Mutual respect - long-ish



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Vernon Levy

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While searching for something unrelated i cam across this gem. Some folk from both sides of the
cyclist/motorist divide may well benefit from taking heed of its advice. It would make the roads a
nicer place for all.

http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_rdsafety/documents/page/dft_rdsafe ty_504539.hcsp

Motorists and cyclists both have a right to use Britain's roads - a right to safe and enjoyable
travel. Both share a responsibility to understand each other's needs - and to respond positively.

This information aims to make motorists and cyclists more aware of one another, and to counter
the intolerance that can develop between them - in short, to establish a climate of mutual
courtesy and care

What cyclists would like motorists to know
1.. Cyclists are more vulnerable than motorists - drivers have the major responsibility to take
care. Rain, wind and poor visibility make conditions worse for cyclists.
2.. Cyclists can feel threatened by inconsiderate driving. They have a right to space on the road
and need extra room at junctions and roundabouts where cars change speed, position and
direction.
3.. Cyclists ride away from the kerb, not to annoy motorists but to:
a.. avoid drains, potholes and debris
b.. be seen as they come to junctions with side roads
c.. discourage drivers from squeezing past when it's too narrow
4.. Cyclists turning right are exposed - and need extra consideration from motorists, especially
on multi-lane roads with fast-moving traffic.
5.. Cyclists can be forced into faster traffic - by vehicles parked in cycle lanes, at junctions
or on double yellow lines.
6.. Cyclists are dazzled by full-beam headlights, like everyone else.
7.. Cyclists can be fast movers - 20mph or more. What motorists can do
8.. Think bike. Expect to see cyclists, and take care.
9.. Slow down and drive smoothly. Keep within speed limits. Expect sudden movements by cyclists,
especially in windy weather and on bad road surfaces.

Signal: always at roundabouts and every time you pass a cyclist

Watch for riders on the inside when you turn left. Don't cut them up.

10.. Give cyclists space - at least half a car's width - and never force past them. Be patient - a
few seconds for a cyclist hardly affects your total journey time.
11.. Right-turning cyclists need space and time.
12.. Park considerately. Always look for cyclists before opening a car door.
13.. Use dipped headlights.
14.. Expect speed from bikes. Think of a bike as a vehicle - it is. What motorists would like
cyclists to know
15.. Motorists get upset if cyclists ride without lights at night, ignore red traffic lights or
hop on and off the pavement.
16.. Motorists usually travel faster than cyclists and may have less time to take account
of hazards.
17.. Motorists may not always see cyclists.
18.. Motorists are made uneasy when cyclists seem hesitant, move out suddenly or wobble
around potholes.
19.. Motorists can feel delayed by cyclist.
20.. Motorists don't always understand that some road surfaces, junctions or traffic conditions
cause problems for cyclists. What cyclists can do
21.. Follow the Highway Code. Don't
a.. jump red lights
b.. ride on pavements (unless they are shared paths)
c.. ride the wrong way in one-way streets (unless signs say that cyclists are permitted to do so)
d.. ride across pedestrian crossings
2.. Think ahead. Anticipate drivers' actions. Catch their eye.
3.. Be visible. Ride well clear of the kerb, wear bright clothing, and always use lights after
dark or in poor day-time visibility.
4.. Show drivers what you plan to do. Always look and signal before you start, stop or turn. Ride
a straight line past parked cars rather than dodge between them.
5.. Move over, when it's safe and convenient. Two-abreast is often OK, but try not to hold up
other traffic.
6.. Ride positively and decisively. It helps motorists to understand what you plan to do. Mutual
respect and consideration make for safer and more enjoyable travel. Always acknowledging a
courtesy does make a difference.
 
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Dirtylitterboxo

Guest
>Motorists and cyclists both have a right to use Britain's roads - a right to safe and enjoyable
>travel. Both share a responsibility to understand each other's needs - and to respond positively.

Indeed they do, and the greater share of the responsibility *should* lie with the motorist as he/she
is the one propelling a tonne or more of metal at speed on the road. This does *not* absolve the
cyclist of responsibility for his/her own safety, and nor does it mean cyclists and drivers should
ignore the rules of the road. From my experiences as a pedestrian, cyclist & motorist, it's the
motorists who scare the hell out of me the most as too many think they own the road and can do as
they want (look at the outcry on cameras catching poor beleageured motorists who speed - it's
forgotten they *are* breaking the law). It's also the appalling way the legal system in this country
turns a blind eye to manslaughter/attempted murder when the weapon of choice is a motorvehicle...

Cheers, helen s

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Pk

Guest
dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers wrote:
> It's also the appalling way the legal system in this country turns a blind eye to
> manslaughter/attempted murder when the weapon of choice is a motorvehicle...
>
> Cheers, Helen s

I don't want to appear carping, as most of what you write I find well argued, sound and very
sensible. Your line on helmets, for instance, follows a well thought and well considered
middle ground.

But, with the above I think you fall into the elephant trap that is the occupational hazard of many
cyclists: the bastards are out to get me! "Manslaughter/attempted murder" and speaking of "weapons"
weaken your argument. The number of cases where murder or weapon is the legally appropriate term is
miniscule.

If you'd said:

"It's also appalling the way the legal system in this country turns a blind eye to careless,
dangerous and reckless driving even when no-one is injured and doubly appalling when such behaviour
causes injury or death."

Then you are on ground that no-one, not even the most rabidly anti-cyclist motorist could disagree
with - because they too are the victim of such behaviour. And you take the point onto the normal
everyday road environment instead of focussing on the accident after it happens.

pk
 
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