Institutionalised law-breaking using bikes - anarchy is near at hand



J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Sun, 17 Oct 2004 02:36:49 +0100, Pyromancer
<[email protected]> wrote in message
<[email protected]>:

>Anyone who deliberately rides through a red light in anything other than
>a dire emergency is a complete moron and should be put off the road.


Example: main road to industrial estate, traffic light which exists to
control a side turning into a power station service road, very lightly
trafficked. By default the light is red for traffic heading from the
estate into town, and the green phase can be as short as ten seconds.
It is galling to approach this light, be able to clearly see that
there is no other traffic on either of the roads controlled, and still
have to stop. It is even more galling to be behind the third car in
the queue and find the light red when you reach the line. And worst
of all is to be detected by the first induction loop, have the lights
go green in front of you, and go red again before you reach the line
because they have assumed that all traffic will be travelling at 30mph
or more.

Large numbers of motorists fail to stop at that light, and they don't
have to work hard to get their speed back. Most cyclists do stop.

The council's view is that cyclists should be on the pavement at this
point. They are evidently convinced that crossing the main road twice
at busy roundabouts and picking your way along a narrow pavement
overhung with trees is safer than riding along the road...

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Sun, 17 Oct 2004 09:23:51 +0100, "Solar Penguin"
<[email protected]> wrote in message
<[email protected]>:

>> Given that you think it is more important to control the trivial risk
>> of pavement cycling than the massive risk of dangerous driving


>No. The point I've been repeatedly making is that it *ISN'T* more
>important to control one than the other. It isn't an "Either/Or"
>situation. it's about making sure that *ALL* private ,
>non-pedestrian-users suffer, no matter what they just happen to be
>driving. This whole "Either bike or car" issues that everyone keeps
>bringing up is just a smoke screen to hide the real question of "Either
>pedestrians or everyone else".


And as has been pointed out to you more than once now, this argument
only applies in a situation of unlimited resources. And arguably not
even then, else we would outlaw many things which occasionally cause
injury, albeit with very low risk.

>Still, since you're not interested in debating the real issue, you'll be
>glad to hear that I'm gonna killfile this whole thread rather than waste
>more time talking to anti-pedestrian twats like you.


Anti-pedestrian? You really don't understand at all, do you? And as
for "debate" - you seem to lack some of the elementary skills required
for that. Like comprehending the other point of view, for example.

For the record I have said all along that the source of the problem is
that roads thought to be so dangerous due to careless drivers that
there is too much incentive for cyclists to take to the pavement, and
councils make this worse by painting bikes on pavements seemingly at
random. To pick on the effect rather than the cause is absurd.

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 
J

Jon Senior

Guest
Just zis Guy, you know? [email protected] opined the following...
> To pick on the effect rather than the cause is absurd.


But very normal. Symptomatic treatment is all that some people seem to
understand.

Jon
 
T

Tony Raven

Guest
Just zis Guy, you know? wrote:
>
> It is also worth pointing out that motorists only seem law-abiding by
> comparison if you exclude the types of offences they are most likely
> to commit. For some reason those motorists who attack cyclists for
> running red lights often become very defensive if the word "speeding"
> is mentioned :)
>


Come on, be fair Guy. There was only the tiny number of 1.5 million
drivers prosecuted for speeding in 2002 heading for a likely 2 million
in 2003. Anyone would think it was common for motorist to break the law
whereas cyclists - well the massive number of 700 prosecutions a year
for all offences says it all.

Tony ;-^)
 
D

David Martin

Guest
On 17/10/04 10:21 am, in article [email protected], "Paul - ***"
<[email protected]> wrote:

> Jumping a red light is jumping a red light, and how one does it is
> immaterial, especially in law.


No, how one does it is immaterial in law. Otherwise it matters enormously
how one does it (should one do such a thing which I do not condone).

...d
 
D

David Hansen

Guest
On Sun, 17 Oct 2004 11:32:33 +0100 someone who may be "Just zis Guy,
you know?" <[email protected]> wrote this:-

>I have been stationary at a traffic light (on my bike) and had a BMW
>drive round me and through the red light.


I have seen this happen too.

Even the threat of their own death does not deter some motorists.
Overtaking a queue of vehicles waiting at a level crossing and
driving onto the crossing is common enough not to be remarkable. It
is impossible to miss the alternately flashing red lights on a level
crossing, the only explanation is that the motorist considers their
journey more important that anything else. Perhaps they should have
number plates made up that read "SOD U". Perhaps they believe the
propaganda of car manufacturers about "safety features" of cars.


--
David Hansen, Edinburgh | PGP email preferred-key number F566DA0E
I will always explain revoked keys, unless the UK government
prevents me by using the RIP Act 2000.


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P

Peter B

Guest
"Ian Smith" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> On Sat, Solar Penguin <[email protected]> wrote:
> >
> > Anyway what is the right word? Where you start by solving the problems
> > that you *are* able to solve instead of wasting your time trying to
> > solve the ones that can't be solved until later? Whatever it's called,
> > that's what I was thinking of.

>
> "Rearranging deckchairs on the Titannic"?


Todays coffee-over-keyboard moment :)

Pete
 
S

Silas Denyer

Guest
Helen Deborah Vecht <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> Ian Walker <[email protected]>typed
>
> > Is anybody else's Troll-o-Meter twitching, or is it just me?

>
> Mine is.
>
> Please do not feed the trolls!
>
> What is institutionalised about cyclists, praydotell? The CTC, whose
> members generally do not break the law, maybe...


No trolling, just a failure to anticipate "demand" for comment and
therefore to be available to participate in my own thread...

The "institutionalised" was referring to a number of issues:

1. The law breaking of the police
2. The acceptance into mainstream business of law breaking as a
competitive advantage
3. The failure of all institutions (including nebulous ones such as
the general population) to deal with the problem.

Hope that clarifies things - I was, and am, serious about the issues
proposed in the original post.

Best wishes

Silas
 
S

Silas Denyer

Guest
Ian Walker <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> In article <[email protected]>,
> "Solar Penguin" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > --- Ian Smith said:
> > > On 16 Oct 2004 05:58:53 -0700, Silas Denyer
> > > <[email protected]> wrote:
> > >
> > > > (yes, lives - cyclist hitting pedestrian can and
> > > > does result in death).
> > >
> > > How many per annum on average?


That isn't the point - widespread lawlessness amongst one section of
the road-using community will IMHO inevitably lead to an increase in
the same or similar behaviour by other sections.

Would you countenance motor scooters riding on pavements (often slower
than many "head-down" cyclists)? Should all road users consider red
lights as optional?

> >
> > And how many would you consider acceptable? How many pedestrians per
> > annum do you think are expendable?

>
> Apparently society thinks the answer is 'quite a few'. We could have no
> pedestrians dying if we, say, banned vehicles or imposed 1 mph speed
> limits everywhere, but we don't. Therefore, to society, however many
> pedestrians die each year is the 'right' number given the advantages
> vehicles offer. I'm not saying I approve, I'm just saying that tacitly,
> society /does/ count some people as expendable.


This isn't my point at all.

Do you agree with the laws about red lights? 1. Yes / 2. No

Do you believe that such laws should not apply to cyclists? 1. Yes /
2. No

If your score is >2 then we're all in trouble.

Regards

Silas


>
> Ian
 
S

Silas Denyer

Guest
Jon Senior <jon_AT_restlesslemon_DOTco_DOT_uk> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> Solar Penguin [email protected] opined the following...
> > Hmmm... I don't accept the premise of this thought experiment because I
> > don't accept that this is an "Either/Or" situation. (E.g. How do we
> > know that Biggus and Tribus aren't already allied against Smallium?)
> > And anyway, pedestrians would be in the position of Tribus, not
> > Smallium -- we've got the least to defend ourselves with out of any of
> > the three groups! Heck at least cyclists are armed with bikes.
> > Pedestrians don't even get a blunt mango to harm other road users with!

>
> Actually, the last time I hit a pedestrian (The only time in fact) I
> came off far worse. He got knocked sideways and was up (and apologising)
> by them time I had come to a halt. The problem with bikes is that the
> person attached to it usually has to lose more speed before coming to a
> standstill and has more chance of ending up tangled in the wreckage.


As an example, Rollerblades were, ISTR, banned in the Royal Parks
because a pedestrian was killed by being hit by a 'blader on a
"pavement". The pedestrian had no choice in the matter (as opposed to
the choice of not walking in the road with cars).

Pedestrians should have the right to cross at crossings without fear
of being hit - by *anything*. The earlier "1ft vs 6ft" argument, for
instance, was spurious in this regard.

I have been hit (as a pedestrian) by a cyclist (breaking the law),
whose head (down, not looking, helmetted) struck me in the face. It
took me a good long time to recover from that. It was not trivial
(except when compared to death) and was caused entirely by the cyclist
"only doing what everyone does" (his words). That is my point - break
down the apparent scale of the offence and soon nobody knows what is
"wrong" or "unacceptable" or even "undesirable" any longer.

> The analogy was daft, but by extension, so is the bizarre premise that
> we should deal with the problem that is easier to solve rather than the
> one which is the biggest threat.


No, the analogy was simply non-analagous. Consider this one instead:

You have to defend Smallium from attack by a mixed bag of opponents
from a single direction. Some have assault rifles, others have
sharpened fruit. You keep out the riflemen but let through the less
lethal (but not non-lethal) fruit carriers, and accept a number of
civilian casualties from fruit.

Soon the riflemen realise that disguising their weapons as fruit is a
good way to go, whilst your guards become used to letting some enemies
in. What do you think happens next?

> A (possibly) better one; You have a high-power rifle. Running towards
> you are a hungry looking lion and a small domestic cat. Given enough
> time and some bad luck on your part the small cat could kill you. The
> lion definately will. Which one do you try and shoot?
>
> Let's face it. It's not going to be the cat is it? Yet you advocate
> shooting the cat, because it'll die with the first shot even though the
> lion poses a <Plucks figure from air> 3000 times greater threat to you.
>
> Is there anyone on u.r.c. who condones cycling on pavements and through
> red lights? Probably not. Is there anyone there who honestly believes
> that effective action against such offenders would have any noticeable
> effect on the KSI stats for our roads? Probably not. Given the choice
> (Assume that it is unavoidable) of being hit by a cyclist (~95kg @
> 15mph) or a car (~1500kg @ 30mph) which would you choose? Can you not
> see why we might find such trolling patently ridiculous or do you need
> more time to think about it?


OK, but:

(a) if every red light has a camera, and most motorists don't want to
be caught by them, and casualties continue to decrease, suddenly
cyclists look like a big problem.

(b) how long will people respect the rule of law if it is flouted by
everybody else, including the police (see my original post)?

Silas
 
S

Silas Denyer

Guest
Tony Raven <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> Its either/or because the amount of resources, financial or human,
> available to devote to the problem is limited. If there were infinite
> resources it would not be an either/or situation but both. As it is
> choices have to be made as to which one is the most effective deployment
> of the resources you have.


No, that is nonsense. The most useful thing would be for every reader
here who does not agree with running red lights to start challenging
those cyclists they see who do run them. That is the *third* choice,
but it appears that nobody is prepared to do anything except wait for
state enforcement. Does this community have no moral fibre or sense of
social responsibility?

Furthermore, the resources required to plate cycles are hardly large,
are they? The infrastructure all exists, as do the laws, the
enforcement regime, etc. But I don't think anybody wants that, so time
for the human approach.

> In the lion/cat example its a question of only having one bullet. If
> you had a whole magazine full it would be easy. You shoot both, lion
> first. With one bullet, unless you can find some fancy way of enticing
> the lion to eat the cat before it eats you or you can get the cat to
> stand in front of the lion so you can get both with one shot, how would
> you use your one bullet?


The bullet is already there (the law exists, as do the police, the
cameras, etc.) All that is needed is to put a tag on the cat as well
as the lion.

Silas
 
S

Silas Denyer

Guest
"Pete Biggs" <pblackcherry{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> Silas Denyer wrote:
> > Personally I think the only solution is compulsory registration of
> > bicycles, with clearly-displayed plates, or perhaps compulsory
> > registration of the riders

>
> How about compulsary shooting of every motorist who breaks the speed
> limit.
>
> Sod off you miserable crunt and don't cross-post to uk.rec.cycling again.
>
> ~PB


Thanks for the vote. I'm sorry, but I believe my post was directly
relevant to the charters of bothe u.t.l and u.r.c, and the volume of
debate has been high from both camps. You don't actually have to read
the thread if you don't want to :)

Silas
 
S

Silas Denyer

Guest
"David Splett" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> "Silas Denyer" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]
> > Last week I had to drive (in a car) across London. I made a note of
> > all cyclists I saw with red traffic lights against them, and their
> > behaviour. Of 182 I encountered on my (fairly long and, as you'll
> > gather, dull) drive, only 8 stopped at a red light against them - less
> > than 5%.

>
> Right. If you were really making such meticulous notes of cyclists, you
> couldn't have been paying proper attention to your own driving.


Well, I was stopped at the red lights in question, so that wasn't
really a problem. I suggest that I was concentrating rather harder
than the cyclists in question.

> > Personally I think the only solution is compulsory registration of
> > bicycles, with clearly-displayed plates, or perhaps compulsory
> > registration of the riders (plate on the back of a mandatory
> > reflective jacket, perhaps). This isn't trivial law-breaking - this is
> > anarchy in which business, the police, and the general public are
> > wholesale ignoring the law of the land, and frequently endangering the
> > lives of pedestrians (yes, lives - cyclist hitting pedestrian can and
> > does result in death). Who wants to join my petition?

>
> Not me. Get a life.


So I take it that you condone these activities and the breakdown of
law?

Silas
 
S

Silas Denyer

Guest
"Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> On 16 Oct 2004 05:58:53 -0700, [email protected] (Silas Denyer)
> wrote in message <[email protected]>:
>
> >I think there will shortly be a significant backlash against cyclists,
> >from *all* sections of the community.

>
> LOL! Been living in a hole the last few years, have you?
>
> Guy


Bizarrely, I've lived and worked in a many "cyclist-friendly" places,
such as Oxford where the "reclaim the streets" lot actually managed to
get cars pretty much banned from the city centre (along with most of
the customers for local businesses, but, hey, the cycling's great
now...).

Most people I know don't actually hate cyclists per se, and most of my
social circle are in fact cyclists and "career pedestrians" rather
than motorists. However I don't think I've ever seen such a complete
disregard for the law as I see now, hence my original post. The
not-so-recent EU proposal to make motorists responsible for all
accidents involving cyclists didn't help, of course, and I must admit
that the current tarring of motorists with the brush of "sinners"
isn't too helpful either, but above I simply believe that good old
social conscience, disapproval, comment, personal and local
engagement, etc. are a terribly good way to get things to change for
the better.

Silas
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On 17 Oct 2004 08:12:17 -0700, [email protected] (Silas Denyer)
wrote in message <[email protected]>:

>That isn't the point - widespread lawlessness amongst one section of
>the road-using community will IMHO inevitably lead to an increase in
>the same or similar behaviour by other sections.


"The trouble with the facts about the law-breaking of the motorists
and the motor interests is that there are too many: it is difficult
even to grasp them. In fact, the position has long since passed far
beyond the limits of ordinary law-breaking and become an exhibition of
national degeneracy." - JS Dean, 1947.

Not much has changed since, except that there are now far more of
them.

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 
T

Tony Raven

Guest
Silas Denyer wrote:
>
> The "institutionalised" was referring to a number of issues:
>
> 1. The law breaking of the police
> 2. The acceptance into mainstream business of law breaking as a
> competitive advantage
> 3. The failure of all institutions (including nebulous ones such as
> the general population) to deal with the problem.
>
> Hope that clarifies things - I was, and am, serious about the issues
> proposed in the original post.
>


There are two issues. Cycling on pavements and running red lights.

For the first, virtually all the cyclists in the urc half of this cross
post do not ride on the pavement because we know it is both more
dangerous for us as cyclists and less convenient irrespective of the
fact that pedestrians don't like it. For most people though, thanks to
government and the police it is a very confusing message. Government
misguidedly selects bits of pavement at random, paints white bicycles on
them and say cyclists "the roads are dangerous, please cycle on this bit
of pavement instead". Is it any wonder then that people get conditioned
to thinking cycling on the pavement is the safe and correct thing to do
even when it doesn't have the magic white paint on it? Those of us who
cycle on the road get regularly harangued by motorists telling us to
"ride on the f***ing pavement" because they too think the magic white
means pavements are for cyclists, roads are for cars. I've had people
stop and get out of their cars to verbally abuse me for riding on the
road. I still ride on the road though and not on the pavement, magic
paint or not and I just wish government would stop all this stupid
shared use pavements nonsense.

For the second, you will also find virtually no-one in urc who approves
of it. It is illegal and gives us a bad name as do stealth cyclists
without lights at night. I would welcome a crack down on cyclists doing
it and it does occasionally happen. However as illustrated the rapidly
rising number of motorist speeding prosecutions and red light jumping
prosecutions, greater enforcement does not seem to have much effect. I
am frequently sat at red lights on my cycle in London with cyclists,
cars, taxis and buses carrying on past me. I am afraid I am just in a
minority of all London road users in respecting the lights.

It doesn't need all the paraphernalia you suggest of license plates on
bikes. First I am not sure where I could find to put one on mine and
second its been an abject failure with cars. What it needs is police or
wardens on the ground with a zero tolerance approach. However we all
know how likely that is to happen.

Tony
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On 17 Oct 2004 08:09:17 -0700, [email protected] (Silas Denyer)
wrote in message <[email protected]>:

>1. The law breaking of the police


Yes, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/north_yorkshire/3147201.stm -
two police officers thought it was perfectly acceptable to knowingly
speed not because the limit was incorrectly signed, but because the
warning of prosecution had the wrong colour border?

>2. The acceptance into mainstream business of law breaking as a
>competitive advantage


Speeding, you mean?

>3. The failure of all institutions (including nebulous ones such as
>the general population) to deal with the problem.


Indeed. When cameras are erected they rail about the "stealth tax" on
lawbreakers rather than laughing at those prosecuted.

Oh wait, you weren't talking about the ones who kill 3,000 a year were
you?

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 
J

Jon Senior

Guest
Silas Denyer [email protected] opined the following...
> No, that is nonsense. The most useful thing would be for every reader
> here who does not agree with running red lights to start challenging
> those cyclists they see who do run them. That is the *third* choice,
> but it appears that nobody is prepared to do anything except wait for
> state enforcement. Does this community have no moral fibre or sense of
> social responsibility?


You labour under the daft assumption that we don't chellenge them. I
often mention it in passing as I overtake them on the way to the next
set of lights.

> Furthermore, the resources required to plate cycles are hardly large,
> are they?


You don't think so. OK. A standardised fixing system(s) has to be
devised that would allow a clearly readable plate to be fastened
securely to any bike (Or would you have the rider wear it?). A system of
montoring registrations and ownership would have to be created since I
doubt very much that the DVLA could cope with an influx of vehicle
registrations on the order of the number of bikes in Britain. The cost
of the plates (How much are a set of number plates anyway) would have to
be bourne by the cyclists and due to the lack of lateral support these
would be very likely to suffer frequent damage and thus rightly cause
complaint.

> The infrastructure all exists, as do the laws, the
> enforcement regime, etc. But I don't think anybody wants that, so time
> for the human approach.


The laws and the enforcement already exist but are largely unused. As
demonstrated by my proposed experiments, using our limited (And they
_are_ limited) resources to tackle the problem of bad cycling is
somewhat pointless when bad driving kills or injures in the order of
hundreds more people every year. I don't condone bad cycling, but I
certainly don't see it as much more than a nuisance compared to the
damage to person and property that can be done by a car.

> The bullet is already there (the law exists, as do the police, the
> cameras, etc.) All that is needed is to put a tag on the cat as well
> as the lion.


But the point is... which one is going to kill you? The cat might, but
it has to be pretty persistant and you have to be very unlucky. The lion
on the other hand...

Jon
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On 17 Oct 2004 08:27:13 -0700, [email protected] (Silas Denyer)
wrote in message <[email protected]>:

>No, that is nonsense. The most useful thing would be for every reader
>here who does not agree with running red lights to start challenging
>those cyclists they see who do run them. That is the *third* choice,
>but it appears that nobody is prepared to do anything except wait for
>state enforcement.


You are assuming that we don't. That is an invalid assumption. You
may also be surprised at how many of us shout at those riding after
dark without lights, or illegally using the footway.

>Furthermore, the resources required to plate cycles are hardly large,
>are they? The infrastructure all exists, as do the laws, the
>enforcement regime, etc. But I don't think anybody wants that, so time
>for the human approach.


The reasons they don't want it are several. First, it is an
unnecessarily draconian solution to a very minor problem; second, the
existence of plating does not prevent motorists from breaking the law
and killing thousands annually; third, the majority of cycles are only
used occasionally, most of these would be discarded or not used rather
than plated, which would further reduce the already insufficient
amount of exercise people take; fourth, there are about six million
children's bikes in the UK, what would you do with those?; fifth, the
cost of the registration bureaucracy would greatly exceed the value of
the scheme unless the cost of registration were pitched at an insanely
high level.

These are just the things which spring immediately to mind, I'm sure
there are other reasons.

You also seem to be ignoring the fact that there is a scheme already
in place to allow fixed penalty fines for cycling offences - and the
Government discourages their routine use because even this is seen as
out of proportion with the actual problem.

You also ignore the occasional crackdown (e.G. recently in Hampshire)
which is welcomed by most of us on urc.

Much netter for pedestrians and cyclists to lobby together for danger
to be controlled at source. The CTC do this, working with pedestrian
groups.

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On 17 Oct 2004 08:22:53 -0700, [email protected] (Silas Denyer)
wrote in message <[email protected]>:

>Pedestrians should have the right to cross at crossings without fear
>of being hit - by *anything*.


Unfortunately large numbers of pedestrians are killed every year on
crossings. But not by cyclists, which invites the question: why pick
on them?

One possible answer lies in the definition of a pedestrian as "a
person who has found somewhere to park the car".

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University