no excuse about the lights - everyone should know they should have good quality lights front and rear. However, I do think it is more difficult when it comes to taking a confident road position. Many cyclists just aren't aware they should ride away from the gutter. Or they are not confident to do so, especially at this point where they having to climb a hill and they can be conscious of motor engines revving behind them.

    So yes - we need to take action to make more cyclists more confident on the roads. But equally I think we need to do more to make motorists aware of their responsibility around more vulnerable roadusers. This is what Magnatom is doing splendidly in Glasgow (and more power to his elbow) and I like to think this campaign will do something similar in my part of London. It will be a long slow slog but I think the time has come to begin a change in attitudes in driving in this country.

    Catwoman - look forward to hearing your stories!

    Tynan - may see if I can get our group to buy a helmet cam. Oh and I am afraid Seven Sisters Road/Holloway Road is in Islington (least that's what I tell all my friends as it's where I live :eek: Either that or Greater Highgate!).
  7. wafflycat

    wafflycat New Member

    middle of Norfolk
    Indeed, it's not a case of one or the other. I would not hope that my post was taken as an excuse for poor driving. Simply that, as cyclists, there are things we can do to help reduce our risks from bad driving, and better road positioning is one of them. This isn't however, a get-out for bad driving. The onus should be on the person doing the overtaking to only do it when it is safe to do so and do it in a way that gives the person he/she is overtaking, plenty of room. But to help this, a bit of awareness on the part of the cyclist of what he/she can do to increase their own safety is also a good thing.
  8. OP

    CotterPin Senior Member

    So today is the day. I'll let you know what kind of comments I get.

    In the meantime you may wish to amuse yourself by listening to: aod/networks/ london/aod. shtml?london/ lateshow_ mon (about fifteen minutes in). I was dragged out of my local pub quiz with half an hour's notice to do this.

    I have not had the nerve to listen to it :biggrin:

    Somehow I do not think I am going to be a threat to our true media stars, Arch and Magnatom.


  9. magnatom

    magnatom Guest

    Hi Stephen,

    As you may be aware I've been a bit pre-occupied recently, so I missed this. Of course, if you think I can help, I am more than happy to.

    Wafflycat is correct with her comments about the cyclists in the clip. They are cycling that road pretty poorly.

    I think the problem with a lot of cycle campaigns is that they focus on other road users, i.e. we are telling everyone else what they should be doing. I am beginning to think that this type of campaign will not really work. People don't like being lectured to, especially when they 'perceive' that they are being lectured to by cyclists, who 'probably don't drive, don't pay road tax' etc.

    In my opinion the best approach is for a campaign that does not appear to come from any road user in particular and doesn't focus on any particular road user. My preference would be for some sort of mutual respect campaign which focuses on all users. As part of that campaign there could be sub-literature aimed at car drivers, HGV drivers, cyclists etc. The cyclists literature would, for example, contain information on what should be expected of a cyclist and why. It should also contain information on the issues faced by other road users with respect to cyclists, i.e. why HGV drivers fear cyclists filtering up the left etc.

    A campaign like this would need to be quite large to be effective, though, and would definitely require the CTC, police etc to be involved. Maybe when I get time I will write to the CTC with my thoughts....

    Of course if you want a chat Stephen, just PM me and we can exchange e-mails.

    Finally, I've just listened to your radio interview. I think youdid very well, especially as the host was so obviously biased against cyclists!!
  10. OP

    CotterPin Senior Member

    Thanks for that Magnatom. I have read the stories on this forum of your recent experiences with interest. And I think I tasted a very little of it when I was invited to be intervied. She was a little anti-cycling wasn't she???

    You are definitely right that the best way forward is co-operation with other road user organisations. Although in London we had the "Share the Road" campaign which to many cyclists here sounded somewhat unbalanced. Our campaign is in its early stage and it will definitely evolve. I think we are just at the start of raising awareness of the issue and getting the focus on what the problem is. One of the things I am hoping to do is build an alliance with the local group of Living Streets (the Pedestrian Society).

    Anyway, here are a list of some of the incidents that occurred to Friday. Those who cycle in North London might recognise some of the street names. Apologies to the rest of you!

    Holloway Road/Seven Sisters Road – car jumps red light
    Holloway Road (outside M&S) – Lorry overtakes cyclist attempting to pull out to go around parked vehicle
    Holloway Road/Hornsey Road junction – motorbike in the middle of bus lane and then into the ASL
    Holloway Road/Hornsey Road – car pulls into ASL
    Holloway Road/Drayton Park – scooter pulls into bus lane
    Holloway Road/Liverpool Road – car accelerates as cyclist attempts to turn right into Liverpool Road
    Moorgate – van travelling southbound overtakes at speed and has to stop within the ASL at lights on junction with London Wall
    Bank junction - car pulls into ASL at after the lights of turned red.
    Old Street – 394 bus blocks toucan crossing

    Next steps will be a press release and further discussions on how to take the campaign forward.

    Magnatom - thanks for the offer of the wisdom of your experience. I may well take you up on it!

  11. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Auld Reekie
    There is a need to educate all road users, non of us is perfect.
  12. historyman

    historyman New Member

    I know this neck of the woods well. The road is well lit and the cyclists very visible even if it comes across on youtube as poor visibility.
    (slightly less so at the top of Crouch Hill)
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